Central New York

Central New York

SUNY Cortland

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Abbey AlbrightAbbey Albright

Cortland Enlarged City School District

Abbey Albright earned her BS in Mathematics and Adolescent Education from SUNY Cortland and her MEd from Walden University, and holds permanent certification in 7-12 Mathematics and birth-6 Elementary Education. In the classroom for 13 years, Mrs. Albright teaches Algebra 1 and Mathematical Financial Management at Cortland Junior-Senior High School, and currently serves as the Chair of the Mathematics Department.  In addition to her classroom responsibilities, she has welcomed seven student teachers and over 20 practicum students into her classroom, and has coached soccer, basketball and track.  Outside of school, Mrs. Albright has been a Regional Scoring Trainer and Leader for the 8th Grade NYS Mathematics Test. She was also selected to lead math workshops for STEM students at SUNY Cortland and Syracuse University as part of the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.   In January 2014, Mrs. Albright spoke on behalf of the NYS Master Teacher Program at Governor Andrew Cuomo’s annual State of the State Address. Additionally, Mrs. Albright and her Professional Learning Team colleagues presented at the 2014 NYS Master Teacher Annual Professional Development Conference sharing both their extended study of the NYS Math Modules and the workshops they designed for teachers in their region to engage in extended study of this content topic.

Naomi Sarkin-Noma AliNaomi Ali

Syracuse City School District

Naomi Sarkin-Noma Ali earned her BS in Biology and Education from the University of Jos, Plateau State Nigeria (West Africa) and Master of Science in Teaching from Syracuse University.  She is currently working on a Certificate in Advance Study in Educational Leadership at Syracuse.  Mrs. Ali has been teaching for 13 years, and teaches Living Environment and Syracuse University Project Advance Biology at Nottingham High School in Syracuse.  A strong advocate for science education for all learners, she involves her students in the exploration of science beyond the four walls of the classroom, and she collaborates with her school community and professors at Syracuse University to provide hands-on, inquiry-based learning experiences for students.  Her professional interests focus on the teaching of science to meet the diverse needs of students, and her current projects include planning and teaching science and technology to middle school girls in summer camps (STEM camp for girls), and collaborating with a Syracuse University Biology professor to develop teaching modules in zebra fish embryology and the effect of various toxins on zebra fish development. In addition, she serves on the School Leadership and is a member of the Science Teachers Association of New York State.

David AmidonDavid Amidon

LaFayette School District

David Amidon earned his BA in Biology from SUNY Geneseo and MSEd from SUNY Oswego. In the classroom for 17 years, Mr. Amidon teaches Life Science 8 and Regents Living Environment at LaFayette Jr/Sr High School. He has been active as a leader in the school community as advisor for National Junior Honor Society, and Science Olympiad, Union Representative and Coach. He strives to connect the content in the classroom with his students’ everyday world, and has developed interdisciplinary projects focused on local issues, such as the rehabilitation of the Onondaga Lake Watershed. Mr. Amidon attended the Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy in 2013, and Green Boot Camp in 2014, both of which draw participants from around the world to enhance STEM Education and project-based learning. He was nominated as a Distinguished Educator by SUNY Geneseo, and received the 2015 Outstanding Teacher Award from the Technology Alliance of Central NY. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Amidon has been active in the Central Region, participating in conferences and facilitating the Connections Professional Learning Team. Additionally, he recently started working with the National Center for Science Education’s Teacher Advisory Board and Greening USA, an organization promoting Sustainability in the Syracuse area.

Kathryn AnnanKathryn Annan

West Genesee School District

Kathryn Annan earned her BS from SUNY Plattsburgh, MSEd from Alfred University, and holds National Board certification in Science, Adolescence and Young Adulthood. In the classroom for 35 years, Mrs. Annan teaches Regents Physical Setting Chemistry and Honors Chemistry at West Genesee High School. A strong advocate for inquiry-based learning, she involves her students in problem-solving chemistry team labs and in individual research projects. Interested in improving scientific literacy, she has led several action research projects focused on student reading comprehension and written expression, including a project to involve students researching the history, pollution, and cleanup of nearby Onondaga Lake. Mrs. Annan has presented workshops about National Board Pre-Certification and in Action Research. Outside the classroom, she coaches girls modified cross-country. As a NYS Master Teacher, she is a member of the Chemistry Teachers’ Professional Learning Team (PLT) working on developing middle school lab activities for other teachers, the Connections PLT focusing on the environment and sustainability, and the Raspberry Pi PLT involving technology integration into chemistry classes. Mrs. Annan’s favorite STEM quote is, “Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.” – Carl Sagan

Kathleen H. AustinKathleen Austin

Auburn Enlarged City School District

Kathleen H. Austin earned her BS in Plant Biology from Cornell University, and her MSEd from Syracuse University.  Mrs. Austin has been teaching for 24 years, and teaches Enriched and Regents Biology at Auburn High School in Auburn, NY.  Prior to her career in teaching, she worked for five years in research for Allied-Signal, Inc.  Her current focus and enjoyment is on developing hands-on environmental activities that relate to local resources, like Owasco Lake.  Mrs. Austin’s students take part in this development, testing for the water quality and presenting results on posters during Owasco Lake Day, a community-wide event to promote awareness of lake health.  Mrs. Austin enjoys working with teaching assistants, and is a member of the Owasco Watershed and Lake Association, the Owasco Flats Nature Reserve, and the Skaneateles Lake Association.  Her favorite quotes is "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." –William Shakespeare

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Lynda BarryLynda Barry

Baldwinsville Central School District

Lynda Barry earned her BS in Human Medicine and Natural Science from Michigan State University and MSEd from SUNY Oswego.  Mrs. Barry has been teaching for 27 years and teaches Math Science and Technology, Medical Interventions and Biomedical Innovations at C.W. Baker High School in Baldwinsville.  She is a strong advocate for struggling learners and the belief that all students can learn science through the use of individualized and differentiated instruction. She involves her students in career journals, polymerase chain reaction, water quality testing, genetic engineering, nautical and civil engineering, environmental research including alternative energy, aeronautical studies and electrical investigations including home wiring.   Her professional interests focus on instructional techniques that engage all learners in technology to prepare students for STEM careers, and current projects include a continuation of differentiated instructional techniques, the investigation and creation of flipped classroom lessons as part of a school initiative, and integration of robotics and programming into MST using the NAO humanoid robotics program.  She is an advisor for the Robotics Club, Health Care Olympiad Team, and is a member of American Institute of Aeronautics and Aviation, from which she received a grant for the integration of flight simulation software into her aeronautics unit.

Dawn BattlesDawn Battles

Hannibal School District

Dawn Battles earned her BA in Chemistry with a minor in Forensic Science from SUNY Oswego and her MAT from SUNY Cortland. In the classroom for 17 years, Mrs. Battles teaches Regents Chemistry, Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA) Forensics, and Applied Chemistry at Hannibal High School. As a class advisor for the Class of 2017 and the Class of 2018, Mrs. Battles organizes fundraising sales and school events, and facilitates the planning of the junior prom and senior trip. Since student engagement in the classroom is key, Mrs. Battles is always seeking new activities that will spark interest, thinking, and learning for her students. She is excited for her journey as a NYS Master Teacher, and looks forward to the new learning adventures that the statewide network supports.

Colleen BoyleColleen Boyle

Tully School District

Colleen Boyle earned her BA in Mathematics with a minor in Business from SUNY Geneseo, her MSEd from Le Moyne College, and is dual certified in Adolescent Education (grades 7-12) and in teaching Students with Disabilities (grades 7-12). Ms. Boyle has been in the classroom for eight years and currently teaches Math Applications at Ray Middle School in Baldwinsville. Math Applications focuses on applying math concepts to situations students will encounter in the real world. Her main pedagogical methods include project-based learning and technology integration. Ms. Conger also teaches at Bryant and Stratton College where she enjoys helping adult learners rediscover and sharpen their mathematics skills. Throughout her career, Ms. Boyle served as advisor for Math League, and participated in the Project Challenge Grant, a partnership with SUNY Cortland to support academics through project-based learning. In her free time, Ms. Boyle enjoys attending Syracuse University basketball games, playing the piano, and running local races. As a NYS Master Teacher, she looks forward to collaborating with fellow Master Teachers to learn new pedagogical strategies to bring back to her classroom.

Carol BrafmanCarol Brafman

Cortland City School District

Carol M. Brafman earner her BS in accounting from Clarkson University,  BA in Mathematics and Secondary Education from SUNY Potsdam, and her MS in Curriculum and Instruction from SUNY Oswego. In the classroom for ten years, Mrs. Brafman is an accomplished instructor teaching Regents Geometry, and Calculus at Cortland Junior-Senior High School. Prior to becoming an instructor, she worked as a financial statement auditor for Price Waterhouse Coopers.  A strong advocate for the constructivist approach to learning, she utilizes guided instruction, reciprocal peer teaching, and scaffolding techniques in her classroom to instill deep understanding of the curriculum content. She believes in the importance of instilling a sense of pride and purpose in her students.  She is a member of various professional associations that recognize excellence in education and/or content area including Pi Mu Epsilon, Phi Kappa Phi, and Beta Gamma Sigma, and is active in the Association of Mathematics Teachers of NYS. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mrs. Brafman is a member of the Geometry Professional Learning Team and co-designer and facilitator of the workshop Common Core Geometry, open to all teachers in the Central NY Region.

