Ahead of the launch of its digital Backpack of Success Skills initiative, Jefferson County Public Schools has hired Kermit Belcher as the district’s first-ever chief information officer, the district announced Monday.
CIO is a new position for the district, created following a series of recommendations from a recent organizational review of JCPS. Belcher is currently the CIO and assistant superintendent for Mason County Schools in Maysville, Ky., as well as an educational technology adjunct professor at the University of the Cumberlands. He is set to begin June 25.
“Dr. Kermit Belcher is a technology thought leader with a passion for developing and implementing digital strategies that strengthen deeper learning initiatives in the classroom,” JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio said in a news release.
Belcher’s hiring comes in advance of the roll-out of JCPS’s new graduate profile initiative called Backpack of Success Skills. The digital program will allow students to track their progress towards being college and career ready upon high school graduation.
The Jefferson County Board of Education is expected to vote on the initiative this month, and it is slated to debut this fall.
“With his successful and experienced background in both information and operations, Dr. Belcher is undoubtedly the right person to lead the digital work that will support our bold new JCPS Backpack of Success Skills initiative this fall,” Pollio said.
At Mason County, Belcher helped develop a similar graduate profile “to ensure equity and deeper learning opportunities” for students, according to the release.
He also increased students’ access to technology and provided devices to help English as Second Language students overcome language barriers through technology. Belcher called easy access to technology a “top priority” in the release.
“JCPS is on the verge of transformation, and as chief information officer, my goal is to accelerate the work of students and staff through a digital conversion to fully support the JCPS Backpack of Success Skills initiative,” Belcher said in the release. “The primary purpose of technology in schools is to enhance instruction, inspire innovation and promote deeper learning opportunities for all. Digital literacy and digital citizenship are essential skills for our students.”