Hello there! We're
Modern Teacher

Join the Network

What We Do

Modern Teacher partners with districts to support the transition from traditional classrooms to modern learning environments. We are an educational technology company designed to provide a research-based methodology for Digital Convergence in education, and we’ve created a technology-enabled solution to support districts in leveraging today’s tools across K-12 classrooms.


Who We Work With

Districts Nationwide have used the Digital Convergence Framework to guide their work

Photo of building
Baltimore County Public Schools, MD
Photo of building
Garland Independent School District, TX
Photo of building
Fraser Public Schools, MI
Photo of building
School District of Pickens County, SC
Photo of building
CREC - Capitol Region Education Council, CT
Photo of building
BRINC Consortium, DE
Photo of building
SERRC – Alaska's Educational Resource Agency
Photo of building
Washtenaw Intermediate School District, MI

Who We Are

At Modern Teacher, we’ve assembled a network of like-minded professionals dedicated to supporting teachers in today’s highly connected, digital world.

Patricia Barrett

Patricia Barrett, Professional Development Specialist, has a family heritage rich in education, including her father and two children. She was born and raised in the Midwest and attended schools in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois. An educator for over 35 years, Patti has a bachelor’s degree in English Education, a master’s degree in special education and a certification in educational administration. Her school experiences are in public and private schools; elementary, middle and high schools; general education and special education; teaching and administrating. She likes to say that in the world of education, she’s done it all!

Patti’s most recent years in education were as an elementary school principal. In this capacity she was able to work closely with teachers on many of the instructional issues faced by professionals today. As an administrator in the second largest school district in Illinois, she served on many committees that helped bring initiatives and innovative practices to classrooms. She was also deeply involved with the teacher mentor program that worked with new teachers. Patti brings these many years and wide variety of experiences to the work that she is now doing with Modern Teacher.

Lisette Casey

Lisette Casey is currently serving as Strategy Officer for Modern Teacher. Her background in public education includes 22 years of experience at the elementary, secondary and administrative levels. She is passionate about the growing need to transform educational practices to create authentic and collaborative learning environments that promote inquiry, visible thinking, and student voice and choice through Digital Convergence. In efforts to create classrooms for modern learners, Lisette works with administration and staff in effectively designing and delivering both professional development and educational content for 24/7 availability with an emphasis on making learning personal for all learners. She has effectively collaborated with school-wide administration to successfully develop and implement a district-wide iPad roll out and personalized learning program. Lisette is also an Apple Distinguished Educator.

Lisette is also a founding partner of the Colorado Mobile Learning Collaborative. This collaborative consists of Colorado administrators working to support 1:1 learning initiatives in districts. Lisette also extended her work as an independent consultant when she started her own company in 2013. During this time she partnered with teachers and administrators in the transition to modern learning environments by utilizing digital technology and changing pedagogies.

Lisette received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Delaware, a teaching certificate from the University of Colorado and a Masters in Education from Lesley University. When she is away from work you may find her gardening, cooking, traveling or spending time with her family in Manitou Springs, Colorado.

Lisa Casto

Lisa Casto currently serves as Business Development Director for Modern Teacher. In the first 15 years of her career, Lisa was a teacher, assistant principal and principal. For the past 16 years, her work has focused on curriculum, instruction, digital and professional learning in schools and districts in North Texas.

Originally from Iowa, Lisa earned her bachelor’s degree in middle school education from the University of Northern Iowa. After moving to Texas, she earned her master's degree from the University of North Texas and superintendent certification from UT Texas Tyler.

She served nine years on the Learning Forward Texas Board of Directors and served as LFTX President. She has been a Learning Forward Academy Coach, facilitating a three year learning experience for educators. She believes that when adults learn, students learn, and that professional learning is the vehicle to student success. She knows that instruction drives tech integration and is most proud of her recent work in transforming teaching and learning when leading a highly successful blended learning initiative for 10,000 secondary students. She loves reading mystery novels, hiking and Texas Rangers baseball.

Ann M. Chavez

Dr. Ann M. Chavez is currently serving as a founding partner and Chief Academic Officer of Modern Teacher. A native Southern Californian, Ann has 24 years of experience across all levels of public school service. As a teacher and principal, she worked in school districts across Southern California. As a district leader, she most recently served in Chicago Public Schools as the Deputy of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for a regional area on Chicago’s Southside. Ann believes that we find the path to results by providing focused support for teachers and empowering principals as instructional leaders. She uses a practical hands-on approach and brings her daily experience as both teacher and principal as she mentors and coaches today’s educational leaders. Ann focuses on the individual needs of districts and school sites to build the leadership capacity within and empowers them to make strategic decisions that directly affect student-learning outcomes.

Ann earned a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from California State University of Long Beach, a Masters of Education in School Administration from Azusa Pacific University, and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership in Urban Schools K–12 from the University of Southern California.