Joshua BuchmanJoshua Buchman

Fayetteville-Manlius School District

Joshua Buchman earned his BA in biology from Cornell University and MS in Science Education from SUNY Albany. New York State certified in physics, chemistry, living environment, earth science, and general science, he has taught since 1989 nearly every level from second grade to graduate school. Gravitating toward the area of physics, he continued his studies at Syracuse University and Cornell via participation in the Cornell Institute for Physics Teachers (CIPT), the Central New York Physics Alliance, NYS Section-American Association of Physics Teachers, and QuarkNet. As part of the CIPT group, he co-created a novel physics labs, and “Physics Phormulas,” a CD of physics songs. His summer at the European Organization for Nuclear Research gave him a better understanding of high energy physics methodologies and analyses. Outside the classroom Mr. Buchman helps coach the Fayetteville-Manlius Master Minds, Robotics, and Science Olympiad teams. He trains regularly in Aikido, which may explain his enthusiasm for the flipped classroom model. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, he participates in the Physics Professional Learning Team (PLT), and attended the PLT facilitator training and Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science workshops. Mr. Buchman is excited to learn from so many amazing teachers, and incredibly appreciative of the support he receives via the NYS Master Teacher Program.

Veronica BudelmannVeronica Budelmann

Tully School District

Veronica Budelmann earned her BA in Anthropology with a minor in Biology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, MS in Teaching from SUNY Potsdam, and is certified in Biology, Social Studies and Elementary Education. In the classroom for 13 years, Ms. Budelmann teaches Advanced Placement Biology, Living Environment and Bioethics at Tully Jr/Sr High School. She is also an adjunct Biology laboratory instructor for Lemoyne College. For much of her career, Ms. Budelmann has focused her attention on teaching students struggling from difficult circumstances; she has provided students with many experiential learning opportunities in and outside of the traditional classroom, including a trip to Costa Rica to study biodiversity and sustainability. Ms. Budelmann is a member of the Literacy Team, Action Research Team, and the APPR committee at Tully Central School District. Additionally, she is a member of the Cornell Institute of Biology Teachers, the Science Teachers Association of New York State, and the National Science Teachers Association. Ms. Budelmann enjoys gardening, reading, and spending time with her family. As a NYS Master Teacher, she is looks forward to participating in many of the professional development opportunities.

Carol BurchCarol Burch

Hannibal School District

Carol Burch earned her BS in physics, MSEd in Secondary Science from SUNY Oswego, and National Board Certification.  In the classroom 20 years, Ms. Burch teaches a dual credit physics course, Regents Science 9 Prep, and an Earth Science Lab at Hannibal High School.  She serves as the Science Department Facilitator, co-chairs the High School Data Team, is a member of the District Annual Professional Performance Review Committee and the District Data Driven Instruction Team, and advises the National Honor Society and Student Council.  Ms. Burch is an active member of the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and NYS Association for Computers and Technologies in Education, presenting sessions at several national conferences.  Ms. Burch believes that teaching physics requires a rich broad understanding of connections to all sciences and to technology.  Collaborating across science disciplines and incorporating geospatial analysis have played important roles in her professional development activities.  She is looking forward to the opportunities to work with other motivated STEM teachers and participating in high quality professional development opportunities in the NYS Master Teacher Program.

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Andrew CalderwoodAndrew Calderwood

Liverpool Central School District

Andrew Calderwood earned his BS in Geology from SUNY Oswego and a Master of Science in Teaching from Le Moyne College. In the classroom for 17 years, Mr. Calderwood teaches Regents Earth Science and Honors/Academic Earth Science at Liverpool Central School District. A strong advocate for holistic education, he involves his students in experiential outdoor education, and the pursuit of passionate, life-long learning. His professional interests focus on authentic learning environments that engage students in relevant application of science concepts. His current projects include the experiential learning program; known as Expedition Earth Science. In addition, Mr. Calderwood works with the Partners in Education program, which seeks to build educational capacity through community involvement.  He recently co-authored the article “Improving Climate Literacy With Project-Based Modules Rich in Educational Rigor and Relevance” in the Journal of Geoscience Education.  His peers have honored him with Teacher of the Year awards in 2003 and 2006. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, he has worked with pre-service teachers, sharing knowledge from workshops and courses with new and veteran teachers. After attending the 2015 Annual Professional Development Conference, he incorporated Plickers strategies learned from the Gameification workshop facilitated by peer Master Teachers into his own teaching.

Elizabeth CarnesElizabeth Carnes

North Syracuse School District

Elizabeth Carnes earned her BS in Mathematics with a minor in Secondary Education from the College of Charleston and MS in Mathematics Education from Syracuse University. In the classroom at Cicero-North Syracuse (CNS) High School, she teaches Common Core Algebra 2, Financial Algebra, and Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus AB. Mrs. Carnes also leads an Independent Study for Calculus students in preparation for the AP Calculus BC exam. Mrs. Carnes discovered her love of mathematics while taking AP Calculus in high school and she made it her mission to help her AP students discover a similar appreciation for the subject. Mrs. Carnes is passionate about finding new methods and techniques for reaching all students, such as successfully implementing the flipped classroom model. Mrs. Carnes was elated to participate in the grading of the 2016 AP Calculus exam. Outside the classroom, Mrs. Carnes is a co-advisor of CNS High School Chapter of the National Honor Society. She has also completed the American Federation of Teachers’ Teacher Leader program and participated in the NYS Geometry Regents Standards Recommendation Committee. As a NYS Master Teacher, she looks forward to collaborating with STEM teachers to develop new strategies to strengthen her professional knowledge and skills for the betterment of her students.

Brian ChristopherBrian Christopher

Liverpool School District

Brian Christopher earned his BS in Biology from SUNY University at Albany and MSEd from SUNY Oswego.  Mr. Christopher has been teaching for 19 years, and teaches seventh and eighth grade science at Liverpool Middle School. A strong advocate for brain-based learning, he engages his students in a broad range of topics that require them to think and act creatively, and assemble knowledge and understanding collectively.  His professional interests focus on the Biology of learning, how to use real-time data effectively in instruction, and current research on Global Climate Change.  Mr. Christopher was a recent presenter at the 2014 Science Teachers Association of New York State Conference.  In addition to his full-time teaching duties, he serves as Building Representative for the United Liverpool Faculty Association, and is a member of STANYS. Mr. Christopher’s favorite things about teaching STEM is having the opportunity to watch kids learn through inquiry, and the constantly changing/updating nature of science knowledge helps keep it fresh and current.

Maureen ClarkMaureen Clark

Phoenix School District

Maureen Clark earned her BS in biology from LeMoyne College and MSEd from Syracuse University.  In the classroom 25 years, Ms. Clark teaches biology, Advanced Placement Biology, and chemistry at Phoenix Central Schools.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Clark is an active participant in the Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers and serves as an Education Specialist for Living Environment with the NYS Education Department.  At the University of Minnesota, she collects research field data for the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project and trains new members.  Ms. Clark was selected for the “Women in Leadership” Award from the local television news network CNYcentral, and is the founder and coach for the Salt City Road Warriors, a charity organization that raises money for the Upstate Medical Foundation.  As a NYS Master Teacher, Ms. Clark is looking forward to collaborating with other science teachers from across the region and participating in both the Statistical Inference and Evolution and Health mini-courses.

Charles ClintonCharles Clinton

Jamesville DeWitt School District

Charles Clinton earned his BA in Computer Science from Drew University and Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Mathematics from Manhattanville College.  Mr. Clinton has been teaching for 17 years, and teaches Algebra, Algebra 2, and Trigonometry and Statistics at Jamesville-DeWitt High School.  His professional interests include educational technology and making mathematics relevant and accessible to all learners.  He is presently working on classroom flipping in Algebra 2 & Trigonometry and is collaborating with a doctoral candidate from Syracuse University on statistics curriculum development.  He recently earned National Board Certification, and is a member of the Association of Mathematics Teachers of New York State and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  In addition to teaching, he coaches modified lacrosse at Jamesville-DeWitt Middle School.   A favorite part of teaching stem for Mr. Clinton is when a student says something like, "I never liked math before, but now it is my favorite subject!"  Or, "I never considered myself to be very good at math, but this year it all makes sense!"

Sarah CongerSarah Conger

Liverpool School District

Sarah Conger earned a BS in Biology and an MS in Teaching from Le Moyne College. At Le Moyne, Ms Conger was a member of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society. In her 14th year of teaching, she has been at Liverpool High School for 11 years teaching Living Environment Regents, Biology and Biology Honors. Ms. Conger is a strong believer in inquiry-based learning and the art of storytelling to help students connect content to self and to the real world. An evolutionary biologist at heart, she is an alumnus of the Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers (CIBT) and enjoys returning to campus to take part in ongoing professional development opportunities; Ms. Conger has also co-authored a lab on tetrapod limb development for CIBT. At school, she has served as Science Olympiad Advisor and Union Building Representative for United Liverpool Faculty Association. She is an avid triathlete and has raced several 70.3 Ironman races and competed in the Olympic-Distance at Nationals sponsored by USA Triathlon. Ms. Conger has also coached triathlon for the Fleet Feet Syracuse Team since 2011. As a NYS Master Teacher, she is excited to be part of a statewide professional community and is looking forward to participating in the content-inspiring professional development.

Judy CoyeJudith Coye

Auburn City School District

Judy Coye earned her AS in chemistry from Cabrillo Community College, and BS in biology and General Science Education and MSEd from SUNY Cortland.  In the classroom for 25 years, Mrs. Coye teaches Regents and Honors Biology at Auburn High School.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she serves as the Junior High School and High School Science Department Chair, collaborates with the Owasco Lake Watershed Association to educate the public about the water quality issues, is a member the district’s STEM Innovation project which helps elementary teachers design STEM activities and is planning a career night in cooperation with Partners in Education and Business. As a Master Teacher, Mrs. Coye is looking forward to expanding her content and pedagogical knowledge to build and sustain a strong STEM program in the Auburn School District.

