Experts among us: Dr. Barbara Nesbitt

Over the course of the past year, I have had the privilege of meeting some of the folks 3-11 Page 4A.inddresponsible for the legacy of excellence that characterizes the School District of Pickens County and am excited to introduce one of them to you.

Without further ado, it is an absolute honor to introduce you to Dr. Barbara Nesbitt, director of instructional technology for the School District of Pickens County.

A former teacher and administrator and current member of Grace Church in Powdersville, friends and colleagues describe Dr. Nesbitt as a “jewel” who “has worn many hats with grace and has gone far beyond the call of duty during all the cuts that have affected our school district.”

Dr. Nesbitt, who has a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Clemson University, has worked in Pickens County since 2007. She is a state certified early childhood as well as gifted and talented teacher, SMART Trainer, CERRA Cognitive Coach and is certified by the SC Institute for District Administrators. Dr. Nesbitt has successfully written million-dollar grants in STEM and ICT projects and is invited frequently to speak at state, regional and national educator conferences and conventions. She has published several papers and articles, one of the most recent of which was “Let’s set sail: Connecting math to technology and engineering for young students,” cover story for the publication Children’s Technology and Engineering.

Dr. Nesbitt is a member of IMS Global (Consortium for Affordable Technology Innovation), AERA (American Education Research Association), SCASA (South Carolina Association of School Administrators), is a reviewer for ISTE (International Society for Technology and Education) and is currently a contributing author on an ISTE technology brief about the integration of both ISTE and IMS Global standards. The brief will be released in April.

Dr. Nesbitt is also a contributing author on a book to be released this summer about digital conversions in school districts. Her chapter is about building a digital ecosystem and the importance of interoperable systems.

In other words, if ever there were an educator expertly qualified to advise a school district on the best possible way to provide an affordable 21st-century education for its students, it is Dr. Nesbitt.

On Dec. 5, Dr. Nesbitt presented the SDPC’s school board of trustees with an overview of the technology needs in our school district. Please take a moment to view Dr. Nesbitt’s presentation by visiting and clicking the “videos” tab. Dr. Nesbitt describes herself as a conservative and places a lot of emphasis on affordability when advising our school district administration. While she is privy to the emerging technologies that could take our students to the cutting edge of learning innovation, she recognizes the funding challenges we face in Pickens County and is sensitive to taxpayer concerns.

On Dec. 1, 2014, school board trustees visited a classroom at Liberty Elementary School, where they were able to observe the frustrations a teacher experiences when the technology used for instruction does not function properly. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Nesbitt made a presentation to the trustees to help them gain a better understanding of the needs of our school district. In response to one trustee’s concerns that Promethean boards are “a waste of money,” she explained that the Promethean boards purchased by the school district back in 2004 had cost the school district $4.5 million dollars, adding that when the life span of those boards had expired several years later, the district had selected to replace them with much more affordable “steel” boards, which not only cost much less, but would never have to be replaced. Dr. Nesbitt also made the school board trustees aware that while teachers would love to have “smart boards” such as the ones school board trustees had observed at Tri-County Tech, she and her team recognized the importance of providing more cost-effective solutions. We hope that taxpayers will appreciate Dr. Nesbitt’s cost-effective approach and join us as we applaud her pragmatism, professionalism and commitment to Pickens County.

Dr. Nesbitt and Andy Coleman, the school district’s director of accountability, information and technology services, are currently collaborating with the school board to develop solutions for the technology needs of our school district.

On behalf of education advocates throughout the Upstate, we are grateful to have such dedicated professionals at the helm.

For information about how you can join the groundswell of support for the School District of Pickens County, please visit

A preschool teacher at Easley Presbyterian, class parent coordinator at Forest Acres Elementary and volunteer English-Spanish translator, Robin Nelson Miller is the co-founder of the original Concerned Citizens of Pickens County and RESTORE Pickens County.