State agency names McKay Southeast Regional Chief Technology Officer of the Year

Carteret County Schools chief technology officer Mike McKay, second from left, receives congratulations Monday from school officials for being named the Southeast Regional Chief Technology Officer of the Year by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. Standing with Mr. McKay at the school system’s central office in Beaufort are, from left, chief academic officer Jody McClenny, Mr. McKay, Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson and assistant superintendent Blair Propst. (Contributed photo)

BEAUFORT — The N.C. Department of Public Instruction Digital Teaching and Learning Division has picked Carteret County Schools’ chief technology officer Mike McKay as the 2021-22 Southeast Regional Chief Technology Officer of the Year.

NCDPI officials surprised Mr. McKay with news about winning the award during a Zoom meeting last week.

The agency’s southeast digital teaching and learning consultant Lauren Fulcher said, “Chief Technology Officers do amazing work each and every day, often without the appreciation that is due.”

Mr. McKay will now compete for the title of N.C. State Chief Technology Officer of the Year.

“This recognition isn't possible without a great team to work with within our own district. I work with some of the best technicians and digital teaching and learning staff anywhere,” Mr. McKay said in a press release issued Monday about the award.

“I am just so grateful to be able to serve the students, teachers and staff of this amazing school system,” Mr. McKay continued. “I serve with a team of amazing Technology Directors in the southeast region. I am honored to be chosen for this award considering the rock stars we have throughout the southeast.”

A graduate of Carteret County public schools, Mr. McKay began his career as an educator in 1998 teaching business and marketing courses at West Carteret High School. In 2001, he began serving as an instructional technology facilitator when Newport Middle School opened. Mr. McKay then moved into school administration, serving as assistant principal at WCHS from 2007-10 and later as principal at NMS from 2010-15. In the summer of 2015, Mr. McKay moved to the central services office as the media, technology and science director. In 2017, Mr. McKay assumed the role of chief technology officer, overseeing all digital teaching and learning, as well as technical operations of the school system.

Since moving into this leadership role, Mr. McKay has sought growth opportunities as noted by receiving national certifications as a certified educational technology leader from the Consortium for School Network in March 2018 and certified government chief information officer through UNC School of Government in June.

“Mr. McKay’s commitment to the students, teachers, administrators and staff is readily apparent,” Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson said. “As the impacts of the pandemic were first encountered, Mr. McKay and his team ensured that the school system was quickly ready to serve students in a remote environment. From training teachers and parents to providing hotspots in school parking lots, the term ‘whatever it takes’ was and is his mantra.”

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