SCAET Board Members

Valarie D. Byrd, MA – SCAET Secretary
Senior Consultant-District Technology Services
Company: Office of Total Quality Management Director, Chief Information Office , South Carolina Department of Education
Board Member Since: 2010
About: Valarie has worked in education since 2007. She currently serves on several K12 education and technology focused boards and committees.

Felix Childs – SCAET Chairman of the Board
Director of Technology Support Services, Chief Information Office
Company: South Carolina Department of Education
Board Member Since: 2017
About: Felix became Chairman of the SCAET Board in 2017.

Ryan Easterbrooks
Educational Technology Program Coordinator
Company: SCETV Education
Board Member Since: 2020
About: Ryan has worked in educational technology for 5 years including jobs in public libraries and state agencies. 

Andrew Epting
State E-Rate Coordinator – South Carolina
Company: South Carolina Department of Administration
Board Member Since: 2016

Michael M. Grant, PhD
Associate Professor, Learning Design & Technologies
Company: University of South Carolina
Board Member Since: 2015
About: Michael is an Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina in the Learning Design & Technologies program. He has been at UofSC since 2014, and he has been a SCAET board member for five years. Dr. Grant is an education scientist, teacher, keynote and workshop presenter, author, and consultant to K-12 schools and in higher education. He was trained as a career and technology education teacher at Clemson University, and he received his doctorate from The University of South Carolina in Instructional Technology. He is the Past President of the Association for Educational Communications & Technology. His most recent scholarship has focused on inquiry methods, such as project-based and problem-based learning, and mobile learning in K-12 and higher education within STEM disciplines. His wife Katie is an early childhood educator, and they often collaborate on technology integration and curriculum.

Tina Leitzsey
Director of Technology
Company: School District of Newberry County
Board Member Since: 2019
About: Tina has worked in education since 1997. She has served on several state technology committees. She was co-chair of the SC Association of School Administrators for 2019-2020 and currently serve as co-chair for 2020-2021.

Jay Lindler
Lexington School District 4
Board Member Since: 2019

Jane Pearman
Title: Sr. National Sales Account Executive
Company: Meridian IT, Inc.
Board Member Since: 1984
About: Jane worked in SC K-12 and higher education for over 20 years, and has been in technology sales and consulting for the past 20 years. She is one of the founding members of SCAET and a past President of the organization.

Julie Putnam
Coordinator for Web & Media Services  
Company: Kershaw County School District  
Board Member Since: 2011
About: Julie has a B.A. in Media Arts and an M.Ed. in Instructional Media from the University of South Carolina.  She started as an Instructional Coordinator with Satellite Educational Resources Consortium (SERC) in the development and production of nationwide high school courses and professional development. In 1988 after 3 years with SERC, Julie joined the Kershaw County School District where she has served as the Kershaw-Lee Distance Education Learning Center (DELC) Coordinator, an Instructional Technology Coordinator, and now as the Coordinator for Web & Media Services.  She created the district's first website and have been the webmaster for KCSD for 22 years. Julie has coordinated school library programs for over 15 years. In addition to serving on the SCAET Board, she serves on the S.C. Association of School Librarians (SCASL) Board as the chair of the Supervisors Section and serves in the S.C. Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (SC/NSPRA) as the co-chair of its annual Rewards for Excellence Program. In February 2021, Julie completed the SC Education Policy Fellowship Program (SC-EPFP). She is the Coordinator for Web & Media Services for the Kershaw County School District, where she has coordinated school library programs for over 15 years.  is her 3rd two-year term as the Supervisors Chair, and she has been involved with the Supervisors group for 15 years.

Jeff Salter
University of South Carolina
Board Member Since: 2015

Grady Sharp
Title: Client Solutions Executive
Company: AT&T
Board Member Since: 2017
About: Grady has been with AT&T for over 25 years and is part of the State, Local and Education sales team in South Carolina. He is currently responsible for providing sales/support to the State of SC agencies along with the State e-Rate team. Those solutions include voice, data, mobility, and FirstNet services along with many others.

Deborah Wimberly – SCAET Treasurer
Public Relations and Special Projects
Company: Marion County School District
Board Member Since: 2019
About: Deborah has been in education since 1979 and has watched the growth of technology from the TRS 80 machine that was dropped off to her classroom to the days of teaching students online during a world-wide pandemic. She believes technology is a vital tool educators can use to encourage student engagement in the learning process.

Paula Yohe
Director of Technology and Information Systems
Company: Dillon School District Four
Board Member Since: 1984
About: Paula is one of the founding members of SCAET.