“Our board chose Peggy for the Executive Director position because of her substantial experience in the field of education and her expertise in educational technology,” said McHale. “Peggy brings a wealth of education, technology and leadership qualities to Cable in the Classroom.”
O’Brien is currently Chief Learning Officer and Chief Operating Officer for Kiko.com (Knowledge In, Knowledge Out), an Internet education company, where she oversees educational policy, strategy and tactics. She will join Cable in the Classroom in early June.
Prior to joining Kiko.com, O’Brien was Vice President for Education for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). At CPB, she set standards for educational and artistic content of CPB-funded programming and worked with producers to develop new public television programs and initiatives - particularly those for children. O’Brien also provided support to education directors at local public television stations. She offered developmental and financial support for a free, national broadcast/Internet channel dedicated entirely to the professional development of teachers (grades K-12) and also directed the Ready to Learn initiative, a multi-faceted educational coalition.
From 1981 to 1994, O’Brien served as Head of Education for The Folger Shakespeare Library. In that role, she developed the library’s educational philosophy. She also founded and directed Teaching Shakespeare Institute, a nationally acclaimed teacher education program focused on the accessibility of Shakespeare to all students.
O’Brien started her professional career as an inner-city high school teacher in Washington, D.C. She taught in middle school and high school for six years.
O’Brien serves on numerous boards and advisory committees, including the National Council of Teachers of English’s Commission on Media; the City College of New York, Humanities Center National Advisory Board; and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation National Advisory Board. She is a frequent lecturer and has delivered numerous keynote speeches about education and technology.
Members of the CIC search committee included McHale; Brian Lamb, Chairman and CEO, C-SPAN; Dan Davids, Executive Vice President and General Manager, History Channel; Bob Miron, President, Advance-Newhouse Communications; and Lynn Yaeger, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Time Warner Cable.
Cable in the Classroom represents a contribution of $100 million a year by the cable industry to enhance the resources of teachers, students and schools. More than 8,500 local cable companies provide free cable hook ups and free monthly service to 81,000 schools, reaching 44 million students. More than 500 hours of educational, commercial-free programming and a vast array of online support materials are provided for schools by 38 cable networks each month. Through cable’s High Speed Education Connection, local cable companies provide free, cable high-speed Internet hook ups to state accredited K-12 schools and libraries in communities where broadband service is available. In addition to providing programming and online resources, Cable in the Classroom, via its Professional Development Institute, trains educators and other adults on the effective uses of cable television and the Internet (www.ciconline.org