The Member Spotlight is a new way for CoSN members get to know each other and improve networking. Each month, CoSN will select a member who has volunteered to answer various questions about themselves, personal and professional, and then share their responses with our entire CoSN community.

July 2023 Member Spotlight

july member spotlight 2023
Kris Hagel, CETL®

Kris Hagel, CETL®

Kris Hagel is the Executive Director of Digital Learning at Peninsula School District, WA. Kris is a member of the EdTech Innovation Leadership Initiative, the CTO Council, and the Driving K-12 Innovation Advisory Board. His district is comprised of 18 schools and over 8,000 students. It is geographically located across Puget Sound from the Seattle/Tacoma area and covers a 120 square-mile area on two peninsulas.

1.  How long have you been a member of CoSN? Why did you join CoSN? 

“I have been a member for about seven years.”

2.  Why did you join CoSN? What do you enjoy about being a member?

“I joined CoSN initially to network with people across the country doing similar work. I have always felt that to be the best at my job, I needed to learn from the best, and CoSN was where those people interacted and shared what they were doing. "

3.  What committee do you currently volunteer with?

"I am currently volunteering on the Emerging Technology (which is transitioning to the EdTech Innovation Leadership Initiative), the CTO Council, and I am also a part of the Driving K-12 Innovation Advisory Board."

4.  What does your daily work entail?

“For the past nine years, I have overseen the day-to-day basics of technology's instructional and operational sides in the Peninsula School District. Earlier this school year, I was also given the opportunity to lead the communications department within the district. Due to budget reductions in our district, I have also begun oversight of Safety/Security for our district in the past couple of months. My primary work is still and will always be around Technology, but these new opportunities also provide additional challenges and ways to help move our district forward."

5.  How did you get into the field of educational technology?

“I had studied computer science in college and was laid off from working construction when the mother of a friend of mine who happened to work in HR in my local school district called one day back in early 2000 and asked if I would be interested in filling in as a computer operator there, administering and printing reports from an old VAX mainframe computer. From there, I progressed up the ranks with multiple system admin, development, and data analysis roles into operational supervision roles in my current district and, eventually, in 2014, the leadership of the entire department.”

6.  What’s one thing - either industry-related or not - you learned recently?

“Professionally, I am constantly learning about new Generative AI tools and their impact on school and society. I have been spending a lot of time reading about what experts are doing and working through how that work will translate into changes in K-12 Education.”

7.  What are working on right now?

“We are in a strange place right now in our district due to severe budget reductions we had to make this year. Still, our voters also approved a new Safety, Security & Technology Levy this past February. We don’t start seeing that money until next spring, so we have very little funding. We are finally doing a Wi-Fi upgrade that has been two years in the making, which was slowed down by supply chain issues.

8.  If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?

“I have always wondered what it would look like if I could stop time. It seems fascinating to me. "

9.  What is your favorite movie or T.V. show?

“Crime shows are typically my go-to. I’ve recently been fascinated by British Crime dramas when I have the free time to watch them, but probably the show I watch the most will be NCIS."

10.  What is your Motto or Personal Mantra?

“I’ve never really put a lot of thought into formalizing this, I’ve always just felt like if you do what you love and do it for the betterment of society, the world will be a better place when you leave it.

11. What is your favorite summer activity?

"Being out on the water. In the Pacific Northwest, we have beautiful lakes, rivers, and the Puget Sound around us, and spending time out on the water is my favorite way to spend time during the summer."

Nominate yourself or another member by filling out the questionnaire.

If you missed any of the monthly member spotlights, click below to hear what our past spotlights had to say.