Executive Director of Technology and Information at GBAPS
Green Bay Area Public Schools (GBAPS) holds a special place in the heart of Amy Sterckx, who holds the role of Executive Director of Technology and Information there. Born and raised in Green Bay, Sterckx previously worked as a classroom teacher just north of the city, but often found herself returning to the place that she admired so much.
“Although I call Green Bay home, I found that I've remained here in the Green Bay School District for roughly 10 years because of the support and the growth opportunities that the district has to offer,” says Sterckx.
“I moved into leadership roles and throughout my different roles in Green Bay, I have always found that there are opportunities to learn and grow around every corner.”
Now, she works in the technology space and leads digital transformation for GBAPS, which supports more than 19,000 students across the city as well as others in the surrounding communities. This is all part of its duty of care for the city’s youth, but the group also goes the extra mile to ensure that Green Bay citizens also have access to technology.
“What I love most about my role in Green Bay is that technology has the ability to impact so many individuals from students to classroom teachers, to members of the department. The span of our positive impact is quite large and it's a neat thing to see the impact that you can have,” says Sterckx.
Throughout her time at GBAPS, Sterckx has led projects alongside its partner organisation, JAR Systems, to ensure that all students have access to digital tools, such as laptops, access to the Internet and charging stations, that will enhance their learning experiences. Particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, her work really came to light as she helped thousands of students stay connected and continue their education.
From her position in both the education system and technology, Sterckx is excited to witness the future applications of technology as the organisation looks to adopt more intuitive and compact solutions, providing students with more flexibility in their learning. She believes that, over the next 12 to 18 months, more technologies will be trialled (if not rolled out) across Green Bay to incorporate virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) as exciting ways for students to use their classroom spaces and access different learning mediums.
To maintain this level of fun and education in schools requires a significant level of security—another facet of Sterckx’s repertoire—as she doubles down on data privacy to protect the children in schools. Educating parents and the wider community is also a key part of her role, as GBAPS has the capacity to support students across all areas of their lives now that they are each equipped with personal digital devices.
“Green Bay is extremely proud to say that we have obtained over 100 student data privacy agreements that can not only be used within Green Bay, but that can be signed onto by any other school districts throughout the state of Wisconsin,” Sterckx says.
This is one of the many beneficial effects that GBAPS has on the wider community. As such, Sterckx’s excitement in her day-to-day role is consistently being piqued and challenged, enabling her to carry out the type of technology leadership that is so beneficial to the locality.
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“For me, we're so much more than a large technology company. There's a responsibility on us as a strategic partner to nations, and as a partner to governments.”