Dr. Michelle Brenner spent the first 10 years of her career in the classroom and coaching. She taught middle school science and PE and coached volleyball for the Springfield School District for two years before moving to Nixa High School to teach PE and serve as the Head Volleyball Coach for eight years. She became an Assistant Principal at Branson High School in her 11th year in education and worked for eight years in that role before moving into a central office role. The Director of Digital Learning position she held for three and a half years allowed her to focus more on technology and its impact on the classroom for both students and teachers. Currently, Dr. Brenner is serving as the Director of Technology and Digital Learning for Branson, a role she began in January 2020. In addition to her duties with the Branson School District, Dr. Brenner has served as the Coordinator of the GOSCD Innovation Summit, coordinator of the Tri-Lakes Summit and taught courses for Lindenwood University, Southwest Baptist University and Evangel University.
Michelle is married to David Brenner, teacher and coach at BHS, and they have two children Alex (18) and Kayla (17).
Carrie Cline has been a librarian for over 25 years, starting out her career as a K-12 school librarian. She was named as the new Library Director of the Wright County Library 20 years ago, then director of the McDonald County Library in 2001. Both of these systems are small and rural, and Carrie has long been an outspoken advocate for rural libraries and their many needs.
Carrie has been the MLA Secretary, helped form the Youth Services Community of Interest of MLA and has served on the Building Block Picture Book Award committee, the Mark Twain Award committee and Summer Reading Program committees. For several years, she traveled the state, presenting summer reading program workshops on behalf of the Missouri State Library, and she served as president of the Missouri Public Library Directors (MPLD). She is also very community minded, and served on the McDonald County Chamber Board of Directors.
This past November, Carrie was named the new Library Director for the Neosho Newton County Library and is looking forward to the challenges of managing a larger system.
Samantha Dickey is the Interim Assistant Commissioner for Postsecondary Policy with the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development. She’s been with the agency for over eight years, previously serving in legislative, project management and policy development roles. Through her work, she has enjoyed striving for systems that support equitable student success so individuals can achieve their full potential.
Samantha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from Truman State University and is pursuing her Master’s in Public Administration from Arizona State University, where she will graduate in December 2022.
Sue Lightfoot began her position as Director of the Carrollton Public Library, a small rural library located in north central Missouri, in 2008. As a recent graduate of Baker University with Masters in Business Administration-Management, she is currently the President of the Grand River Library Consortium, a member of the MOREnet Council, Treasurer of the Missouri Evergreen Consortium, Secretary to the Hudson Bridges Foundation and Vice Chair of University of Missouri Extension-Carroll County Council. Past positions include MPLD President, Marketing Chair for Missouri Evergreen, numerous local and county positions as commitment to community involvement is a top priority. She strives to involve all patrons and generations to understand the library’s services and programming. Sue has introduced more outreach programs, bookmobiles, interlibrary loan services and community collaborations during her tenure. By generally thinking outside the box, the statistics have shown growth along with the awareness of the value of public libraries and the Carrollton Public Library has been awarded as a Star Library by Library Journal for three years.
Sue has 12 years of experience in the marketing/promotion/advertising field with a locally owned company that has made its mark in the media realm. With former owners of WHB Radio, she gained much experience to maintain professional relationships with marketing professionals across the state of Missouri to reach extensive sales goals. Previously, she measured, reviewed and calculated tax values on personal, residential, commercial and new construction properties for tax assessments as Chief Appraiser for Carroll County, Missouri Assessor Office for eight years.
Jeffrey K. Schneider
Jeff Schneider is the Chief Information Officer for College of the Ozarks, based in Point Lookout, Mo. He leads a team of professionals who provide technology solutions across College of the Ozarks platforms. He is responsible for providing oversight and direction to the organization’s web and software development teams, information systems, business systems, educational technologies and digital infrastructure.
Before joining College of the Ozarks, Jeff served as the founding Vice President of Information and Interactive Systems for Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. In this role, he provided oversight and direction for the organization’s technologies and educational initiatives.
Jeff also served in the experiential learning industry, leading one of the nation’s largest youth camps into the digital age. Jeff developed a comprehensive software solution for every part of the business operation, including a comprehensive student and teacher class scheduler. This system used algorithms and predictive models to dynamically build classes, student rosters and assign teachers for thousands of students within hundreds of classes.
Drawing upon these successes, Jeff founded and led a company that provided its proprietary camp management and scheduling software as a service to organizations across the nation and continues to serve the experiential learning industry.
Robin started in her position as State Librarian in April of 2018. She has 12 years of experience as a public library director in Missouri, having worked at the Livingston County Library in Chillicothe before taking a position in Johnson City, Tenn., before coming back to Missouri. A native of Kansas, Robin has a bachelor’s degree in political science/public administration from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in library science from Emporia State University. She has worked in public libraries, school libraries and did a stint at a law library in Johnson County Kansas.