Brief Bios

About Roy McCloud:

6 word version:

Land the plane version: Roy is a dynamic, engaging teacher at Birmingham Covington School. His mission is to educate, inspire and empower people to transform the way they see themselves and to embrace their Best Life NOW! In addition to teaching, Roy has led countless workshops throughout the district, state, and country. His passion outside of school is just as amazing. To keep up with Roy, check out his twitter feeds (@RoyBPS & @RoyMcCloudMedia) and website.

About Jordy Whitmer:

6 word version: Born, Went To School, Now Learning.

Land the plane version: Jordy is a 3rd-8th grade teacher at Birmingham Covington School in Birmingham MI. Always curious, Jordy has: taught in 3 different districts for 20+ years; designed and facilitated school and district level initiatives for Birmingham; served as Educator-On-Loan for the Michigan Department of Education; taught overseas and online graduate courses for Michigan State and Western Michigan; conducted research on capacity building in systemic reform, technology integration, and mathematics teaching; led professional development workshops for MACUL and Apple Professional Development; served on MACUL's board of directors and SIG for elementary educators; and been designated an Apple Distinguished Educator and Milken Scholar. Currently Jordy is piloting two new classes, Game Design and Thinkering Studio, while continuing to develop the Engage program. In place of blogging, he wikis here at BalancEdTech.

About Sara Wilkie:

6 word version: Learning to Learn by Learning Outloud

Land the plane version: A Math, Science and Engage teacher at heart, Sara was an elementary and middle school classroom teacher & learner for 13 years before being asked to add the role of Districtwide Learning Mentor & Pedagogy Development Coach to her repertoire. After nearly 20 years growing in the classroom and at the district level, Sara began developing and working with future-focused learning teams in local, national and international schools. Sara has served as a member of the EdLeader21 Advisory Team and is the Head of Learning Design for November Learning. In each capacity, Sara strives to connect the experiences of students, teachers and administrators to foster a critical understanding around the meaningful integration of technology, pedagogy and content. Sara has been a keynote speaker and facilitated workshops at schools, educational conferences and professional development seminars, nationally and internationally. Sara holds a B.A. from Eastern Michigan University, K-12 certification in Special Education, and an Educational Technology from Michigan State University. Sara fervently believes our work is not about the tools and technology, but about relationships and learning.
Twitter: @sewilkie
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  • Feedback:

  • "Sara has consistently been a truly thoughtful beacon of inspiration for our district - practical yet global. She intertwines humor, thoughtfulness and passion with sincerity about what we do and why we do it."
  • - Director, Technology & Assessment

  • "Thanks, again, for the push, your genuine care and your full-on passion. You are great at what you do!"
  • - Lake Placid, NY

  • "I Love this! I get to be a learner today!"
  • - Atlanta, GA

  • "Sara is a tremendously helpful and giving coach! I am grateful to be a part of this professional development opportunity. She has inspired me! "
  • - Lake Placid, NY

  • "Words of wisdom to those who have the opportunity to work with Sara... It is a mindfully challenging and arduous journey, one through which she will gently and confidently guide you, fully expecting your engagement, questions, voice and presence every step of the way. It is unlike any professional development experience I've ever been will be a learner and a leader of learning, you will be a contributor, a collaborator, a critic and an "eduCreator". Most of all, you will grow in your profession and practice in ways more meaningful to you and your students than you ever imagined. Open your mind and jump in!"
  • - Chicago, IL

  • "Sara is an amazing person who inspires us to be more! I am a better person and teacher because of her influence."
  • - Lake Placid, NY

  • "I hope Sara can continue to visit and check in with us. She has amazing Karma."
  • - NYC, New York

  • "Not quite knowing what to expect, I went in thinking that we would be learning about a host of online resources (a bank of sorts) that we would be able to readily access and "use" with the students. I have been pleasantly surprised by the focus and the use of our time with Sara Wilkie. She has helped to "connect the dots" for us and things are more clear to me as far as bringing real world resources and relevance together for the benefit of our kids."
  • - Principal, Houston, TX

