IRIE Staff

Christine Shea, M.Ed., A.B.D.

Data Specialist

Christine is the Data Specialist for the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative. She is also a Support Facilitator and Data Specialist for the Pioneer Valley District and School Assistance Center. As well, she teaches hybrid and face-to-face courses for teachers obtaining administrative licensure. Prior to working at LPVEC, she was a research and evaluation manager for the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute. She has also served as principal and special education administrator for the Swift River School in New Salem, MA, and as assistant principal for the Walt Disney Magnet School in Chicago, IL. She began her career teaching upper elementary school in Connecticut. She holds a B.A. from Mt. Holyoke College and an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and is completing her doctorate in the Research Evaluation Methods Program at UMass Amherst.

Zach Smith, M.Ed.

School Improvement Specialist

Data Specialist


Zach is the Online Learning Coordinator for the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative. He has a M.Ed. in Educational Policy, Research, and Administration and a C.A.G.S. in Research and Evaluation Methods from UMass Amherst. He has researched numerous large-scale assessments, including NAEP, various AP Tests, and the MCAS, to assess everything from validity and reliability to equating and item analysis. Using his pychometric and policy background, Zach worked for the Connecticut State Department of Education to help develop the Modified Assessment System, which makes the CMT and CAPT statewide assessments more accessible to special education students. He also worked to move some of the special education classes and assessments online where technology can increase learning and understanding for this population. Now, he is coordinating the development of online courses for at-risk high school students for LPVEC and DESE that will be used statewide, training teachers to integrate technology into their classrooms and curriculum through the ITECC course, and this is his second year coordinating the MA New Literacies Institute. Recently, he joined the Pioneer Valley District School Assistance Center (DSAC) team as a part-time data specialist, but continues to work with online courses, technologies, and resources.

James Walker, M.A., M.S.

Online Technology Coordinator

jim.jpgJim began working for LPVEC in 1989 as a special education teacher. He was the Web Master for 10 years and has been integrating digital technology in his classroom since 1990. Jim began using Moodle in 2004 and is a certified Moodle Course Creator and Moodle Administrator. He has been the Online Technology Coordinator in IRIE since February of 2010. In this position Jim has been training teachers how to use Moodle and other digital tools so that they can create engaging content for 21st century learners. He supports online courses for member school districts and the Connecticut Technical High School System. Writing the grants for, administrating and coordinating the Massachusetts New Literacies Institute in 2010 and 2011 along with ITECC are some of the professional development projects Jim has been involved with. Jim has a MA in Art Education from Univ. of New Mexico and MS in Special Education from Marywood University. He is licensed as a technology coordinator from MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Polly Parker, M.Ed., A.B.D.

Director of Curriculum and Professional Development

Polly_Parker_photo.jpgPolly served as a co-chair for the teacher leaders for the 2010 Massachusetts New Literacies Institute. She presented at the Massachusetts DESE Curriculum Summit (2010) on Preparing Students for the 21st Century with New Literacies, MassCUE and METAA’s 6th Annual Technology Leadership Symposium – 2011 on the 2010 Massachusetts New Literacies Institute, and the MassCUE/MASS conference for the Massachusetts DESE in 2010 on Online Learning for At-Risk Students. Polly has a master’s degree in Educational Policy, and she is currently a doctoral candidate in the Research and Evaluation Methods Program (REMP), which is a division of the Educational Policy, Research and Administration (EPRA) department at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst (UMASS). She is the Director of Curriculum and Professional Development at the LPVEC.

Dr. Anne McKenzie, Ed.D.

Executive Director