Durango 9-R C.I.O. ends run at school district
DiBlasi winds up 14 year stint
DiBlasi’s successor is James Torres, who is the current e-learning coordinator for the school district. Torres brings extensive technology, education and leadership skills from the Albuquerque School District and Lorinix Systems. Torres will begin his new position Feb 1, 2008.
An avid outdoorsman who loves motorcycling, hiking, photography, skiing and travel to exotic locations, DiBlasi has dedicated himself professionally to the areas of , Education and Information Technology.
DiBlasi started work as a teacher in the area of Industrial Education in Florida. He moved to Michigan as a Vocational Education Teacher and then on to Arizona to become the Director Of Vocational Education in Lake Havasu, Arizona. DiBlasi’s department was awarded a Arizona State award for the “Best In The West” as the “Best Vocational Education Department”.
Howie DiBlasi was recognized as “Vocational Teacher of the Year” for the State of Arizona and nominated as a finalist in the “Top Secondary Leaders in America”. He has been featured in several magazines as “A CIO that really thinks outside the box”.
The call of running his own computer business was so great that he left education and opened the first retail computer business in Lake Havasu, Arizona as an IBM and Apple dealer. After 10 years, “Building Empires” , as he describe it, it was time to move on.
His computer business was sold and off to retirement…that lasted for 6 months, while he tried to figure out what to do next. His wife kindly informed him to “Get a job and stop driving me crazy around the house.” After a quick search for a new job he landed in Durango as the Education Manager of a local computer store and spent most of his time on the road. Covering areas like Aspen, Vail, Wolf Creek, Telluride and Durango to service and maintain computers at the school districts was a ”Tough Job” as he stated…. “But, I always managed a few ski runs when I was in the area.”
In 1993 the Durango School District was advertising for a new Technology Director and a friend convinced him to apply. After a phone call accepting the position, he was on a mission to change the world. The school district had 73 computers in 1993 and most of them were Apple II’s with a floppy disk drive.
DiBlasi started building the “Durango Empire” with new file servers (42 today), networks at every school, Internet connection to every classroom, high speed connections to all schools, Interactive Video Conferencing at all 10 schools, Voice Over IP phone system district wide, 911 caller ID in every classroom , and so many other technology upgrades, it would take several pages to list all of the changes.
Howie serves as a state board member to C.A.L.E.T. (Colorado Association of Leaders in Educational Technology), President Elect and Communications director for I.S.T.E –Interactive Video Conferencing Special Interest Group. He is known as a highly energetic, compassionate and approachable speaker. He is a trainer that blends humor, applicable stories of best practice and high levels of audience involvement. Over the past fifteen years, he has presented programs, courses and Keynotes to thousands of administrators, teachers, technology specialists and professionals around the country. He has been married to his wife Joan for 42 years, has two children and four grandchildren and will move to Georgetown, Texas. in January of 2008.
DiBlasi stated that he will begin working with Internationally known 21st Century Learning advocate “Alan November” in January and deliver 21st Century Digital Skills Workshops across the country.
His parting words were: “I guess I am crazy enough to think I can change the world and hope I have a small impact on what we do as educators,” DiBlasi said.