Growing up, Devin always felt like he didn’t quite fit in at his rural California school.
Culturally he was an outsider. The son of immigrants, he was the only kid who wore traditional Czech clothes that his grandparents sent as gifts, ate kolache pastries at lunch, and celebrated his “name-day.”
He also felt like an outlier academically. Throughout his education, Devin continued to pay keen attention to differences—his own differences and his classmates’ differences. He came to understand that being different was not the exception; it was the rule. And yet, he realized that each child was given the same treatment at school. These early experiences inspired a desire to change how children learn and, in turn, a lifelong career in education.
Determined to help schools nurture children as individuals and shed the “one-size-fits-all” approach, Devin became a teacher in 1996. In the decades since he started in education, his impact grew, and he has held a wide variety of positions from educator to principal to superintendent.
Today, Devin is recognized as one of the most innovative educational leaders in the country. He was named California Superintendent of the Year three times (2016 AASA, 2015 ACSA, 2015 Pepperdine) and the Classroom of the Future Foundation’s Innovative Superintendent of the Year in 2014. He was invited to the White House nine times in recognition for his district-wide achievements and to advise and partner with the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Educational Technology and Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools.
Devin is renowned for his unique understanding of how technology can help transform learning, most notably how personalized learning can play a catalytic role in enabling educators to better support each student’s progress and success. During his five-year tenure as superintendent of Vista Unified School District, Devin led his 25,000-student community through district-wide changes that resulted in major improvements across every academic and behavioral metric, from college readiness to truancy.
Devin has committed his career to ensuring that every learner gets a whole-child, personalized education experience that helps them achieve their highest potential. As the leader at Learner-Centered Collaborative, he is expanding and accelerating the adoption of learner-centered models throughout the country.