Grades 6-8 Book

About the Team

Meg Ormiston 

Meg Ormiston is on a mission to change the world of education. She shares her passion for teaching and learning with technology through her keynote speaking, through her writing, and on social media. Meg was a classroom teacher for twelve years and now travels nationally and internationally, speaking about the power of teaching and learning with digital tools. When Meg is home in the Chicago suburbs, you will often find her in classrooms serving as an instructional coach.

In her role as a consultant, Meg partners with school systems that are committed to 21st century learning experiences for everyone. Meg creates a unique partnership in each district, reflecting the mission, vision, and direction that local leaders have identified. Her districtwide projects have included guiding teams through the visioning process, designing and delivering professional development, facilitating classroom modeling, developing student leaders in technology, and educating parents.

As a thought leader in education technology, Meg has published seven books and is collaborating with a team for the five books in the NOW Classrooms series. Meg holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from National Louis University.

Whitney Cavanagh

Whitney Cavanagh is a sixth-grade teacher at a 1:1 iPad elementary school in a Chicago suburb. She presents at district in-service days and trains her district’s first-year teachers about small-group and individualized student goal setting. She feels passionate about engaging students in her classroom by incorporating small

groups, technology, and student-choice opportunities.

Whitney piloted her district’s 1:1 iPad initiative, has attended the Apple Distinguished Educator conference, and has received a student nomination for her school’s distinguished service award. In 2017, Whitney was nominated for Teacher of the Year in Downers Grove School District 58.

Whitney has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Valparaiso University, a master’s degree in differentiated instruction, and a middle school endorsement from University of Saint Francis Joliet. In her personal life, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family; her husband, Connor; and her new daughter, Reagan. She loves traveling and has a passion for health and fitness.

Janice Conboy

Janice Conboy is a kindergarten teacher at an elementary school in a 1:1 school district in a Chicago suburb. In this district, she was also a sixth-grade teacher for sixteen years. She teaches professional development classes for teachers in her dis- trict and helps train her district’s first- and second-year teachers. She feels passionate about teaching and learning and making lessons meaningful using technology.

Janice has presented at district-level institutes and state and national conferences, has taken part in several different district technology initiatives, and has attended the Apple Distinguished Educator conference. Janice’s peers have twice nominated her for teacher of the year, and her students have nominated her for her school’s distinguished service award. In 2017, Janice was named Teacher of the Year for Downers Grove School District 58.

Janice has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Illinois State University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from National Louis University. Janice loves spending time with her husband, Eric, and her son, Tyler. They love to travel and spend time with family and friends.

To learn more about Janice’s work, follow @Mrs_Conboy on Twitter.

Megan K. Flaherty

Megan K. Flaherty is a library media specialist at Westview Hills Middle School in Willowbrook, Illinois. In addition to managing the school’s library, she coaches teachers and helps students use technology in a 1:1 Chromebook environment. Megan enjoys using technology to enhance lessons and loves seeing students engage their creativity using new technology platforms.

Megan has led numerous professional development classes for teachers in her district and has presented at the state and national level.

She received her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Vermont and her master’s degree in library science from Dominican University where she is currently working on her technology specialist endorsement. In her free time, Megan enjoys hanging out with her partner, Steve, her dog, and her family and friends. She lives in Chicago and loves trying new restaurants and going to cultural events.

To learn more about Megan’s work, follow @D60Westview IMC on Twitter.

Jennifer Lehotsky

Jennifer Lehotsky is an instructional coach in an urban district outside of Chicago. She works across eight K–8 buildings, incorporating innovative teaching practices using 1:1 technology. She has spent most of her career as a middle school teacher in science and reading, incorporating STEM and innovative practices. She feels passionate about empowering students, personalizing their learning experience to help them reach their full potential, and transforming education to create the citizens of the future.

In 2016, Jennifer was chosen to become a TED-Ed Innovative Educator, and she became a Google-certified educator. She speaks at local, state, and national conferences; blogs at Teaching and Learning Redefined; and is an adjunct professor at University of Saint Francis Joliet.

Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Illinois State University and a  master’s degree as a reading specialist from Dominican University. In her personal life, she loves spending time with her wonderful husband, Bill, and her two children, Gwen and Will.

To learn more about Jennifer’s work, follow @JennyLehotsky on Twitter.

Lauren Slanker

Lauren Slanker is an eighth-grade science teacher and team leader at a 1:1 middle school in Berwyn, Illinois. Lauren values the use of social media in the classroom and was one of the first teachers in her district to have students create Twitter accounts for school use in 2015.

In 2016, Lauren received a nomination for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Lauren has spoken at district- and state-level conferences about technology integration in the classroom. She works toward effectively integrating the Next Generation Science Standards and technology into the classroom.

Lauren grew up in Chicago’s southwest suburbs, received her bachelor’s degree in K–9 education from Loyola University Chicago, and is currently working toward a master’s degree of specialized endorsements in English as a second language and reading from National Louis University. In her free time, Lauren enjoys traveling and spending time with her significant other, Tikhon, and their animals, Louie and Miles. As a computer programmer, Tikhon often helps Lauren with her technology lessons.

To learn more about Lauren’s work, follow @MsSlanker307 on Twitter.