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Suzanne De ToreSuzanne DeTore-Wilsey

Syracuse City School District

Suzanne DeTore earned her BS in Biology from LeMoyne College and a Master of Science Teaching from Syracuse University (SU).  Ms. DeTore has been teaching for 14 years, and is teaching anatomy and physiology, environmental science, and STEM at George W. Fowler High School in the Syracuse City School District.  Advocating for student participation in STEM, she involves her students in multiple STEM projects and competitions such as Balsa Bridge building, VEX Robotics, SECME mousetrap car competition, rocket building, Rube Goldberg building competition, soapbox derby, multiple science fairs and university/college science days. Professional interests include research with the SU Biomedical and Chemical Engineering Department in Biofilm Formation.  A past article in Langmuir entitled “Patterned Biofilm Formation Reveals a Mechanism for Structural Heterogeneity in Bacterial Biofilm Formation” presented research completed during a National Science Foundation grant.  Current research includes working with Molecular Dynamics to simulate Claudin Proteins in a system.  Ms. DeTore is an adjunct professor at LeMoyne College, and serves on the Endowment Committee for the Ying Tri Regional Science and Engineering Fair, and is a committee member for the CNY Science and Engineering Fair.

Chad DeVoeChad DeVoe

OCM BOCES - Cortland Campus

Chad DeVoe earned his BS in Environmental and Forest Biology at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and his Master of Arts in Teaching - Adolescent Education at SUNY Cortland.  In the classroom for eleven years, Mr. DeVoe currently teaches Environmental Science through the New Vision Program at Lime Hollow Nature Center.  He aspires to create "future-ready" students with scientific mind-sets that think critically, and use systems thinking to help address the myriad of problems the next generation will have to address.  A career highlight includes his 2009 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail where he blogged the experience for his district, and even met up with some students during the hike.  Outside of teaching, he, his wife, and two young daughters, run "Earthship," a small organic farm at their off-grid  just outside of Ithaca.  Mr. DeVoe knows the NYSMaster Teacher Program will be a key component in allowing him to inspire his students and to ultimately be proud of his life's work.

Kevin DouglassKevin Douglass

Homer Central School District

Kevin Douglass earned his BS in Biology from SUNY Cortland, MS in Wildlife Biology & Management from SUNY Environmental Science & Forestry, and Master of Science in Teaching in Secondary Science from SUNY Cortland.  In the classroom for eight years, Mr. Douglass teaches eighth grade Physical Science at Homer Junior High School. He brings hands-on, real-world experiences into the classroom, and strives to help students foster lifelong interests in various sciences. Prior to teaching, he was a chemical technician in private industry, a fisheries technician for the US Geological Survey at Tunison Laboratory of Aquatic Science, and a laboratory instructor at SUNY Cortland. Mr. Douglass believes his previous work experiences allow him the opportunity to share unique first-hand experiences and stories with his students.  Mr. Douglass coaches soccer, baseball, and is a Co-Advisor for the Science Club.  His outside interests include hiking, boating, camping, and running. As a NYS Master Teacher, he has enjoyed discussing the Next Generation Science Standards, and its impact on 6-8 grade science instruction with his Middle School Professional Learning Team.

Karin DykemanKarin Dykeman

Liverpool School District

Karin Dykeman earned her BS in Technology Education and MS in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction from SUNY Oswego. She has spent most of her 24 years teaching Design & Drawing for Production (DDP) and Introduction to Engineering Design at Liverpool High School. She served as department chair, an elementary Math, Science, Technology (MST) curriculum writer, and hosts student teachers. Ms. Dykeman helps her students see real world connections by sharing her industry experiences prior to teaching. A life-long learner, Ms. Dykeman has additional training in Energy Education from SUNY Oswego, Design Education at Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, Biomimicry with the Biomimicry Institute, and Project Lead the Way Pre-Engineering. She has held leadership positions in the New York State and Central NY Technology & Engineering Educators Associations, and consults on technology education and MST initiatives for the New York State Education Department. She has coached FIRST Robotics, and facilitated FIRST Jr. LEGO League, LEGO League, and Tech Challenge teams.
Ms. Dykeman’s students apply the engineering design process to everyday life and integrate academic content to solve problems; she helps students demonstrate not just what they know, but what they can do with that knowledge. As a NYS Master Teacher, she looks forward to improving integration of STEM disciplines with other Master Teachers.

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Maggie EstlinbaumMaggie Estlinbaum

Jordan-Elbridge School District

Maggie Estlinbaum earned her BA in Biochemistry from the Colorado College and Master of Arts in Teaching from SUNY Cortland.  Mrs. Estlinbaum has been teaching for eight years, and she teaches chemistry at Jordan-Elbridge High School in Jordan, NY.  A strong advocate for inquiry based learning, she involves her students in a variety of P.O.G.I.L. activities and hands on activities that incorporate technology.   Her professional interests focus on utilizing materials and creating lessons that guide students in developing the necessary skills to become independent learners.  Mrs. Estlinbaum is a strong believer in showcasing the magic and fun that is science and encourages her students to participate in Chemistry Club, as well as Science Olympiad and Chemistry Olympiad competitions as a way to get students excited about science.  In addition, she is the science team leader for her building and union building representative.  She is a member of the Science Teachers Association of New York State.  One of the things she loves about teaching STEM is that she is always learning new things along with her students.

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Greg R. FlickGreg Flick

North Syracuse Central School District

Greg R. Flick earned his BA in Geology from SUNY at Buffalo and MS in Geology from Syracuse University.  Following his career of 20 years as a professional geologist, Mr. Flick has been teaching Regents Earth Science (Honors and non-Honors) for 11 years at North Syracuse Junior High School.  A strong advocate of inquiry-based science instruction, he involves his students in a variety of innovative projects by using technology that assists students’ comprehension of the 21st Century skills needed to succeed in the future.  Mr. Flick writes and performs his own Earth Science song parodies and uses pre-recorded music to illustrate important scientific principles and enhance his science instruction.  He has presented workshops on the topic for Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services, and at the annual meeting of the Science Teachers Association of NYS (STANYS).  He is a member of the Geological Society of America and STANYS.  He was awarded the 2013 "Outstanding Teacher" Award by the Technology Alliance of Central New York.  Mr. Flick has shared with his colleagues content from the NYS Master Teacher Program mini-course, “Measuring Global Climate Change.”

Julie ShermanJulie Fogu

Syracuse City School District

Julie Fogu earned her BS in Biochemistry and MSEd, both from Syracuse University.  Mrs. Fogu has been teaching for 12 years, and she teachers Living Environment and SUPA Biology (Syracuse University Project Advance) at George W. Fowler High School in the Syracuse City School District, Syracuse, New York. A strong advocate for teaching content through real world examples, she involves her students in lab-based projects based on the common experiences or real world interests of her students. Her professional interests focus on teaching students who are learning English as their second (or sometimes third or fourth language) and integrating technology and project-based learning into the classroom.  In addition, she serves as a yearbook advisor, class advisor, graduation advisor and department chair.  Within the Master Teacher Program, Mrs. Fogu held a workshop for future applicants on applying to become a MT and preparing for the Praxis.  Her favorite part of teaching STEM is that it is always changing because we are always learning something new!

Angela FrancisAngela Francis

Liverpool Central School District

Angela Francis earned her B.S. in Biology with a Chemistry minor from LeMoyne College and M.S.Ed. from SUNY Oswego. Before starting her teaching career at Soule Road Middle School, she worked in a laboratory and as a supervisor at Anheuser-Busch. Mrs. Francis teaches her seventh graders Chemistry and Physical and Earth sciences. Her passion is to teach her students the process of science through collaborative learning using 21st Century skills in conjunction with hands-on experiences. Her professional interests include reading about how the brain learns and engaging in lesson study to continually improve her craft. Outside the classroom, Mrs. Francis has served as a Science Olympiad Coach, district trainer for new hires and presenter on staff development days. She enjoys mentoring students who struggle with organization and long-range planning. Mrs. Francis is a member of the NYS and National Science Teachers Associations. Outside of school, Angela loves to spend time with family and enjoys the outdoors. She enjoys Krav maga and is working toward her black belt in karate. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mrs. Francis has studied rain forest ecology, threats to native species and the connection between societal needs and the environment. She looks forward to bringing those experiences back to her classroom and to working in professional learning communities focused on topics that ensure students become life-long learners.

Amy FurlettiAmy Furletti

North Syracuse Central School District

Amy Furletti earned her BA in Mathematics from SUNY Potsdam, and MSEd in Curriculum Construction from SUNY Cortland. In the classroom 18 years, Mrs. Furletti teaches Regents Algebra II/Trigonometry, Financial Algebra, and Academic Intervention Services Trigonometry at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. Her professional interests include finding creative ways to integrate technology into the classroom to inspire students to enjoy math. She has written grants to bring technology, such as graphing calculators, into the classroom, and is exploring the flipped classroom. Mrs. Furletti serves as Yearbook Advisor, and Co-founder of Cicero-North Syracuse’s Math Honor Society (Delta Theta Pi), and can often be found cheering on her student at many co-curricular activities. For Mrs. Furletti, there is great pride in knowing that her students will return to school each fall, start another math class, and continue to use the skills (not just math) she taught them. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mrs. Furletti co-designed and co-led the Geometry and Algebra 2 Workshops for teachers in her district focusing on Common Core.

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Tom GeorgeThomas George

Homer Central School District

Tom George earned his BS in Biochemistry from Cornell University, Master of Arts in Teaching from SUNY Cortland and is dually certified in both Biology and Chemistry.  In the classroom 13 years, Mr. George teaches Regents Biology, Advanced Placement Biology and Current Issues in Science at Homer High School.  He plans on teaching 7th Grade Life Science in the 2015-16 school year.  A strong advocate for academic rigor, he holds his students to high standards.  Mr. George constantly challenges and inspires his students to pursue content depth further than the standard expectations.  Despite his laborious standard, he still remains a popular teacher amongst the student body.  He is a member of the Science Teachers Association of NYS.  One of Mr. George’s favorite quotes is by Carl Sagan, which stresses the importance of creating future generations that are knowledgeable in science and technology, "We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology."  Mr. George has shared with his colleagues content from the NYS Master Teacher Program mini-course “Changing Ecology of the Great Lakes.”