Sarah Folzenlogen

Sarah Folzenlogen, Modern Teacher faculty, is originally from the East Coast. Sarah has established her roots in Ohio where she has 15 years of experience in both public and private education as a science educator, administrator, curriculum designer and instructional coach. Sarah began her career working in medical research. Therefore, she brings a unique perspective to the world of education and college and career readiness. She has focused her work on supporting educators and leaders to create engaging, authentic and challenging learning experiences for all students. Sarah credits her administrative experience, in a school pioneering one-to-one technology, as a pivotal point in shaping her passion for working to innovate education in the 21st century.

Sarah earned her B.S. from the University of Dayton and her M.S. from the University of Cincinnati. As a local and national education consultant, Sarah is engaged in writing and delivering professional development, along with supporting schools in curriculum design and instructional coaching. Sarah brings extensive experience in backward design, assessment literacy and blended learning to her work at Modern Teacher.

Charles Fred

Charles Fred is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, investor, and public speaker. He has devoted more than three decades of his life discovering new ways for professionals to acquire skills necessary to compete in today’s knowledge-thirsty economy. Considered a pioneer in the e-learning industry, Charles has led a number of successful companies that provide learning technologies and services. His best-selling book, Breakaway, is credited with transforming learning strategies for high-growth organizations and is consistently used for instructional design curricula at major universities.

Today, as the CEO of Modern Teacher, Charles is taking his expertise and experience and devoting his time to help teachers reinvent the classroom. Charles is also the founder of Magnusson-Skor, a research firm dedicated to helping business owners make the transition to chief executives.

Stephanie Hollar

Stephanie Hollar, Modern Teacher Faculty, is a proud resident of the Buckeye State. Stephanie locally and nationally services schools and other educational organizations in professional development, instructional coaching and educational consulting. In addition to her work with Modern Teacher, Stephanie consults with various organizations specializing in curriculum and unit design, school design, assessment literacy, and blended learning in the 21st Century classroom.

Stephanie earned her B.S. from Bowling Green State University and her M.ED. from Penn State University. She ranks co-founding a blended learning school in the year 2000, before blended learning was really a “thing”, as one of her most valued learning experiences and professional accomplishments. Stephanie credits her past experience as curriculum leader, director of education, classroom teacher and even as a student, as foundational pieces that have grounded her in her educational belief that students make the most academic and social gains with access to the right environment, tools, and support from effective educators and that with the right environment, tools and support from effective leaders teachers have the opportunity for success.

Chris Hurd

Chris Hurd is the Quality Assurance Manager at Modern Teacher with 4+ years experience. A Kansas City native turned Chicagoan, Chris comes from a background in healthcare education tech and e-commerce web development. His experience, knowledge, and passionate work ethic bring great energy to the team. In his spare time he enjoys cycling, photography and spending time with friends and family.

Laura Janusek

As Vice President of Product, Laura manages Modern Teacher's whole product, with an emphasis on their software solutions. With the CTO, Laura manages the development and quality assurance teams, including both U.S.-based and nearshore developers. With the CEO and President, she defines Modern Teacher's current and upcoming software solutions and uses client feedback to oversee the development cycle, from ideation through live releases and enhancements.

As a member of the founding team at digedu, The Digital Education Company, Laura managed over 40 award-winning educators and editors in the development of a 3500-lesson Library of digital curriculum. She also oversaw client communication and relationships in 1:1 schools and classrooms across the nation. Prior to her work in EdTech, Laura was involved with a variety educational organizations, teaching in both Special Education and English departments as well as nontraditional learning environments.

Jenna Jones

Jenna Jones has over 15 years of experience as an executive assistant, with expertise in providing executive-level administrative support, customer service, office and project management, and event/meeting coordination. She currently serves as Executive Assistant to Charles Fred, the CEO of Modern Teacher.

Jenna resides in Denver, Colorado with her 2 sons and family dog. She enjoys golf and cycling. She is also a Notary Public for the State of Colorado.

Alex King

Alex King is a Software Developer specializing in system and user interface design. His job includes developing new platform features, ensuring existing ones continue working great, and keeping his cat from walking all over his keyboard.

Tanner Moylett

Tanner Moylett is a former analyst and consultant, with additional experience in various sales roles. Tanner has a diverse professional background that allows him to bring a unique approach to the sales operations and business development strategy. Most recently working in healthcare, he focused on driving much needed change in an antiquated industry; a mindset and passion that he now brings to the education industry.

Tanner currently serves as the Manager of Sales Operations at Modern Teacher. Born and raised just outside of Portland Oregon, Tanner earned his B.A. in Business and Economics from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma Washington.

Kevin Obenchain

Kevin Obenchain is a CPA & financial and systems manager with over 35 years experience in both the Fortune 500 & small business. As an entrepreneur, he founded two software companies, an equipment distributor, and a heritage education non-profit, and he’s frequently served as consultant or advisory board member. While IT Director at Great west Life, he was a contributor to Stanford Univ. Press’ text, Business Driven Information Technology, Laube/Zammuto, Ed. Recently, he’s been developing quantitative risk management tools for business managers & auditors. Today, Kevin manages the accounting & financial planning functions for Modern Teacher.

