DATE: July 21, 2017
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-972-4049

Albemarle County Public Schools Appoints Interim Executive Director to Head Its Technology Department

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Ira Socol, the Director of Educational Technology and Innovation for Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS), has been appointed as the division’s Interim Executive Director of Technologies and Innovation.

In his position, Socol will provide the executive leadership for the Department of Accountability, Research & Technology (DART), succeeding Vince Scheivert in that responsibility. Scheivert recently resigned as the school division’s Chief Information Officer after being appointed as an assistant superintendent for Loudoun County Public Schools.

Socol has been a member of the technology team at ACPS since 2010. In a note to DART employees, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas said, “Ira’s influence is felt in every one of our nearly 900 classrooms, from the development of curriculum to the design of learning environments that maximize the benefits of state-of-the-art technology, and today, as we fulfill our broadband access program and plan for the important work of our equity and access initiative. Ira’s passion for fulfilling our All Means All promise to our community is a valuable asset.”

To connect the work of the division’s technology professionals and programs more closely to the classroom, Haas said Socol will report to him on DART’s day-to-day operations and to Assistant Superintendent Debora Collins on the integration of technology in the curriculum.

Socol identified two immediate priorities for DART. The first, he said, is to ensure the continued progress and completion of the division’s program to provide access at home to students who are unable to connect to broadband. Also, Socol said, DART will be a strong contributor to the division’s new Social, Emotional, Academic Development (SEAD) team, which will work with elementary schools in the urban ring to close learning opportunity gaps across all student demographic groups.

“The All Means All commitment we make to every student and their family is the greatest gift the public schools can provide,” Socol said. “It starts with the unshakeable belief that every child can learn at a high level. Our job is to provide the individual learning tools and resources that work best for each child, to ensure equal access to the most beneficial resources for all, and to create an environment that encourages students to experience discovery through their own passions and comfort for learning,” Socol added.

Albemarle County Public Schools is positioned perfectly to meet this commitment, he added. “One of the benefits of leading DART at this time is having the advantage of so many highly skilled experts on our team. They are the hands-on professionals who solve problems, expand options for our very talented and caring teachers and students, and offer the creative strategies and programs that keep our school division on the forward edge of technology’s transformative power,” Socol said.

Prior to joining ACPS, Socol taught at Michigan State and Grand Valley State universities and at the Pratt Institute. He also was a consultant for assistive technology for the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth. His private sector experience includes service as a technology consultant and a design coordinator, and prior to that, he was a New York City police officer.

Socol received his Bachelor of Arts from Grand Valley State University and was in the Michigan State University (MSU) Doctoral Program. He holds certifications in Assistive Technology from the University of California at Northridge and in Employment Training from MSU.

A frequent presenter at national and global education conferences, Socol is an influential voice for the need to substantially change the four technologies of school—time, the division of students and content, spaces, and information and communication tools—to give all students the best opportunities to succeed.

“Ira is a high-caliber professional. His willingness to take on these new leadership responsibilities will allow us to continue the forward momentum of our DART team while we evaluate the best possible long-term decision for its leadership structure. This will be a very thoughtful, deliberative and inclusive process, and we expect to make a decision within the first few months of 2018,” Haas said.