EdTechRVA Announces the Opening Keynote, Ashley Bland

Ashley Bland is an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher (ITRT) for Richmond Public Schools. Mrs. Bland earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering and another Bachelor in Physics, both from Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2016, she earned a Master of Education, with a focus on curriculum and instruction, again from Virginia Commonwealth University. Mrs. Bland’s experiences at VCU catapulted her into many opportunities to engage with Richmond youth.  Having a front-row seat to student success brought to fruition and inspired even more passion and dedication to K-12 students for Mrs. Bland. Seeing the impact of her work on student success inspired Ashley to a heightened passion and dedication to K-12 education. 
Ashley believes in the intrinsic value of education, especially in the lives of those in underserved populations. She serves as a professional development trainer to share best practices related to instructional technology. She also has welcomed the chance to serve as a moderator for discussions regarding race and equity. In that vein, Mrs. Bland hopes to continue her work to inspire and recruit young people of color to STEM fields.
As one who inspires others, it was also Ashley who was initially taken by VCU professor Dr. Rosalyn Hargraves’ “graceful navigation of the fields of both education and engineering,” which beckoned Ashley to follow suit.  Dr. Hargraves encouraged her to pursue a degree in education through the Richmond Teacher Residency Program (now RTR), whose motto, “teach for change” is one that Mrs. Bland continues to honor. For her commitment, she was named the 2021 Richmond Public Schools teacher of the year and the 2022 Virginia Region 1 Teacher of the Year.

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