Sam GervaiseSamuel Gervaise

West Genesee School District

Sam Gervaise earned his BA in Education with a concentration in Science, MSEd in Science Education, and a Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership from Syracuse University. In the classroom for 20 years, Mr. Gervaise teaches Regents Earth Science, ProSchool (Remedial) Earth Science and AIS Earth and Living Environment at West Genesee High School, and has served as the Science Department Chair since 2004. Mr. Gervaise demonstrates valiant efforts in encouraging the development of student literacy skills across various curricula. He has led professional development workshops on the Common Core literacy shifts for faculties at several schools and has instructed others in developing action research projects. Mr. Gervaise believes teaching STEM courses provides a unique opportunity to model a love for lifelong learning for his students because science teachers assimilate new knowledge,including current advancement within science fields and new pedagogical tools, into their instruction. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, he participated in the Great Lakes mini-course and Earth Science Professional Learning Team. As a result of the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mr. Gervaise shared resources and ideas with science teachers at West Genesee High School, and spearheaded an initiative to create more conversations across the grades, called “vertical conversations,” with colleagues.

Jill GravanteJill Gravante

Baldwinsville Central School District

Jill Gravante earned her BS in Education with a concentration in Earth Science and MS in Literacy from SUNY Oswego, and Master of Education Leadership from St. John Fisher College.  Ms. Gravante has been teaching for 15 years, and she teaches 8th/9th grade Regents & Accelerated Earth Science at in the Baldwinsville Central School District.  She is a strong advocate for making learning fun yet meaningful, and always fighting for what’s right for students: honesty, integrity, & perseverance. She involves her students in hands-on learning and project-based learning as often as possible.  Her professional interests focus on data-driven instruction and her current projects include running the regional fast-score program for OCM BOCES at her school, and participating with the International Research in Seismology Center located in Washington D.C.  In addition, she serves as a member of the Baldwinsville Central School’s Building Planning Team, is a Building Mentor in Residence for her Junior High School and is a member of STANYS, NSTA & ASCD.

Theresa GromanTheresa Groman

Jamesville DeWitt School District

Theresa Groman earned her BS and MS in Engineering from Cornell University, and teacher certification from Le Moyne College.  Mrs Groman has been teaching for 15 years, and she teaches Honors and AP Chemistry at Jamesville-Dewitt High School in Dewitt, NY.  Her professional interests include biomimetic materials, engineering, and making chemistry fun and easy to learn to encourage kids to study science in college.  She is working on an aquaculture project for this coming year with her Women in Science Club and the engineering club.  Recently, Mrs. Groman was chosen as an honorary secondary school teacher for a Merrill Presidential Scholar graduate at Cornell University. Her favorite part about teaching STEM is being in the class, teaching STEM!!  She enjoys explaining difficult chemistry concepts and problems to students in a way that they can understand, and finds it rewarding to experiment with different techniques, activities and labs all the while discovering what worked the best for each student, so she can do an even better job with the topic next time.  Her favorite quote that she keeps in mind before every lesson is "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." – Albert Einstien

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Travis HallTravis Hall

Solvay Union Free School District

Travis Hall earned his B.S. in Natural Resource Management, cum laude with Distinction in Research, from Cornell University, an M.P.S. in Environmental Interpretation from SUNY-ESF, and an M.S. in Science Education from Syracuse University. In between those studies, he was a research technician of freshwater ecology at the Cornell Biological Field Station and also rigged world-class sailboats on the coast of Connecticut. His teaching experience began as an adjunct instructor at SUNY-ESF, and he now teaches Living Environment, and General Biology as an ESF in the High School instructor at Solvay High School.  Mr. Hall, a member of the National Science Teachers Association, advises Solvay Science Club and co-leads Science Olympiad and is a member of the Innovation Classrooms Project at Solvay High School, where he’s exploring standards-based grading approaches. In his free time, Mr. Hall enjoys hiking, world travel, and exploring natural history. As a Master Teacher, Mr. Hall is grateful for the opportunity to participate in field studies and share curricular ideas with other master teachers stating that “throughout a week of daily conversations with other teachers…I have a years' worth of ideas and lessons to bring back to my students.” He looks forward to continuing collaboration with other Master Teachers to elevate science instruction while generating appreciation and conservation of nature with a guiding philosophy summed up by Sir David Attenborough: “Cherish the natural world, because you're a part of it and you depend on it.”

Matthew HarbingerMatthew Harbinger

North Syracuse Central School District

Matthew Harbinger earned his BS in Applied Mathematics and Master of Arts in Teaching from SUNY Oswego.  In the classroom for 11 years, Mr. Harbinger teaches PreCalculus, Advanced Placement Computer Science and other computer programming classes at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.  As a strong advocate for Computer Science education, Mr. Harbinger involves his students in computer programming, app development, interdisciplinary projects, IBM’s Master the Mainframe Competition, and National Center for Women and Information Technology opportunities.  His professional interests focus on increasing enrollment in computer science (particularly among women and people of color), mobile app development, and developing sound pedagogical approaches to teaching computer science.  He was honored with the Technology Alliance of Central NY Award for his use of technology in the classroom and twice honored with the National Center of Women in IT NYS Educator Award for encouraging young women to pursue careers in computer science.  From his participation in the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mr. Harbinger has shared with his colleagues “The Common Core Math” Workshop, developed PreCalculus lessons from the Math Literacy Professional Learning Team and worked with other Master Teachers.

James HeftiJames Hefti

Pulaski School District

James Hefti earned his BS in Biology from Hobart College and MSEd from SUNY Oswego. Currently he teaches biology and Earth science at Pulaski High School, and has taught for 13 years. A strong advocate for STEM education, Mr. Hefti utilizes technology to enhance his students learning in meaningful ways. His professional interests focus on creating educational opportunities that promote environmentalism.  His current projects include an international science curriculum about the birds that migrate from New York State to Mexico, and a sustainability initiative that connects his high school STEM Club with opportunities in the community.  He contributes to a number of citizen science programs and is a member of the Science Teachers Association of New York State. A past accolade includes the TACNY Outstanding Teacher Award, for his ability to integrate technology into science education.  Mr. Hefti continues to teach stem because 15 out of the 20 fastest growing career fields require STEM training!

Pamela HerringtonPamela Herrington

East Syracuse-Minoa Central School District

Pamela Herrington earned her BS in Natural Resources Management from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), Master of Arts in Teaching from SUNY Cortland, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership from Syracuse University. In the classroom for 16 years, Mrs. Herrington teaches Regents Earth Science and SUNY ESF Global Environment in the East Syracuse-Minoa Central School District.  Her professional interests focus on project-based learning, mentoring new and pre-service teachers, and developing partnerships for learning. Current projects include facilitating student research at the Village of Minoa’s Cleanwater Educational Research Facility, and improving the literacy skills of her science students. She was recently elected Vice President of her local union, and graduated from Honeywell's Educators at Space Camp, where her team was awarded high honors for their execution of STEM pedagogy and performance. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, she has participated in the Statistics mini-course, and is a member of the Science Symposium Professional Learning Team (PLT). As a result of her involvement with the Symposium PLT, Mrs. Herrington has implemented a science Symposium for Honors Earth Science Students at her school. Mrs. Herrington has presented at the NYS professional conferences, the NYS State Education Department, and Syracuse University.

Joel HirscheyJoel Hirschey

North Syracuse Central School District

Joel Hirschey earned his BA in Environmental Science from SUNY ESF and  MSEd from Syracuse University. Mr. Hirschey has been teaching for 10 years, and he teaches both Living Environment and Physical Science at North Syracuse Junior High School in North Syracuse. A strong advocate for inquiry-based learning and the use of technology in the classroom, he involves his students in web quests, on-line research, and laboratory work. His professional interests focus on using educational experiences outside the classroom to increase relevance and engagement, increasing the working memory in students, and introducing more reading in the curriculum.

Ashley HouseknechtAshley Houseknecht

Southern Cayuga School District

Ashley Houseknecht earned her BA in Mathematics from Ithaca College and MSEd in Mathematics from SUNY Cortland. In the classroom for seven years, Ms. Houseknecht teaches Geometry, PreCalculus, and Advanced Placement Calculus at Southern Cayuga Central School. A strong advocate for a connected STEM learning experience, she helps students make connections between various concepts. Outside the classroom, she serves as a Faculty Mentor and has served as an Assistant Track and Field Coach, and a National Honor Society Advisor. As a NYS Master Teacher, Ms. Houseknecht participated in the “Geometric Investigations Using Everyday Materials” mini-course where she learned about the art of kirigami. Additionally, her selection as a NYS Master Teacher led her to become the co-coordinator for STEM programs for grades 7-12 at Southern Cayuga Central School.  A quote Ms. Houseknecht finds interesting is “Neglect of mathematics works injury to all knowledge, since one who is ignorant of it cannot know the other sciences, or the things of this world. And what is worst, those who are thus ignorant are unable to perceive their own ignorance, and so do not seek a remedy." – Roger Bacon, English philosopher and one of the earliest European advocates of the modern scientific 

Matthew HudsonMatthew Hudson

Baldwinsville Central School District

Matthew Hudson earned his BS in Civil Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology and MSEd from LeMoyne College.   Mr. Hudson has been teaching for 15 years, and he teaches Technology at C.W. Baker High School.  Mr. Hudson started his career working as a civil engineer for 10 years prior to entering the classrooom.  He is currently involved in teaching Project Lead the Way Principles of Engineering, Computer Networking and C++ Computer programming.  The engineering courses utilize project based learning and problem solving.  Mr. Hudson is a firm believer in project based learning as a tool for teaching, and works with his colleagues to create unique learning experiences.  He also facilitates the Robotics Club at school.  The students design and program robotics vehicles which ultimately are entered in regional and state competitions.  Mr. Hudson is a member of the Central New York Technology Engineering Education Association and holds the position of Records Keeper. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mr. Hudson has participated in the Honeywell Project and various workshops. His favorite part about teaching STEM when his students make the connection between math, science, and engineering and how they can use and connect it to the world they live in.

