photograph of Cindy Turner riding a horseCindy Turner is the Technology Integration Specialist at the Region 7 Education Service Center in Kilgore, Texas. Region 7 ESC serves 106 school districts in the Piney Woods region of East Texas. Prior to her current position, Cindy was the District Media and Technology Integration Specialist for three years at Tatum ISD in Tatum, Texas. She also has seven years of experience as a school media specialist at Tatum Middle School and Hamilton Heights High School, Indiana. Prior to her school library and technology positions, Cindy taught English, theater, and speech a total of twelve years at Connersville and Warren Central High Schools in Indiana.

Cindy completed both her B.S. in Education and MLS at IUPUI.

Cindy's Perspective:
"Budget restrictions and a vigorous focus on state-wide testing have taken their toll on staffing for school librarians in East Texas. Tatum ISD was one of the last districts in our area to employ a full-time certified school library media specialist at each building.  When administration began looking critically at this staffing, I led a charge to educate not only my cohorts but also the superintendent and building administrators in the unique role that the school librarian can play in technology integration.

Fortunately, the librarians at all campuses came on board to offer staff development and technology integration assistance to help the building principal and teachers reach district goals regarding technology integration. This 'buy-in and tie-in' with school librarians and district technology goals led to not only retention of a school librarian at each building, but allowed us to move from being seen as a peripheral to an integral part of each school. It has allowed us to take a 'seat at the table' with the creation of a district media and technology integration (MITS) position that has become an influential part of the district leadership team. The district MITS attends all administrative meetings, giving voice to the capabilities and role of the school media specialist in each building.

After helping shape a district initiative integrating 21st Century Skills and a 1:1 laptop partnership with Verizon last year, I was hired by our local service center where I now assist content area specialists integrate technology into staff development training for school districts in deep East Texas."

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