School board hires chief information officer

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Friday, February 3, 2012
— The Janesville School Board voted Friday to hire Robert Smiley to oversee its computer systems and boost the use of digital technology in education.

Smiley is now the educational technology director for the Waunakee School District.

The position of manager of information technology had gone vacant for more than six months. Smiley will be the Janesville district's first "chief information officer" and would start at a higher salary than the previous IT manager.

The board voted in November to upgrade the position, with new duties and a seat on Superintendent Karen Schulte's cabinet.

Board members said in November that the position should be upgraded so the district could stay abreast of the rapidly changing field of educational technology, in addition to keeping the computer network healthy.

Smiley will work with the various educators whose job it is to integrate digital technologies into the classroom.

The information technology and instructional technology departments will be transformed into a "solution center" focused on improving productivity and cutting costs, according to a district memo.

Smiley remains at his current job through June, but he will work in Janesville for a maximum of 24 days before his annual contract starts in July. He would be paid a maximum $11,500 if he worked all 24 days.

He would be paid $124,000 a year. His benefits would cost an additional $39,677.

Smiley holds a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from UW-Madison, according to his resume. His major was education administration, with minors in school business administration and mediation and conflict resolution.

He also holds a double-major bachelor's degree in accounting/management of information systems and a master's degree in special education for the hearing-impaired, both from Ball State.

Smiley was chosen from among 15 applicants. Superintendent Karen Schulte released this statement: "Dr. Bob Smiley will bring a level of professionalism, expertise and knowledge to the information technology position that we have not had in the School District of Janesville prior to this time. Thanks to the foresight of the board who upgraded this position to Chief Information Officer (CIO), we will remain on the cutting edge of instruction, technology and student engagement. We will also be able to precisely match the needs of the teachers and students to new and changing technology. I am thrilled to welcome Bob to our team. His skill sets are a perfect match to the needs of our district."

Smiley has been at Waunakee less than 18 months. He previously was the information technology director for the Stoughton School District, where he had worked for 17 years.

Smiley was a Peace Corps volunteer on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent from 1986 to 1988.

Last updated: 7:48 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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