What do you do at AEM?
I work within the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), assisting education agencies and other stakeholders in the area of student data privacy. This includes state and local education agencies as well as postsecondary institutions. It keeps me busy: I answer questions that come into PTAC, review written agreements to make sure that they are compliant with the requirements in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), conduct training sessions on FERPA and PPRA, and talk with concerned parents and eligible students about their protections. I work with the SLDS state support team by conducting privacy and security reviews of state education agencies prior to SLDS site visits. As we all know, the education community has been hit hard with cyberattacks. I also facilitate the new Chief Privacy Officer network for SEA Chief Privacy Officers across the country.
What would your clients be surprised to learn about AEM?
They wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it’s a professional organization, and they already see our level of knowledge—that’s our job. They don’t get to see the interaction between team members, though. AEM is a very warm and supportive organization. There is great camaraderie amongst team members. Even our founder’s blog on the internal AEM Yammer makes you feel like you are a part of a family.
How has AEM invested in you?
After I joined, the idea for a Chief Privacy Officer Network came up. I was asked to facilitate this new CPO network, which is made up of CPOs from across the country. I won’t lie, I was nervous. Sometimes others see more in you than you see in yourself. I am happy to say that the CPO Network is up and running and it’s already making an impact. I am appreciative to AEM for allowing me to utilize my 30 years of education data experience to help other SEAs and to participate in new and innovative projects.