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Dawn JanickiDawn Janicki

Jamesville DeWitt School District

Dawn Janicki earned her BS in Secondary Education with a concentration in Mathematics, and MSEd from SUNY Oswego, and Certificates of Advanced Studies in Leadership and Reading Education from Syracuse University. In the classroom for 16 years, Mrs. Janicki teaches Regents Algebra, Honors Geometry, and Regents Geometry at Jamesville-DeWitt High School. A strong advocate for literacy within the content area, she involves her students in large-group discussions, small-group explorations and individualized personal-growth benchmarking. Her current projects include examining the EngageNY Math modules, aligning course content and conducting a research apprenticeship. Additionally, she is very involved in her school serving as the Testing Coordinator, the Executive Treasurer of the Jamesville-DeWitt Faculty Association, a Building Representative on the Jamesville-DeWitt-Syracuse University Teaching Center, President of the Fabius-Pompey Recreation Board, a Cadette Girl Scout Leader and a Brownie Girl Scout Leader, and coach of soccer, basketball, and softball. As a result of the NYS Master Teacher Program, she has shared Algebra course outlines and lessons on factoring polynomials with colleagues. Also, being part of the Algebra Professional Learning Team has helped improve the way she approaches the topic of residuals.

Bridgit JohnsonBridgit Johnson

Moravia Central School District

Bridgit Johnson earned her BA in Mathematics from Elmira College and MSEd from SUNY Cortland.  Mrs. Johnson has been teaching for 5 years, and she teaches Calculus (for college credit through Cayuga Community College), Algebra 1A, and General Geometry in the Cato-Meridian Central School District. Her professional interests focus on inspiring students to adapt a love of lifelong learning.   Through the Master Teacher Program, Mrs. Johnson has had the opportunity to be involved in learning more about the Common Core Mathematics Standards and how they apply in the classroom.  Through collaborative studies with fellow Master Teachers, she has taught and learned with the others a great deal about why the standards are written the way they are, as well as the best way to implement them.  As a result, this group has shared their findings with other STEM teachers; through both a series of workshops held throughout the region and by taking knowledge back to their home districts.   She became a teacher because of her love of life-long learning, and the Master Teacher Program is a great opportunity to pursue that passion in a way that can be brought directly back to her classroom.

Dianna JoslynDianna Joslyn

Cortland City School District

Dianna Joslyn earned her B.S. in Biology and in Health from the University of Richmond, where she swam on the Varsity Synchronized Swimming Team and traveled to the Amazon to study bats and to Belize for coral reef research.  After graduation, she moved to Long Island and worked as a chef for a caterer in the Hamptons.  After a year of creating canapés for celebrities, Mrs. Joslyn earned her master’s in Teaching from SUNY Cortland. Mrs. Joslyn teaches Regents Living Environment and Anatomy and Physiology at Cortland Junior Senior High School, where she coaches swimming, volunteers with Girls on the Run, and serves as Department Chair.  Dianna is a member of the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES Science Leadership committee and her own school’s Leadership Committee, Professional Development Committee, and School Improvement Team. When she is not at school, you can find her coaching Fleet Feet’s No Boundaries Running program. She has run two half-marathons and enjoys helping others achieve their running goals.  Mrs. Joslyn’s other passion is card making and paper crafting, which she teaches at monthly classes. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mrs. Joslyn has studied cave biodiversity and taken the Biology of Cancer mini-course. She is most excited by connecting with other educators in the NYSMTP to share and create new learning experiences for her students and to share them with colleagues.

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Anne KelleyAnne Kelley

Fayetteville-Manlius School District

Anne Kelley earned her BS in Biology from University of Vermont, an MS in Genetics from University of British Columbia,  and a BS in Education from University of Saskatchewan.  Mrs. Kelley has been teaching for 14 years, and she teaches 7th grade science at Wellwood Middle School in the Fayetteville-Manlius Central School District.  A strong believer in science education for all students, she uses differentiated instruction, inquiry-based labs, and hands-on learning in the classroom.  Mrs. Kelley believes it iss important to reinvigorate students’ excitement for science and discovery in order to prepare them to be informed citizens or to pursue STEM careers.  She involves the community when teaching her students, through activities such as the Fire Department egg drop and various classroom demonstrations.  Mrs. Kelley coaches a middle school Science Olympiad team. She enjoys this opportunity to encourage her most enthusiastic students to delve deeper into science.  Her professional interests include environmental issues such as climate change and the world’s water crisis.  Her favorite STEM quote is, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that will not work.” – Thomas Edison

Sean KellySean Kelly

Cazenovia Central School District

Sean Kelly earned his BS in Chemistry from Binghamton University, MS in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Mr. Kelly has been teaching for 19 years, and he teaches Regents and Advanced Placement Chemistry at Cazenovia High School in Cazenovia, NY.  A strong believer that chemistry truly is the “Central Science,” Mr. Kelly believes that a firm understanding of the concepts of chemistry is necessary for students to be successful in any field of science.   Through the use of inquiry-based lab experiments, many hands-on activities and demonstrations, as well as the integration of technology into the curriculum, he strives to excite his students about the study of science and its applications in the world around them.  His greatest sense of accomplishment comes from seeing his students going on to study science in college.  Mr. Kelly is a member of the American Chemical Society as well as the National Science Teacher’s Association.  He was honored with the 2012 Teacher of the Year award for the Cazenovia Central School District.

F. Timothy Keough IIIF. Timothy Keough III

East Syracuse-Minoa Central School District

F. Timothy Keough III earned his BA in Science Education, and MSEd from Syracuse University, and MS in School Administration from the University of Scranton. In the classroom for 16 years, Mr. Keough teaches Regents Earth Science in the East-Syracuse Minoa Central School District. In his classroom, Mr. Keough focuses on students’ interests, experiences and prior knowledge, and centers lessons on content relevance, demonstrating to the students that classroom content is current and present in their daily lives. He has worked closely with Special Education teachers in an Integrated Co-Teaching model for the past nine years, where he teaches students with various learning challenges. Mr. Keough also coaches Girls Basketball, is a member of the National Honor Society Faculty Council, and is a former member of the School Improvement Team. As a result of the NYS Master Teacher Program, he has been able to focus more on literacy in science, and led a workshop on reading and writing in the science class to fellow Master Teachers at the Annual Professional Development (PD) Conference. Mr. Keough appreciates the collaboration with teachers, and instruction from NYS Master Teacher PD that has allowed him to think more deeply about education and his craft.

Michael KlempererMichael Klemperer

Jamesville-Dewitt School District

Michael Klemperer earned his BA in psychology and Political Science from the University of Rochester, and Master of Science in Teaching in Secondary Education from LeMoyne College. In the classroom five years, Mr. Klemperer teaches Pre-Calculus, Geometry, and Algebra 2 with Trigonometry at Jamesville-DeWitt High School. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he coaches the varsity baseball team, co-advises the math team and the National Math Honors Society, and is a member of the School Beautification Committee.  Mr. Klemperer worked with children and young adults in several jobs throughout his professional career that led him to his becoming a math teacher. He spent many years working at the Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, first as a lifeguard, and eventually as the director of Children's and Teen's Services, and Aquatics. He had his first experiences as a teacher while giving swimming lessons to the campers there. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Klemperer is excited for the opportunity to share his passion for mathematics with other dedicated professionals. Mr. Klemperer has participated in a workshop on sustainability, and monthly meetings of mathematics teachers. He is greatly looking forward to the presentation by mathematician Dan Meyer.

Karen Krichbaum-StengerKaren Krichbaum-Stenger

Cortland Enlarged City School District

Karen Krichbaum-Stenger earned her BS in Medical Technology from SUNY Upstate Medical Center and a MS in Molecular Biology from Syracuse University.  Ms. Krichbaum-Stenger has been teaching for 27 years, and she teaches Honors Biology and Regents Biology at Cortland Jr. Sr. High School.  A strong advocate of hands-on learning, she involves her students in a variety of problem-solving activities. She truly enjoys the student - teacher interactions.  Her professional interests focus on inquiry-based and cooperative learning. She is currently a member of the OCM BOCES Science Center Instructional Support Staff for the Marine Studies and Adirondack Field Studies Enrichment Programs. In addition, she has successfully mentored numerous undergraduate and graduate student teachers from both SUNY Cortland and Cornell University.  As part of the NYSMTP, she has participated in many activities including the “Disasters: NY” workshop and the retreat at Raqueete Lake.  Her favorite quote is “Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science”. – Edwin Powell Hubble

Dina KushnirDina Kushnir

Fayetteville-Manlius School District

Dina Kushnir earned her BS and MS in Secondary Mathematics Education and her Certificate of Advanced Study in Education Administration from SUNY Oswego.  She started her teaching career as a Title 1 Math Specialist for Jefferson Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) before taking a teaching position at Fayetteville-Manlius High School (FMHS), where she has remained since 1993.  She spent one challenging year as a Vice Principal, but returned to her first love of teaching and connecting with high school students, and she hasn’t looked back.  She earned National Board Certification in 2014 and has served as FMHS Math Department Instructional Specialist.  Mrs. Kushnir is the author of the book Cooperative Learning and Mathematics: High School Activities published by Kagan, and also a winner of the Technology Association of Central New York’s Outstanding Teacher Award.  Mrs. Kushnir is a foster parent of two teenage girls, an active member of her church, and a volunteer at the Syracuse Rescue Mission.  As a NYS Master Teacher, Mrs. Kushnir is eager to learn from experts in the field about innovative ways to improve instructional delivery, incorporate new technologies into the classroom, and make learning math relevant to students.  Her favorite inspirational quote is, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  (Proverbs 27:17)

