A native of Nebraska, Tom holds degrees from Asbury College and the University of Kentucky. He has served in a variety of education-related positions, first as a classroom teacher (Kentucky Teacher of the Year, 1992) and then curriculum consultant at the Kentucky Department of Education. As a principal, he opened up a new public high school in Nicholasville, KY where for six years he was a teaching principal, insisting that all administrators also teach one class every day. During that time he taught speech, an introductory math class, history, humanities, French and a class in entrepreneurship.
Mr. Welch left East Jessamine High to oversee the education initiatives of Kentucky’s Economic Development Cabinet’s Office for the New Economy. From there he transitioned to the Kentucky Department of Education where he was the “Director of Seeding Innovation” in the Division of Virtual and Secondary Schools. One of the projects Tom was involved in there included helping oversee the development of an online course in Mandarin Chinese.
Tom has visited schools and universities across the U. S. as well as in France and China. He currently works extensively as an independent consultant with the International Center for Leadership in Education and CCSSO, the Council of Chief State School Officers and other state and national agencies. One of his current projects is focused on the establishment of a series of virtual learning magnets.
Tom's message is simple. "No child need be denied the opportunity to learn at the highest levels in the 21st century. It's 2010, not 1970 or even 1999."
The learning landscape is fundamentally shifting and our notions of how, when, and where to provide learning must shift as well if our children are going to thrive in a knowledge-based world."