Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key has appointed Don Benton as the new assistant commissioner for research and technology. Benton will assume the role on Sept. 17.
“Mr. Benton’s information technology credentials and reputation precede him,” Key said in a statement. “From his previous work in numerous IT roles at the Hot Springs School District to his current efforts as director of the Hot Springs Technology Institute and assistant professor of educational leadership at Henderson State University, Mr. Benton brings valuable expertise and perspective to the ADE team.”
As assistant commissioner, according to a news release, Benton will oversee technology initiatives and resources such as ADE’s Ambassador Academy, Arkansas Digital Sandbox and Student GPS dashboards. He also will oversee the Arkansas Public School Computer Network, which includes eSchoolPlus.
Prior to joining the ADE team, Benton served as an assistant professor in educational leadership at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, a position he held since 2009. He also has been the director of the Hot Springs Technology Institute since 1998 and founded Schools Without Walls, which provides professional development for technology leaders and educators, in 2010. He previously served as the director of technology and information, information technology security officer/disaster recovery, technology plan developer and E-Rate coordinator at the Hot Springs School District.
Benton has a Bachelor of Science in Education (Vocational Business Education), a Master of Science in Education (P-12 Building Level Leadership) and an Education Specialist in District Level Leadership from Henderson State University. He currently is pursuing a Doctor of Education in Educational Technology from Boise State University in Idaho.
He is a member of the Arkansas Society for Technology in Education, Association for Educational Communications and Technology, International Society for Technology in Education and serves on several committees at Henderson State University.