Chris O'Neal is a former elementary and middle school teacher originally teaching in the Calcasieu Parish School System in
Louisiana, where he received numerous Teacher of the Year honors and chaired the Mayor’s Committee for Youth Leadership for the City of Lake Charles. After leaving the classroom, Chris went on to work in the Curriculum and Instruction office for the school district. There he worked with teachers in high-risk schools to enhance classroom practice through the use of new teaching strategies and tools, developed content to support the classroom, and provided professional development to teachers and administrators. In addition, he coordinated several community-school public relations efforts including teaching job-seeking and resume-skills at the Women's Shelter, computer technology and Internet skills to senior citizens at the Council on Aging, etc. He went on to work at the State Department of Education in Louisiana for 5 years, focusing on grant management, policy and planning issues, district support, and eventually becoming the state director of educational technology. His work with the Governor’s Office and the Louisiana Legislature earned him status as an honorary State Senator. He was also named in the “Who’s Who of American Teachers” and featured as a “Shaper of Our Future” in Converge Magazine.
He is now working at the University of Virginia in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Education providing outreach and professional development to school administrators across the state. In addition, he teaches classes for the University of Virginia in both a traditional and online format, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Research and Evaluation. He also serves as a faculty associate for the George Lucas Educational Foundation; provides leadership professional development, content development, and consulting for ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education); conducts educational leadership institutes, workshops, and evaluations for several districts around the country, and serves as a leadership facilitator for SEIR-TEC (Southeast and Islands Regional Technology Consortia) and SETDA (the U.S. State Educational Technology Directors Association.) He has recently completed publication of a resource book to assist middle school teachers in designing real-world, project-based lessons. In the winter of 2003, he received the "Making it Happen" award for leaders in the field of education.