By Tom Dekle, Communications Director
With his announced retirement July 1, Nelson County Schools Chief Information Officer (CIO) David Coffing will pass the CIO baton to Technology Director Jesse Morgan, Superintendent Anthony Orr has announced.
“I’m very fortunate to be in this situation. It should be as smooth a transition as they get,” Morgan said. Coffing will conclude a 37-year career in education, including 27 years in Nelson County during which he was a band director for 21, technology integration specialist for one and CIO for five.
Ever since Morgan joined the district in 2011, the two have worked closely together and had a hand in helping to orchestrate many of the district’s major technological milestones.
During that time, Nelson County has seen a complete wired and wireless network overhaul, finished just last November; replaced computer lab workstations throughout the school system; and become an acknowledged state leader in the use of Chromebooks and the Google educational domain – now known as G Suite for Education.
Nelson was the first public school system in Kentucky to purchase Chromebooks, the usage of which has exploded in recent years. Most sessions during the latest Kentucky Society for Technology in Education conference were on G Suite tools and management, Morgan said.
The system now has more than 2,000 Chromebooks in operation and recently set up a badge login process to enable kindergarten to second-grade students to login without typing.
A native of Baileysville, West Virginia, Morgan attended Concord University in Athens, West Virginia. He came to Kentucky 12 years ago by way of Louisville, before joining the Nelson County Schools System. He and wife, Larisa, have one child, Gavin, who attends Foster Heights Elementary School.
Upon retirement, Coffing plans to work more for his church, sleep more, play golf, learn to tune pianos, spoil his granddaughter and travel.
As part of the transition, the role of the CIO has been transformed to include some of Morgan’s present responsibilities and transition some current CIO responsibilities to the newly created role of a digital learning coach (DLC). “The DLC will work closely with the directors of instruction and assist teachers with bringing new technology into the classroom. They’ll be a bridge between instruction and technology to further enhance the district’s leadership role in those two areas,” Morgan said.
During the last four to five years, the focus has been on infrastructure, Morgan said. “In the next four to five years, we can focus more on direct teaching and student-facing technologies – the technology they have in their hands – making that experience more productive.”
"Dave and I have worked together very closely over the last five years. I believe this will help ensure a smooth transition in July," Morgan said.
Jesse Morgan, left, and David Coffing work on Chromebooks.