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Jay LangJay Lang

Jamesville DeWitt School District

Jay Lang earned his BS in Computer Science and Engineering from Bucknell University and Master of Arts in Teaching in Mathematics from Binghamton University. Mr. Lang has been teaching for 10 years, and he teaches Algebra and Computer Science at Jamesville-DeWitt High School. Prior to teaching, Mr. Lang had five years of experience working in IT as a software engineer.  He is a strong advocate for using technology in his instruction.  His classes are activity-based, allowing students to develop problem solving skills.  He is a member of the Jamesville-DeWitt Technology committee, the online gradebook coordinator, and a NYSUT building representative.  His favorite aspect of teaching STEM is when teaching both Mathematics and Computer Science, he can incorporate one subject into the other, and feels that he is doing something special.  The most rewarding aspect of his job is instilling a love for STEM.  “When my students decide to pursue a career in a STEM field, I feel I've done a good service to the world.” 

Charles LockeCharles Locke

Tully School District

Charles Locke earned his BA in mathematics with a minor in physics from Syracuse University and MSEd in Adolescence Education from St. Bonaventure University. Mr. Locke has been in the classroom for ten years, and currently teaches Algebra II, Intermediate Algebra, and Algebra for College at Tully Jr/Sr High School. In addition to his classroom responsibilities, Mr. Locke coaches the soccer, basketball, and track and field teams. Mr. Locke enjoys incorporating his love for physics into his algebra lessons.  In his free time he enjoys hiking, rooting for the Buffalo Bills, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, and his beloved Syracuse Orange. Coming from a small school district, he is looking forward to collaborating with other STEM teachers within the NYS Master Teacher Program to learn new ideas and strategies to use in his classroom.

Christopher LuddenChristopher Ludden

Baldwinsville Central School District

Christopher Ludden earned his BS in Aerospace Engineering and MS in Manufacturing Engineering, both from Syracuse University, and MSEd from Utica College.  Mr. Ludden has been teaching for 10 years, and he teaches geometry, college-credit calculus, and a Project Lead the Way Aerospace Engineering class at CW Baker HS in Baldwinsville, NY.  He encourages his students to see math as a tool they can use to solve many different problems in their lives.  He involves his students in Math League and Aerospace Engineering club, where they are encouraged to solve problems by applying the math they know in new and exciting ways.  Chris is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and spends most of his time developing the new Common Core Geometry curriculum with a team of Baldwinsville teachers.  He attended the Honeywell Space Academy at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama in June 2014.  His favorite part about teaching STEM is helping to facilitate that "light bulb" moment when students figure something out and transition from "this is so hard!" to "this is so easy!"

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Sally B. MitchellSally Mitchell

East Syracuse-Minoa Central School District

Sally B. Mitchell earned her BS in Chemistry and Biology and MSEd from Syracuse University. In the classroom for 21 years, Ms. Mitchell teaches Syracuse University Project Advance College Chemistry and General Chemistry at East Syracuse Minoa High School. An advocate for defining STEM as teaching students to approach problems with instinctual confidence and careful deliberation, she encourages her students to develop personal research projects, and to join the Science Olympiad and Chemistry Olympiad Competitions as a means for engagement in science outside of the classroom.  She incorporates food science in her chemistry lessons, indicative of her passion for acquiring as well as disseminating new, applicable, and meaningful science knowledge. She holds the position of American Chemical Society Expert in STEM Education, and past accolades include the James Bryant Conant Award by the American Chemical Society for her outstanding contributions in Chemistry Education. Additionally, she is serving as a Special Consultant on the Governance Board of The American Association of Chemistry Teachers for the first full year of this national organization for teachers of Chemistry K-12. As a result of the NYS Master Teacher Program, Ms. Mitchell has used many ideas from other chemistry Master Teachers in her classroom and has shared those new ideas with colleagues.

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Robert NasiatkaRobert Nasiatka

Homer School District

Robert Nasiatka earned his BA from the University at Buffalo in Geological Sciences and MSEd from LeMoyne College.  Mr. Nasiatka has taught for 19 years, and he teaches Earth Science and Physical Sciences at Homer Central Schools.  He is a strong advocate of Project Based Learning, encompassing that approach into the current rigors of the New York State regents. Mr. Nasiataka is a member of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, Science Teachers Association of New York State, and is a regular presenter on technology in the classroom at STANYS.  Mr. Nasiataka and his colleagues formed the Homer Environmental club, which in the last three years travelled to Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, and Florida Keys National Parks. In addition to his classroom activities, he is the school’s bowling and baseball coach. Mr. Nasiatka is also the Homer Teachers Association Union president. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mr. Nasiatka has participated in the Raquette Lake retreat and attended various meetings. His favorite STEM quote is, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of minds to think.” – Albert Einstein

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Roberta PalmiottoRoberta Palmiotto

Union Springs School District

Roberta Palmiotto earned her BA in Biology from Houghton College and  MSEd from SUNY Albany.  Mrs. Palmiotto has been teaching for 20 years, and she teaches Science 8 and Living Environment in the Union Springs School District.  She wants her students to understand how science relates to everything that they do on a daily basis through the use of various technologies, fieldwork and GIS studies.  Her professional interests include developing her own GIS skills, building co-curricular units of study, and arranging cultural exchanges between Union Springs and Brazil.  In addition, she is a member of the Junior Honor Society Council and Student Support Team, and serves as an education specialist for NYSED. She was recently selected as the Cayuga County Middle School Teacher of the Year.  Her favorite quote is "There are an awful lot of scientists today who believe that before very long we shall have unraveled all the secrets of the universe. There will be no puzzles anymore. To me it'd be really, really tragic because I think one of the most exciting things is this feeling of mystery, feeling of awe, the feeling of looking at a little live thing and being amazed by it." – Jane Goodall

Melanie PelcherMelanie Pelcher

Syracuse City School District

Melanie Pelcher earned her B.S. in Physics with a specialization in Medical Physics from the University of Rochester and M.S. in Physics Education from Syracuse University. She holds teaching certificates in the areas of Physics, Mathematics and Students with Disabilities. Ms. Pelcher teaches Physics and Syracuse University Project Advance Physics at Henninger High School. In addition, she helped create the Health Professions Career and Technical Education Program within the Health Careers Academy at Henninger and currently teaches the introductory course Project Lead the Way, Biomedical Science. Currently, Melanie is partnering with the Shaw Center at Syracuse University to create collaborative lessons related to food science and nutrition education and facilitating students’ field experiences at SUNY Upstate that include roundtable discussions with healthcare professionals and the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge about the human body by visiting the Gross Anatomy Lab. As a NYS Master Teacher, Ms. Pelcher participates in activities that will enhance the success of all learners in the science classroom.

Michael PicciottiMichael Picciotti

LaFayette School District

Michael Picciotti earned his BA Biology and MSEd from Syracuse University.  In the classroom for 21 years, Mr. Picciotti teaches Regents Chemistry and Project Advance Chemistry at LaFayette High School.  As a strong advocate for the responsible use of technology in education, Mr. Picciotti has pioneered secondary science on-line instruction in NYS.  His current project includes creating seminars for pre-service teachers from several local universities that involve the participation of his peer NYS Master Teachers on topics such as laboratory safety, use of electronic probeware, and the latest online educational technologies.  In addition to these projects, he is working on the 15th edition of the local chemistry laboratory manual, and is editing an on-line textbook for use in his class next year.  As an active member of professional associations, Mr. Picciotti has presented at the annual conferences of the Science Teachers Association of NYS and NYS Association for Computers and Technology in Education and was honored with the “Education’s Unsung Heroes Award.”

Sara PieklikSara Pieklik

Liverpool Central School District

Sara Pieklik received her BA in Mathematics from Nazareth College and MSEd from LeMoyne College.  Ms. Pieklik has been teaching for 9 years, and she teaches Math 7 and Math 8 at Liverpool Middle School.  She believes in incorporating a concrete approach when introducing math topics so that students have a better understanding of the rationale behind many common math rules and “tricks.”   She is involved at the district level in committees including the K-12 Math Curriculum Cabinet and District Technology Team, and is also one of the District’s Technology Turnkey Trainers.  Besides her knowledge of mathematics and technology, at her school she is also known for her work coordinating a recycling program.  Sara’s latest project at school involved the launching and recovery of a weather balloon to obtain real-world data to be used in the classroom.

Rita PutnamRita Putnam

Liverpool Central School District

Rita Putnam earned her BS in Environmental and Forest Biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, MSEd from SUNY Oswego, and MSEd in Literacy 5-12 from SUNY Oswego.  In the classroom for 12 years, Mrs. Putnam teaches Biology at Liverpool High School.  A strong advocate for college and career readiness, she designs classroom activities that apply a variety of strategies to help students become autonomous learners, including investigations that require the collection and analysis of data.  With the belief that college and career readiness is influenced by individual literacy skills, she is committed to instruction, classroom activities, and assignments that strengthen student literacy through the scientific process.   Mrs. Putnam’s professional interests focus on the anatomy and physiology of the brain, the processes involved in learning and memory, and various methods that introduce literacy into the curriculum in an authentic and relevant way. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mrs. Putnam values professional conversations with other Master Teachers during workshops and mini-courses. She participated in the Atomic Force Microscopy mini-course where she learned new information to share with her students.