  • "The biggest shift across our campus has been the recognition that learning happens in many different ways and speeds, even with staff. We are all taking risks now, just like we expect our students to. Sara was the main reason for our success. Her support throughout this process was incredible. She made our teachers feel comfortable enough to take risks and created a safe enough environment for them to truly learn through the process."
  • - Principal, Houston, TX

  • "One key thing I have learned through our experience with Sara has been the significant role reflection plays in my students learning and in my own learning, as well. I have come to better understand how critical it is that we reflect throughout the process and value time for discussion and revisions. What a gift this practice will be for my students now, and in the long run."
  • - Learning Coach, Chicago, IL

  • "Throughout my learning journey with Sara, I have been encouraged to direct and "own" my own learning. She engaged us just as we want to engage our students, and in ways that allowed and encouraged us to realize the value of the process from the perspective of the learner. Sara challenged us to think, contribute to and develop our learning community for ourselves, as she included us as integral components of the learning process. From this I have learned how significant it is that we include students in their learning, their voices in their learning communities, AND their thoughts and ideas in determining the best ways to assess their learning and the learning process."
  • - Learning Coach, Chicago, IL

  • "I have found the sessions with Sara a major growth process and the one piece of innovation implementation for me at my school. Thanks for the encouragement to challenge what's become routine and static."
  • - MS Teacher, Houston, TX

  • "Thank you, Sara, for your kind words and your support through all of this work. Your input is wonderful and I love how you always challenge us to think about everything through a new lens. This is so important!"
  • Technology Coordinator, Passaic Community Schools

  • "Being a part of this work with Sara has been more successful than I ever imagined. Working through the process with her has been very helpful and the best part of this entire experience. It was very purposeful. She's helped us develop a community among our teachers where we can bounce new ideas or receive assistance with our focus."
  • - HS Principal, Houston, TX

  • "Through our work, I went from being a problem solver for students to the solution prompter: How might you find an answer to your own question, where could we start? The small incremental steps we've been encouraged to develop and focus on have resulted in me placing more responsibility on students for solving or at least attempting to solve their own problems."
  • - Media Specialist, Houston, TX

  • "We have all been talking about how much we are looking forward to seeing and working with Sara in the new school year! She is such an amazing and gifted teacher/coach/mentor/cheerleader…I could go on and on! We thank her from the bottom of our hearts for all the inspiration and guidance she has provided for all of us. We all adore her!"
  • - MS Instructional Specialist and Learning Design Coach, Houston, TX

  • “We all enjoyed our time with you. Since you left, I have chatted with several teachers and they all felt the time was very beneficial. One mentioned that it helps to take a step back and reflect on the big picture and the process. Thanks for two more great days!”
  • - Park Street School, Boston

  • "Thank you for coming to Chisholm and sharing your knowledge, enthusiasm and strategies with us. I really appreciate it and know you have “planted many seeds” for our entire Language Department. We are all at different stages of IT learning and development, and no question fazed you "
  • HS Department Head, Chisholm Catholic College
  • - Perth, AU

  • It was great bouncing off ideas with you. I felt really good after the lesson so it was all worth it! You and my students have inspired me to go beyond my routine and comfort zone!
  • Middle School Maths, Chishom Catholic College
  • - Perth, AU

  • "Sara, you're my inspiration! You are so genuine which can sometimes be so hard to find! Thank you for being in/part of my journey!"
  • - Lake Placid, NY

  • "I loved these three days. You have such a subtle way of making the heavy lifting easier. Can't wait to get back together again!"
  • - Lake Placid, NY

  • “Oh Sara, you have made my year. Your knowledge of this thing we call technology will nudge me to places that I may never have even considered going. Life is Good. And I am a big fan!”
  • - Reading Specialist, Houston, TX

  • "I am literally bursting to learn more from and with her..."
  • - MS Teacher, Houston, TX

  • "I am grateful for the opportunity to learn, grow, and improve my practices. This has been a motivating opportunity, one that is very necessary during these times of great change within our building, our district, and education in general."
  • - Lake Placid, NY

  • "Our administration is tremendously helpful and supportive. What we need most is the continuing gift of time. The coaching that we have been receiving with Sara from November Learning has been invaluable, and the district should do whatever it can to sustain these efforts! Thank you for the opportunity!"
  • - Lake Placid, NY