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Monterey County Office of Education

Leadership, Support and Service to Prepare All Students for Success

Dr. Nancy Kotowski, County Superintendent of Schools

TIS Group Photo
 Dave Paulson

Dave Paulson

Chief Technology and Operations Officer

A relationship building critical thinker, Dave possesses a rare combination of common sense and an out-of-the-box approach to management and operations implementation. Open minded to new ideas and philosophies, a believer that everyone has qualities to contribute, and an unparalleled optimism that we can change our immediate environment and the world for the good, Dave has transformed our department from an every-day technology shop to a team of coordinators, communicators and team players during his short reign. He may proclaim himself a dime store philosopher but he’s really a leader who inspires his staff to be better employees and better people.

  
 Natalie Hatley

Natalie Hatley

Executive Assistant

If there’s anyone in the department who is the glue that holds us together, it’s Natalie. While the constant movement of staff and projects are swirling around our department, she keeps an order to our seemingly chaotic world - the eye of the storm describes her role to our department perfectly. She oversees the majority of administrative duties necessary to the function of our department. An MCOE team member since 1996, Natalie is known for advocating a healthy lifestyle, being extremely organized and professional, and always being very smartly dressed.

  
 Keith Meader

Keith Meader

Senior Director - Infrastructure Services 

We all had a pretty good sense of Keith’s ability to remain cool in the face of a crisis by the end of his second day with MCOE. His first day was the standard making of rounds to meet and greet key MCOE staff and get oriented with the physical layout of the building. He arrived his second morning to the result of an external utility transformer explosion that melted a power rail in our data center and brought down a good portion of our network. He managed the situation with the professionalism befitting his title and, amazingly and simultaneously, a great sense of humor. Keith brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and an ease of communication to our immediate staff, our departments and the districts we support.

  
 John Campbell

John Campbell

Director - Software Development

By far the most reserved, succinct member of our department, John is the overseer of the development of software that MCOE provides the organization and the county. Very likely the most strategic thinker on our team, he possesses the ability to get from point A to B in as few steps as possible, a necessary skill in his position. Departments can rely on John to take both the details and the big picture of their data and/or software needs and refine out the issues until a reliably functioning system is in place. He’s the person at our organization that ensures business functions can be executed in an effective and efficient manner.

  
 Adam Gavalla

Adam Gavalla

Director - Service Desk

The quote you’ll most often hear Adam say is “Yes is always the answer”. He balances managing a range of personalities in the Service Desk team with the needs of our clients, both internal and external to the organization. Highly skilled at assessing an issue, making a decision and turning ideas into action, it’s no wonder that you’ll find many staff within the organization asking him for his professional opinion. He’s a great contributor to all facets of the department, probably due to the combination of his lifelong exposure to politics (he’s a DC native after all), and his training in technology and the visual arts. On a personal note, he’s a big fan of racing and participates as a tech inspector for Formula 1 and is a kart racer himself.

  
 Bernard Burchette 

Bernard Burchette

Operations Planning Officer

Dynamic, tenacious, and detail oriented, Bernard is the man with the plan – literally. A new position to our organization, Bernard develops the greater processes, procedures and timelines that all of MCOE uses for all manner of operations and then hammers out the finer details into something that is sensible and comprehensible. Project management within TIS is another major role that Bernard plays and is crucial to providing services and information to our staff and clients. His Masters in Educational Technology combined with his work history in professional development, business operations, and optimizing productivity make Bernard a necessary asset to the organization.

  
 Shann Chu

Shann Chu

Educational Technology Coordinator

This team member outdoes any other of our staff with the dry sense of humor – so much so that you may think he doesn’t possess one at first. It doesn’t take long to find out, though, that he definitely has the ability to entertain with humor. This quality has definitely made him successful as an educator of small kids, big kids, and adults in the education field for the last twenty years. Shann carries an MS in Educational Technology and his experience in supporting learners in and with technology goes back to his Apple IIe. A member of the Lifelong Adventure Consortium, he seeks to visit, in a peaceful way, every continent in a lifetime. He looks forward to expanding and connecting the possibilities of technologies on the horizon by fostering powerful and fun learning.

  
 Jeffrey Velasquez

Jeffrey Velasquez

Network Administrator

When you think of a techie, Jeffrey is probably the person that most often comes to mind. If you have a question for him, be prepared to have a dictionary on hand because the answer will come with the vocabulary of a computer science university professor and terminology that can sometimes sound more Greek than English. His most pronounced qualities are his intellect and restorative nature. As with all our members at the network level, he’s always available to share his knowledge of technology, and occasionally cooking tips, with junior members of the staff. Jeffrey hails from Fresno, commuting to and from MCOE on a weekly basis.

 
  
 Frank Garcia 

Frank Garcia

Technology Support Specialist IV

Out of all the staff in our department, Frank is probably the most recognizable TIS member with both district IT and local users. A member of the network team since 2001, Frank has a more detailed knowledge of our network structure than anyone else at MCOE. He would, of course, since he’s seen it transform from its infancy. Frank’s always available to answer questions, always has a detailed and informative response and is always learning new technologies. He’s a lifelong student, which makes him an excellent teacher. His many years of support to our staff and districts is unparalleled.

