We are proud, once again, to be bringing some of Montana's best local teacher talents to share with you their best practices for classroom technology integration. We are also excited to bring back, by popular demand, our tech wonder from Wisconsin Michael Jaber to share what he has been showcasing around the nation.

Michael Jaber

Michael is the Coordinator of Instructional Technology for the Sheboygan Area School District in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  He is a Google Certified Trainer, as well as being a Google Innovator. He also serves on the Goolge PD Advisory Board and promotes “Google Goodness” all over the country. This is Michael’s 3rd year attending GoogleFest and this is one of his favorite events of the year because of the attendees, the fun-filled culture that has been created, the student prepared food, and the iPhone/Android Tug-O-War.  If you want to learn, and have fun doing it, then this is the conference for you!  Watch out for the elk!

Jeff Crews

Jeff is a teacher who believes in facilitating opportunities for teachers and students in an effort to establish meaningful learning experiences. He strives to achieve this goal by working as a professional speaker, an educational consultant, and most importantly as a fellow teacher. He is co-founder of Beyond the Chalk where he works toward the goal of transforming education by continuously providing authentic learning experiences for teachers and students. Jeff highlights problem-based learning, Google Apps for Education, mobile technologies, cloud-based services, authentic assessment, and career readiness.

Jason "the Neif" Neiffer

Jason is the Assistant Director/Curriculum Director of the Montana Digital Academy, Montana's state virtual school and a Northwest Council for Computer Education Tech-Savvy Teacher-in-Residence. Since MTDA's start in 2010, he has lead a team of over 125 teachers delivering over 100 course titles to tens of thousands students across the State of Montana. Before working with MTDA, Jason was a veteran classroom teacher with experience in two large high schools building diverse, successful programs in social studies, debate, speech, newspaper production and computer science. A doctoral candidate and adjunct instructor at the University of Montana, Jason is studying open education resources, online learning and implementation of "bring your own device" policies in K-12 schools. Jason has been honored as a Distinguished Educator, Most Inspirational Teacher, Outstanding Teacher and winner of the ISTE “Making IT Happen” award.

Janelle McLaughlin

Janelle is an education consultant, presenter, coach, and trainer.  Over the years she has been a classroom teacher and district administrator.  Today, Janelle is also an entrepreneur, a blogger, a social media strategist and a tech geek (She can definitely geek out over Google Drive workflow solutions).

These passions and experiences led her to begin her own company, Innovative Education Solutions.  She gets to utilize her teaching talents by working with schools and other businesses to make their jobs easier and more efficient, while focusing on the people. 

Specialties include: 1:1 implementation, technology integration, Google Apps for Education, Chromebooks, RtI programming, content literacy strategies, curriculum mapping, process management and organizational leadership.  

Janelle also loves to read gripping fictional stories, and make authentic Chilean completos.

Shelley Emslie

Shelley is a Google for Education Certified Trainer, GAFE Admin at Swan River School, and creator of Tech Buddies, where she empowers her fifth grade students to assist students in grades K-8 in all things GAFE. Her students travel to different classrooms and work one on one using Chromebooks. Shelley is an enthusiastic teacher who has been teaching for eighteen years and is passionate about using technology to ignite the fire of curiosity within her students. A trailblazer, she implemented Genius Hour in her Fifth Grade Class last year and now co-teaches a Genius Hour Class for grades 6-8 two days a week. In addition, Shelley teaches Middle School Art and incorporates technology whenever possible. Google has transformed her approach to teaching, and she loves sharing innovative ideas about GAFE in the classroom.

Eliza Thomas

Eliza Thomas is the director of the Northwest Montana Educational Cooperative (NMEC) serving 24 districts in Flathead, Lincoln, and Sanders County--K-12, all content areas.  NMEC serves over 11,000 students. The Co-op is based out of Kalispell.  Eliza also presents nationally on a variety of educational topics and has published math resource books with a new one coming out this summer.  Education has been her passion for over 20 years. Eliza loves her family (including her pug children), spectacular views, reading, huckleberry ice cream, animal print clothing, sketching, growing new dendrites, and a lot more, including....of course....Googlefest in Eureka!

Deanna Horsens

Deanna Horsens teaches Language Arts at Florence-Carlton School in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley. It is a K-12 facility, enrolling about 800 students. She serves on the district technology committee and enthusiastically lead the middle school GAFE pilot program. Mrs. Horsens has countless hours of research, planning, implementation, and assessing progress for 6th-8th ELA Common Core. She has developed numerous interactive lessons, engaging activities, collaborative projects and electronic assessments for the Florence Carlton Language Arts program. Deanna strives to motivate students, empower learning, and encourage fellow teachers. She is thrilled to share entertaining stories of success, some epic fails, and teacher-created materials with you.

Sara Kiffe

Sara Kiffe teaches 3rd grade at Florence Carlton School. She taught 6th grade for 10 years and has just recently made the move to elementary school. Sara is a member of the Google Cadre and Technology Team. Whenever possible she incorporates Google Classroom and Chromebooks into her teaching.

Rob Reynolds

Rob is the TLC – Technology and Learning Coach for Eureka public schools. He is a Certified Google Educator and has been a driving force in Eureka and other Montana schools in helping to adopt and implement the Google suite of collaborative tools for the past several years. He also works as a technology consultant, assisting schools with automation and data collection tools and staff training. In addition, he currently teaches robotics electives at both the middle and high schools.

Heather Dunn

Heather Dunn is a 6th grade teacher at Eureka Middle School in Eureka, MT. Heather provides training to other teachers and parents on a variety of technology topics from Google Apps for Education to Khan Academy to Digital Citizenship.

Heather is a veteran K-8 educator with 15+ years classroom experience. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Montana and her Master’s degree in Technology & Learning from Western Governors University. She is also currently working on her Administrative endorsement from WGU. 

Heather believes in an integrated teaching approach that utilizes technology and a blended learning model. She is a hands-on teacher that believes learning can be fun and educational. She and her students utilize Google Apps everyday in their teaching and learning. Heather is also a co-coach for Eureka Middle School’s robotics teams. 

Heather has been married to her high school sweetheart for 19 years. She is the proud mother of 3 very active boys ages 17, 14, and 12. She loves to follow her sons around as they excel in all of their activities. In her spare time, she waits tables at a local restaurant/bar.

Ben Young

Ben Young is a high school science teacher at Glacier High School in Kalispell, MT, where he currently teaches biology and human anatomy and physiology.  He also teaches Advanced Placement Biology through Montana Digital Academy.  Together with co-presenter Chris Putzler, he has played a lead role in the creation and implementation of district-wide performance tasks for Kalispell Public Schools.  When not outside on a birding, fishing, camping, hunting, or hiking excursion with his wife and four children, he is often found GEarthing (Google-Earthing) his next great adventure.


Chris Putzler

Chris has been teaching at Flathead High School in Kalispell, MT for 16 years.  He currently teaches freshman and international baccalaureate biology.  In addition to his face to face courses, he teaches online biology through Montana Digital Academy.  Chris has taken a lead role at Flathead creation and implementation of or District Freshman Performance Task.  He is eager to integrate technology into the classroom and has spent a lot of time working with Google Classroom and Moodle.  When Chris isn’t teaching, he is spending time with family, skiing, hunting and fishing.