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Marlon J. Styles Jr.

From teachers to principals to instructional leaders, there are many ways to impact education — and Marlon J. Styles Jr. is living proof of that. Most recently serving as executive director of curriculum and instruction at Lakota School District, he used his 15 years of expertise in education to facilitate collaboration between instructional technology and curriculum departments to best support district objectives and goals for teaching and learning.

When Styles joined the eighth-largest school district in Ohio about four years ago, his goal was to support a more personalized approach to teaching. Students would have access to various pathways designed for specialized learning, including programming, engineering and biomedicine. With the support of the Digital Learning Team, Styles worked closely with educators to integrate digital tools that matched the level of intensity needed for instruction. He also was influential in helping the district begin transitioning to a Canvas learning management system.

For Styles, instructional technology is not just about technology. It’s also about finding ways to challenge and inspire students. “It is about engagement,” he said. “We already had a high degree of engagement in our classrooms, but by embracing instructional technology and innovative tools, we have been able to intensify the level of engagement.”

Moving forward, Styles has accepted a new role as superintendent of Middletown City School District, where he hopes to continue to support technology in education on an even larger scale. “I’m passionate about inspiring people to believe in their vision,” he said. “I’ll still be involved in educating kids, and I’m excited about that. I’m also looking forward to being part of the Middletown community.” — Julia McCandless