Jeff Ottens

Jeff Ottens is a former consultant and entrepreneur experienced in driving growth and building high performing teams. He brings experience in a broad range of functions to Modern Teacher from strategy and operations to finance and business development. Jeff began his career at Huron Consulting Group, where he focused on restructuring and turnaround initiatives with a focus on the airline industry. Jeff brings entrepreneurial and operational experience from his time spent growing a flood and fire restoration company until its acquisition in 2012.

Currently serving as Executive Vice President of Operations, Jeff works to streamline processes to scale operations and efficiently service our Clients to transform traditional classrooms to modern learning environments. Jeff earned his B.A. from the University of Illinois with a degree in Finance.

Andy Pridgeon

Andy Pridgeon is currently serving as the Business Development Director for Modern Teacher. Originally from the Grand Rapids area of West Michigan, Andy earned his B.S., as well as his M.A. in educational administration and administration of secondary schools from Central Michigan University. Andy has been a middle school professional educator for the past 21 years and has worked closely with professional teachers aligning customized professional development. Andy takes great pride in leading a one-to-one initiative within his middle school and providing high engagement instructional techniques for the professional staff. Andy also believes in developing the leadership capacity of teachers and empowering them to be primary decision makers regarding the objectives, goals and trajectory of a school building and district. Andy started his career as a seventh and eighth grade science teacher and has served as a middle school athletic director, assistant principal and most recently as a lead principal for the past 15 years. Andy continues to reside in Michigan with his wife (Angie) and their two daughters.

Garrett W. Seaman

Garrett Seaman is currently serving as a founding partner and Executive Vice President of District Partnerships for Modern Teacher. Garrett has spent 9 years as a teacher and school district administrator, studying and perfecting instructional strategies around effectively integrating technology and media. In addition to training students, teachers and administrators on how to best capitalize on the participatory-web, Garrett is versed in: website development, instructional software, educational assessments, and is an expert in understanding how the learner interacts with multiple technologies. Garrett’s focuses his work in schools in re-defining effective instructional technology in the modern classroom.

Garrett earned his B.A. from the University of Illinois, M.A. from Aurora University and is currently conducting research at Northern Illinois University on how the role of the instructional technologist effectively functions in urban school systems. With the completion of this research he plans to apply this knowledge to both private and public sector technology leadership.

Mike Smith

Mike is currently serving as Strategy Officer for Modern Teacher. Mike started his career in education as a social studies teacher in a public high school on Chicago’s southwest side. Over his four years in the classroom, Mike helped design a leadership development program for students and wrote a civic action curriculum that is still in use in 40 Chicago high schools today. Mike went on to the University of California-Berkeley where he earned his Master’s Degree in Public Policy. Following that, Mike moved back to Chicago and spent the next six years in the central office of the Chicago Public Schools as a researcher, data analyst, and project manager. His work there included program evaluation, setting up and coaching district and school leaders on performance management systems, analyzing and drawing insight from large data sets, strategic planning and goal setting, and advising district leaders on policy. Mike broadened his work with school districts by founding his own education consulting firm, Kartograf Consulting, where he informed high school reform strategy for the Madison (WI) Metro School District.

Shawn K. Smith

Dr. Shawn K. Smith is currently serving as a founding partner and President of Modern Teacher. Born and raised in the Midwest, Shawn is a former elementary and middle school teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment, and most recently Chief of Schools for the nation’s third largest school system, Chicago Public Schools. For the past 15 years Shawn has served inside four different public education school systems in California and Illinois. He has also taught as an adjunct professor for several universities.

He is the author of several articles and has made appearances on both the Discovery and Learning Channels. Shawn holds degrees from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin (bachelor’s degree, elementary education), the California State University, San Bernardino (master’s degree, middle school education), and the University of Southern California (doctorate degree, urban education policy and leadership).

Justin Vincent

Justin Vincent has held CTO and technical architect positions at start-ups and Fortune 500’s, including Idealab, Uber Media, B Sky B, the UK’s number one Satellite TV network, and Reed Elsevier. Most recently he founded, built & sold Pluggio, a social media dashboard. Justin’s Open Source software ezSQL is used in over a million websites and has been incorporated into many open source products, such as WordPress.

Mike W. Walls

Dr. Michael W. Walls is currently serving as Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships. Mike has also served as Director of National Development for HOSTS Learning and Senior Vice President for Community Relations for MBNA America Bank. Prior to joining the corporate world, Mike was a teacher, principal, Assistant Superintendent, and Superintendent of Schools in Beloit, Wisconsin and Wilmington, Delaware.

Mike has been awarded the First Citizen Award in Beloit, Wisconsin; chaired the State Delaware United Way Campaign; served as Chairman of the Board of Junior Achievement Delaware; and was awarded the Alumni Achievement Award from Continental, Ohio. Mike earned a BA from Adrian College, an MA from Eastern Michigan University, and a Doctorate from Wayne State University.

Want to Learn More?
Modern Teacher has been certified as a Great Place to Work® as a result of anonymous ratings provided by its employees. We are currently hiring for:
  • Marketing Manager
  • Regional Business Development Director (Sales Executive)
  • Regional Strategy Officer (Account Management)