  
 Ujendra Raj

Ugendra “Raj” Raj

Technology Support Specialist IV

There are a few of members in TIS that emanate calm and Raj is one of them. Analytical and humorous, he’s a strategic thinker and a relationship builder. Raj has made many contributions to our team and the work we do. He has a full understanding of the scope of his work and can assist both upper and lower levels of the technology support structure tier. Outside of the work arena, he juggles his love of family with his love of learning and is always researching new technologies and honing his skills in the field of networking.

 
  
 Jonathan Schneider

 Jonathan Schneider

Technology Support Specialist III

There are quite a few of us who thought that Jonathan would be a perfect addition to our team years before he made the leap from the Educational Services department to the Service Desk in TIS. Not only does he bring the requisite technical skills but a dry sense of humor and an easy-going demeanor. When he went from Technology Support Specialist I to III and the Service Desk lost him to Infrastructure within a short time of joining division, we knew he belonged here and expect he’ll be an asset to the team for many years to come.

  
Alex Cockerham

Alex Cockerham

Technology Support Specialist II

Alex interned with MCOE almost two years prior to coming on board as a permanent employee. During his internship, he supported end users with troubleshooting software and hardware issues and working with the network team on implementing new services and applications. After finishing his networking certification courses, he was hired as a permanent employee with a district office where he gained more experience from an MCOE client perspective, and occasionally collaborating with our team. We are all thrilled to have him back as one of the team again.

 

  
 Daniel Moreno

Daniel Moreno

Technology Support Specialist II

The TIS department issued a cattle call for a well-rounded tech specialist to join our team and Daniel, after wearing many hats working within the IT field for ten years, was ready to settle down. His background covers everything from a big box-store technician to a specialist in 3D printing to data management solutions. His positivity and ability to get along with others was apparent from his first day with the team. Daniel is an avid gamer, traveler, snowboarder and coffee achiever who’s always on the lookout for new certifications and knowledge. It’s also rumored that he knows how to knit.

  
Elizabeth Pizano 

Elizabeth Pizano

Technology Support Specialist I

Surprisingly, the mother of three is another of our calm staff members. This combined with her ability to relate makes her an understanding and patient Support Specialist. She has a great, offbeat sense of humor, especially in stressful times when it’s most valuable and, as the technician who was key in creating most user accounts and file shares, she’s a great resource for troubleshooting account related issues. She works hard with her teammates to reach common goals, seeks areas of personal and professional agreement with her co-workers, and is consistent in her work ethic.

TBD

Juan Martinez

Technology Support Specialist I

Bio and image forthcoming.

  
Kristin Marchionni

Kristin Bitler

Operations Specialist II

As the department’s content manager to our website, I’m finding it most difficult to write a profile for myself. Professionally, I began my technology career with Special Education as a Computer Technician. This was a great experience due to their specialized technology and the unique team of people that work with special needs children. The first departmental technician to be absorbed by TIS, I became a member of this team in late 2008. I’m grateful for the experiences here, the work I do, and the teammates and staff I have the pleasure of working with every day.

 
David Kong

David Kong

Operations Specialist I

If you receive a check or direct deposit from MCOE, you have David in great part to thank for that. He’s the member of our team who specializes in processing our payroll and accounts payable, as well as printer coordination, purchasing, and asset tracking. David has been a member of the department since 2000, most recently with the Service Desk team as we found ourselves supporting a greater number of clients. He’s also the member of our department who works tirelessly as a representative of CSEA, both locally and statewide.

  
Mike LaBranche

Mike LaBranche

Systems Analyst Lead

To know Mike’s life and work prior to MCOE is to wonder how he came to be a part of our humble little team. As an Air Force brat, Mike grew up in Europe speaking at least one other language and being well traveled at an early age. The bulk of Mike’s work has been done for commercial products and major government, requiring high security and the ability to code complex algorithms. He came to MCOE via an employment agency and after a very short stint of developing our first in-house app, we were lucky enough to hire him on as a permanent member of the team.

 
  
Randy Lent 

Randy Lent

Information Systems Specialist II

Though it’s not well known to people outside of our industry, there’s a definite creative side to many who work within technology. In addition to nearly single-handedly mapping one of our largest department’s student information systems data and reporting, Randy is a very talented bluegrass musician. Playing mandolin and singing harmonies, Randy performs on a regular basis in addition to his daily life of programming. He and his wife are also very well traveled and he makes an effort to go abroad at least every couple of years. His sense of humor is often a much-needed break from our daily routine.

  
Jeff Stanbra

Jeff Stanbra

Information Systems Specialist I

When we learned that Jeff was returning to our department after a three-month absence, the entire department was over the moon. Jeff worked with TIS as a temporary computer technician for nearly two years and was such an asset to the organization that, when a programming position became available, I believe the majority of us contacted him with the news. This is no surprise since his formal education is in programming and we were sadly missing his unique sense of humor. The most notable project he’s done for MCOE to date is the development of our website, something he jumped right into upon his return.

 

  
Ricardo Garcia

Ricardo Garcia

Information Systems Specialist I

Ricardo began on our team as a Technology Support Specialist. There’s generally a warm-up period for new staff to acclimate to our senses of humor and group antics but he was able to jump in and banter with the rest of us as if he’d worked here for years. After a few short months with the service desk, Ricardo applied and secured a position with our Software Development Department where he will now support our clients in that capacity. Outside of the technology world, he’s a proud husband and new father, as well as a hip-hop artist who focuses on a positive message and can regularly be found performing locally.

 

Contacts

Kudos Korner