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Nancy RaichtNancy Raicht

Jamesville DeWitt School District

Nancy Raicht earned her BA in Biology with a concentration in secondary education from LeMoyne College, and MSEd from SUNY Cortland. Mrs. Raicht has been teaching for 16 years, and she teaches Regents Biology and Forensic Science at Jamesville-DeWitt High School (JDHS).  A strong advocate of cooperative, hands-on learning, she involves her students in a variety of group activities to strengthen their problem solving skills and tap in to their knowledge of the subjects being discussed in class.  Technology and web lessons are an important component in her classroom.  Mrs. Raicht also incorporates many visuals to enhance the learning experience of all students in her classroom.  In addition, she has coached cross-country and track at JDHS and has served as an advisor for several student organizations.  She also serves as the science department representative for the Building Level Team and Awards Committee at JDHS. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mrs. Raicht plans on attending various workshops and Professional Learning Teams (PLTs). Mrs. Raicht’s favorite STEM quote is, “A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein

Brad RanieriBradley Ranieri

North Syracuse Central School District

Brad Ranieri earned his BS in Physics and MSEd from Le Moyne College. In the classroom for 21 years, Mr. Ranieri teaches Regents Honors Physics to ninth graders at North Syracuse Junior High School. A strong advocate of developing critical and analytical thinking by utilizing inquiry based learning opportunities, he engages his students in a variety of hands-on lab activities and demonstrations. His professional interests include using technology as a platform for student collaboration, and research of Physics based concepts. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he serves as the Varsity and Modified Swimming Coach in the North Syracuse Central School district. In 2007, he was named “Channel 3 NBC Educator of the Week.”  When it comes to teaching in a STEM subject, Mr. Ranieri enjoys seeing the wonder and amazement in his students’ eyes when they get excited about Physics!  As a result of the NYS Master Program, Mr. Ranieri is able to apply more real-life applications, and a flipped pedagogy into his classroom. His favorite quote is “Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of Knowledge.” – Carl Sagan

Kristin Lange ReichertKristin Reichert

Cazenovia Central School District

Kristin Lange Reichert earned her B.S. in Biology from Roanoke College and Master of Arts in Teaching from SUNY Cortland. Mrs. Reichert was inspired to pursue the sciences by her mother and currently teaches eighth grade Science and Living Environment at Cazenovia High School. She has taught seventh and eighth grade Science, Regents and Honors Living Environment, Environmental Science, and Advanced Placement Biology. Karen co-advises Yearbook and advises the International Club as well as students selected to conduct an experiment aboard a manned glider to study the mesophere through the Teachers-In-Space program. Mrs. Reichert is a member and has served on the local board of the Science Teachers Association of New York. When not teaching, she enjoys hiking, exploring the outdoors, and learning more about the fascinating world of fungi. Through her field experiences as a Master Teacher, Karen is determined to build in even more experiential learning activities for her students. She looks forward to continuing her collaboration with other STEM teachers who share her passion for life-long learning. For Mrs. Reichert, there is no greater feeling than seeing a student’s face light up when they have made a discovery or when a concept has clicked.

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Scott SammonScott Sammon

North Syracuse Central School District

Scott Sammon earned his BS in Biology and MSEd  from SUNY College at Cortland.  Mr. Sammon has been teaching for 26 years, and he teaches Advanced Placement Biology and Living Environment at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.  He is a strong advocate for hands on, inquiry-based learning that enables his students to explore science in a way that fosters creativity, communication, collaboration and teamwork, all of which will benefit them as lifelong learners both in college, and in their careers.  Mr. Sammon’s professional interests focus on participating in Collaborative Business Partnerships in the STEM field and working with students as a Science Olympiad coach directly utilizing content in all areas of science in a project based learning environment, fostering a culture of teamwork and excellence.  In addition, he serves as Science Department Chairperson and is a member of the Mid-State Science Olympiad steering committee. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mr. Sammon has participated in various workshops and attended the Honeywell Site Visit.  His favorite part about teaching STEM is the chance to present cutting edge science in an exciting way to his students that ignites a passion and excitement in them to learn more and possibly enter the STEM field.

Carl SchefflerCarl Scheffler

Southern Cayuga School District

Carl Scheffler earned his BS in Polymer Chemistry from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Master of Arts in Teaching from SUNY Cortland, and National Board Certification in Secondary Science Chemistry.  In the classroom for 16 years, Mr. Scheffler teaches Regents Physics, Regents Chemistry, Regents Earth Science, and TC-3 Introductory Astronomy at Southern Cayuga High School.  He also coaches the school’s Masterminds Team, attends Curriculum Committee and Southern Cayuga—Wells College Partnership meetings, and judges Odyssey of the Mind competitions at regional and state levels. During the summer, he and his wife, also a NYS Master Teacher, participate in summer courses, recently attending the NASA-sponsored Astrobiology Summer Science Experience for Teachers (ASSET) at San Francisco State and the SETI institute of California.  ASSET is a science and curriculum institute for high school science teachers during which leading scientists share the latest in astrobiology research, featuring a combination of cutting edge science, inquiry-based teaching and learning, and leadership skills designed to support teachers and teacher trainers.  As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Scheffler is participating in a program at the Boyce Institute at Cornell regarding using algae as biofuel.

Janet SchefflerJanet Scheffler

Auburn Enlarged City School District

Janet Scheffler earned her BS in Biology from Syracuse University, and Master of Arts in Teaching from SUNY Cortland.  In the classroom for 11 years, Mrs. Scheffler has taught Regents Biology, and currently teaches Regents Earth Science and AIS for Earth Science at Auburn High School. Prior to teaching high school, she was an adjunct lecturer in the Biology Department at SUNY Cortland. For Mrs. Scheffler, teaching STEM allows her to share her knowledge about how the world we live in works, while witnessing young minds learn new ways of looking at our world. For her, teaching is about the questions that demonstrate how students are really thinking, and the light in the eyes at those ‘ah ha’ moments. She believes teaching science is wonderful because there is always something new and amazing to learn. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, she has enjoyed collaborating with other Master Teachers, and learning new ideas from seminars presented by experts in their fields in both content and pedagogy, especially, the work of Eric Jensen. One of her favorite quotes about science is, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe." – John Muir

Kurt SchmidtKurt Schmidt

Cincinnatus Central School District

Kurt Schmidt earned his AS in Forestry from Paul Smith’s College, BS in Earth and Space Sciences from The University of Pennsylvania at Bloomsburg, and MS in Land Use from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. In the classroom for 27 years, Mr. Schmidt teaches Earth Science, Aquatic Biology, and Environmental Science at Cincinnatus Central School. He utilizes local resources to teach scientific concepts, to support inquiry based learning for all students. Mr. Schmidt involves himself with students outside of the classroom: He is an Envirothon Coach, and works with the students on a variety of other outside activities.  Each year he takes his Environmental Science classes to Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks, where they experience tremendous personal growth. Mr. Schmidt serves as a District Mentor, is the Chair of the Teacher Center Policy Board, and leads Collegial Circles. His past accolades include a Fulbright Scholarship Award to study and teach in England. He hopes to have a positive impact on his students, his district, and on the development of the teaching profession. As a result of the NYS Master Teacher Program, he has integrated new concepts from workshops and other events to his classroom. He is fond of the quote “Science is simply common sense at its best.” – Thomas Huxley

Kevin SommerKevin Sommer

Jamesville DeWitt School District

Kevin Sommer earned his BS in Environmental Science with a Secondary Concentration in Biology, and MSEd, both from St. Bonaventure University, while serving as an Academic Counselor for the university.  Mr. Sommer has been teaching for 13 years, and he teachers Regents Earth Science and SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry’s Global Environment in the Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District.  His educational philosophy incorporates a variety of engaging hands-on projects.  Past projects have included a solar/wind generation station that powered the varsity scoreboard at Tully High School, an aquaculture system for small mouth bass, and a complete chemical and biological analysis of the Onondaga Creek watershed.  Currently, he is engaged in the design and implementation of an aquaculture system, which will provide vegetables to the local food pantry and tilapia for sale to help finance future student-centered projects.

Ellen SpencerEllen Spencer

Marcellus School District

Ellen Spencer earned her BA in Chemistry from the University at Buffalo and MSEd from Oswego State University.  Ms. Spencer has been teaching for nine years, and she and teaches chemistry at Marcellus High School.  Her main teaching goals involve finding ways to make chemistry relevant to the daily lives of her students at every level she teaches.  She also works to inspire interest in careers related to science.  She does this through involving Cornell PhD fellows in her classroom, continually developing her curriculum to better suit the needs of her students, and reaching out to members of the community who work in related fields.  Her professional interests include focusing on use of technology in the classroom.  Her current projects include participation in Cornell University’s GK-12 Program and participation in a Google Drive Pilot Program in her home district. In addition, she serves as organizer for the Samaritan Center Volunteer Program and is a member of the American Chemical Society.  She loves teaching STEM beacuse STEM fields seek to find greater understanding in the world around us and through this understanding, to find ways to improve the world around us.

Colleen Stevens

East Syracuse-Minoa School District

- Bio Coming Soon -

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Heather TennantHeather Tennant

Lyncourt Union Free School District

Heather Tennant earned her B.S. in Mathematics from Houghton College and her Masters of Education from LeMoyne College. Prior to teaching, Heather worked in credit unions and had worked her way up to credit union manager. She left to pursue her true passion – teaching. Heather teaches seventh and eighth grade at Lyncourt School advises the National Junior Honor Society. She served on the Budget Committee for eight years and spent a year as the math specialist for her school. She has taught as an adjunct professor at LeMoyne College and has several LeMoyne student-teachers. Heather completed her volunteer role as the Middle Level Representative for the Association of Mathematics Teachers for NYS and has transitioned to the district representative position for Onondaga County. She was nominated to Who’s Who Among Students while attending Houghton and Who’s Who Among Teachers while working at Lyncourt. She has served as co-facilitator for the Math Mavens group in central New York and has participated in the Math Leadership Network through Onondaga County BOCES. In her spare time, she loves spending time with family and crocheting. As a NYS Master Teacher, Ms. Tennant presented at the 2017 Annual conference in Albany and has participated in several math PLTs and workshops. She looks forward to continuing to network with other teachers in her region, developing her STEM knowledge to a deeper level, and contributing to the teaching profession through collaboration.

Nan TerryNancy Terry

LaFayette School District

Nan Terry earned her Bachelor’s Degree BA in Geology from Colgate University and MSEd from the University of Vermont.  Mrs. Terry has been teaching for 19 years and she teaches Regents Earth Science and SUNY ESF and The Global Environment at LaFayette High School. A strong advocate for environmental issues, she involves her students in field research concerning diverse environmental issues, depending upon their interests.  Her professional interests focus on training the next generation of science teachers.  Her current projects include serving as the designated mentor to new science staff in her district. In addition, she serves as Executive Council member for the LaFayette Teachers’ Association and is a member of the Science Teachers Association of New York State, the National Science Teachers Association, and the National Earth Science Teachers Association.

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James UlrichJames Ulrich

Cortland Enlarged City School District

James Ulrich earned his BS in Geology from the College of Wooster, Ohio, and MSEd from SUNY Plattsburgh.  In the classroom for 29 years, Mr. Ulrich teaches Regents Earth Science, and Dual Credit Astronomy at Cortland Jr. Sr. High School. He enjoys helping students compare the relevance of their course material to ordinary everyday occurrences, and discover various outcomes to science problems that are not always apparent. Dedicated to strengthening literacy skills, he uses vocabulary word walls and requires written abstracts for each lab report. Outside the classroom, Mr. Ulrich coaches the Science Olympiad Team, Junior/Senior Varsity baseball, and Junior High basketball. As a NYS Master Teacher, he earned his NASA certification, and was then able to incorporate authentic moon rock specimens in his classes. Mr. Ulrich has led star gazing sessions with fellow NYS Master Teachers, and participated in many Make-It-Take-It workshops, allowing him to bring more demonstrations into the classroom. Mr. Ulrich is also known for throwing in a few bad puns now and then…and he ends his bio with these words of wisdom: Just remember I never Metamorphic rock I didn’t like and never take it for Granite. Have a Gneiss day!

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Michelle VanEttenMichelle VanEtten

Moravia Central School District

Michelle VanEtten earned her BA in Secondary Math Education from Niagara University and MSEd from Elmira College.  In the classroom for 11 years, Mrs. VanEtten teaches Algebra 2 Trigonometry, Algebra 1b, Math AIS and Math 12 at Moravia High School in Moravia, NY.  A strong advocate for educating students to be independent learners, she involves her students in the learning process.  She hopes to inspire students to take responsibility of their own learning by using diverse strategies. Her professional interests focus on cooperative learning and teaching for understanding.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she serves as Department Chair for the 7th-12th grade Mathematics Department. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mrs. VanEtten has been a member of the Algebra 2 Professional Learning Team, and attended the 2015 Annual Professional Development Conference. As a result of the NYS Master Teacher Program, she is engaging more with pre-service teachers because she now knows what will be required of them in the future. Additionally, she is looking forward to using flipped lessons in the future.

Christine VarleyChristine Varley

Syracuse City School District

Christine Varley earned her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, as well as an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, with an emphasis in Operations Management. She worked as an engineer/consultant for the United States Postal Service for ten years, managing various project teams to improve service and reduce costs at mail processing facilities across the United States. After relocating to upstate New York, Mrs. Varley earned her M.S. in Mathematics Education from Syracuse University. Mrs. Varley teaches Geometry at Nottingham High School in Syracuse and is the head coach for her school’s Math League team as well as “cheerleader” at many of her students’ extracurricular activities. Christine is a member of the Quantitative Reasoning Center Advisory Council for Le Moyne College. Her professional interests include using analytics to predict and monitor student performance to improve learning, on-time graduation rates, and post-secondary success. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mrs. Varley has built a Sea Perch from scratch, joined a PLT on Flipped Classrooms and explored ways to use Desmos graphing tools. She is excited about continuing to collaborate with other Master Teachers across the region to explore ways to enhance students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills.

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Peter WilderPeter Wilder

Fabius-Pompey Central School District

Peter Wilder earned his BA in Geological Sciences from SUNY Geneseo, BA in History from SUNY Oswego, and MS in Science Teaching from Syracuse University.  As part of the NASA Planetary Geology Undergraduate Research Program, Mr. Wilder worked with Dr. Eugene Shoemaker at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories and Palomar Mtn. Observatory. He has traveled extensively throughout the US and Canada, working as a timber builder, in the gold recovery industries, and in the Arctic, employed by a seismic company. In the classroom for 16 years, he teachers Earth Science and Environmental Sciences through the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in the High School program at the Fabius-Pompey Schools.  Mr. Wilder is strongly motivated to help his students develop a deep understanding of science content.  As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Wilder is a member of the Earth Science Professional Learning Team (PLT), and considers his participation in the Communicating Science Workshop led by the Alan Alda Center a highlight of his NYSMTP engagement. He is currently co-coordinating, with the SUNY/ESF Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, the “Connections” PLT in order to bring added depth of understanding to culturally diverse views of our natural environment.

Rebecca WilkRebecca Wilk

Syracuse City School District

Rebecca Wilk earned her B.S. in Business Administration from Columbia College and M.S.T. in Adolescent and Special Education from LeMoyne College. She is currently working on a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning at Syracuse University. Mrs. Wilk is dually certified in adolescent biology education and students with disabilities and teaches Living Environment in an inclusive classroom at W. Nottingham High School. She is a member of the Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Council and serves as the department data liaison. As a staunch advocate of personalized learning, Mrs. Wilk participates in a fellowship to pilot personalized blended learning in the classroom. Her business background, studies of current brain research, and self-initiated action research projects combine to help her improve student understanding and retention. Mrs. Wilk is a potential published author of a journal article describing her internship in the zebrafish laboratory at Syracuse University, where she worked alongside researchers to better understand how this model organism can be used in urban classrooms to increase depth of understanding of abstract concepts. As a NYS Master Teacher, Rebecca has studied rainforest ecology firsthand and designed curricula to help her students more deeply understand complex issues involved with human impact on the environment. Mrs. Wilk is excited about continuing to expand her knowledge of scientific developments and techniques to encourage her students to become more active in science.

Jason WilliamsJason Williams

Syracuse City School District

Jason Williams earned his BA in Geology from Colgate University and MSEd from SUNY Oswego.  He has been teaching for six years, and teaches Earth Science and SUNY ESF’s Global Environment course at Corcoran High School in the Syracuse City School District.  He believes in diverse learning communities, and therefore advocates for stronger and more equitable public education in urban settings.  His classroom serves as a nurturing environment for learning, and his students are expected to strive for excellence. Mr. Williams’ professional interests focus on the use of learning cycle frameworks to implement more project-based learning opportunities.  He also believes that authentic learning is best achieved through hands-on, experiential education.  In addition, Mr. Williams is currently piloting the Syracuse City School District’s distance learning program, which requires him to use networked equipment to simultaneously instruct students at four different high schools.  He has mentored many students with project entries in the Central New York Science and Engineering Fair, and serves on the Science Review Committee for the Museum of Science and Technology.  His favorite STEM quote is "Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works." – Carl Sagan

Eric WojtalewskiEric Wojtalewski

Solvay School District

Eric Wojtalewski earned his BS in Physics and Master of Arts in Teaching from Cornell University.  Mr. Wojtalewski has been teaching for 13 yars, and he teaches physics at Solvay High School.  A strong advocate for understanding the learning process, he involves his students in discussions of discrepant events, group problem solving, and a tiered approach to gaining understanding of content.  Mr. Wojtalewski’s professional interests focus on flipped classrooms, and his current projects include research into problem and project-based learning.  In addition, he serves as the volleyball coach and senior class advisor to connect with the students outside the classroom.  Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mr. Wojtalewski has participated in workshops on Problem-Based Learning, a mini-course on Hydrofracing, and a conference on Professional Learning Communities.  Mr. Wojtalewski’s favorite STEM quote is, “It’s not what we know that hurts us, it’s what we know that ain’t so.” – Mark Twain This quote resonates with Mr. Wojtalewski because once people know everything, they stop learning. He strives to learn and improve himself every day, in addition to encouraging his students to do the same.

Elizabeth (Betty) WoodElizabeth Wood

Jamesville DeWitt School District

Elizabeth (Betty) Wood earned her BS in Mathematics from Clarkson University, and Master of Science in Teaching from SUNY Potsdam. In the classroom for 23 years, Mrs. Wood teaches Advanced Placement Statistics, Regents Algebra 2 & Trigonometry, and Geometry Lab at Jamesville-Dewitt High School, and serves as the Chairperson for the Jamesville-Dewitt & Syracuse University Teaching Center. She is also co-advisor for Mu Alpha Theta, a national Math Honor Society for high school students, and member of both the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Association of Mathematics Teachers of NYS. Mrs. Wood is a strong advocate for statistics education, and for developing a life-long love of learning. Her favorite part about teaching STEM is when a student who has struggled with a topic finally gets it. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, Mrs. Wood has participated in professional development workshops in mathematics, science and writing. As a result, she has incorporated writing in all of her math classes, and gained confidence to present to colleagues. Mrs. Wood’s favorite STEM quote (from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) is "Do math, and you can do anything."

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