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Thank you for joining this year’s National Conference!

SPECIAL GUESTS

Angie Violante_JNCV20
Lt. Angie Violante

Surface Warfare Officer, USS FITZGERALD (DDG 62), United States Navy

LT Angie Violante was raised in Stratford, CT and participated in JASON XIV “From Shore to Sea” before attending the United States Naval Academy. As a Surface Warfare Officer she has served on-board USS RUSHMORE, USS DECATUR, HMS SEVERN, USS O’KANE, and currently as the Plans & Tactics Officer aboard USS FITZGERALD. Deploying to the Arabian Gulf, South Pacific, Northern Europe, and South China Sea she’s had the opportunity to serve alongside truly amazing Sailors from all over the country.

Tuesday, July 7th 11:45am-12:45pm EDT
Keynote: “Warfighter, Shipdriver, Problem Solver: How Sailors Use Science and Math Every Day in the United States Navy”

Lieutenant Angie Violante, a Surface Warfare Officer and former JASON XIV Argonaut, describes how the foundations of science and math are used daily in at-sea operations all over the world: sailing in rough seas, employing complex radar and weapons systems, and quick mental math during routine maneuvers all require going “back to basics.”

Robert Emery_JNCV20
Dr. Robert Emery

Vice President for Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Dr. Robert Emery is Vice President for Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Professor of Occupational Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health. Bob has over 37 years of experience in health & safety and possesses master’s degrees in health physics and environmental sciences, and a doctorate in occupational health. Bob holds the unique distinction of holding national board certification in seven main areas of health & safety.

Tuesday, July 7th 2:15pm – 3:15pm EDT
Keynote: “Safety and Health Considerations in the Academic Environment”

Educators will receive basic guidance relative to the unique hazards present in the academic environment as well as strategies for minimizing their impact on students and staff.  The goal is to provide a learning environment that allows students to go home each day as safe and as healthy as they arrived.

Luis Ostrosky_JNCV20
Dr. Luis Ostrosky-Zeichner

MD, FACP, FIDSA, FSHEA, FECMM, CMQ, Professor and Vice-Chairman of Medicine for Healthcare Quality, Division of Infectious Diseases University of Texas McGovern Medical School, Houston, TX

Dr. Ostrosky-Zeichner is a professor of medicine and epidemiology, the vice-chair of Medicine for Healthcare Quality, and the director of the Laboratory of Mycology Research, at the Division of Infectious Diseases of the McGovern Medical School. He also serves as medical director for epidemiology and stewardship for Memorial Hermann Hospital Texas Medical Center. He has consulted for the FDA and the CDC. He has been coordinating the COVID-19 response at UTHealth and Memorial Hermann TMC since this outbreak began in early 2020.

Tuesday, July 7th 2:15pm – 3:15pm EDT
Keynote: “CoVID-19: What have we learned so far?”

In this presentation Dr. Ostrosky-Zeichner will review the origin and spread of the CoVID-19  pandemic along with the known and unknown facts about the virus, providing his outlook for the future based on lessons learned.

Brandi Harleaux_JNCV20
Brandi Harleaux

Chief Operations Officer, South Post Oak Recycling Center (SPORC), Houston, TX. Member at Large to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) Board of Directors

As South Post Oak Recycling Center (SPORC)’s Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Brandi Harleaux is responsible for operations and managing expansion of her family’s second generation business in Houston, Texas. Ms. Harleaux is a 2018 recipient of the Pinnacle Award by the Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce, given to impactful and influential businesses. She serves on the Board of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) Gulf Coast Chapter, the Recycling Council of Texas Board and is Co-Chair of ISRI’s National Women in Recycling Council.  She is also a member of the City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity Advisory Board.

Wednesday, July 8th 11:45am – 12:45pm EDT
Keynote: “Recycling Into the Future: Exploring the Closed Loop”

Learn about the innovation across and career opportunities available in the recycling industry. Winner of 2020 Recycling Video & Poster Contest will be announced during this session.

Sam Droege_JNCV20
Sam Droege

Head of the USGS Native Bee Lab, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD

Sam Droege grew up in Hyattsville, Maryland, received an undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland and a Master’s at the State University of New York – Syracuse.  Most of his career has been spent at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.  He has coordinated the North American Breeding Bird Survey Program, developed the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program, the Bioblitz, Cricket Crawl, and FrogwatchUSA programs and works on the design and evaluation of monitoring programs.

Wednesday, July 8th 1:00pm – 2:00pm EDT
Breakout Session: “The Birds and the Bees”

Sam will share his journey from childhood bird watcher to the Head of the Native Bee Lab – with some layovers along the way with the amphibians and butterflies. We’ll explore the important role bees play in the balance of life as we know it – both globally and locally – and we’ll see how Sam’s research is helping us understand these amazing pollinators.

Wednesday, July 8th 3:30pm – 4:30pm EDT
Breakout Session: “Into the Lab & Field”

Join Sam Droege, Head of the USGS Native Bee Lab, as he takes us for a real-time exploration of his lab and garden at the Patuxent Research Center. Sam will share highlights from his research including how bees are collected out in the field and brought back into the lab for identification. This session will include suggestions and ideas for simple activities that educators and students can do in their own backyards.

Talib Graves-Mann_JNCV20
Talib Graves-Manns

Entrepreneur & Innovator

Talib is a fourth-generation entrepreneur and embodies a self-described “Blue-Blood Hustle.” The entrepreneurial history of his family has fueled his passion to build innovative businesses. From 2015-2016, Talib Graves-Manns served as the Entrepreneur in Residence with Google for Entrepreneurs and Code2040 at the American Underground in Durham. Talib is the Co-Founder of four businesses: Knox St. Studios, Point ABLife on Autopilot, and Black Wall Street Homecoming. Across all four organizations, he is responsible for business strategy and growth. Talib holds a Bachelor of Science from Hampton University and a Masters of Business Administration from Wake Forest Universities Schools of Business. He is also the 2015 recipient of the Triangle Business Journal, Corporate Leader in Diversity Award.

Wednesday, July 8th 2:15pm – 3:15pm EDT
Keynote: “The Business of Resilience”

Adaptability, perseverance, and resilience aren’t just key to innovation, they’re key to sustaining business during crisis and changing conditions. Talib will share his guiding principles and approaches to keeping business alive, and his personal journey working towards change for populations who are under-represented in the entrepreneurial world in America.

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The Bug Chicks
Kristie Reddick & Jessica Honaker

Kristie Reddick and Jessica Honaker are TheBug Chicks, entomologists who teach about the fascinating world of insects, spiders and their relatives. Through videos, digital media and live workshops they inspire people to open their minds and learn about these often-maligned animals, mixing in talk of empowerment, personal potential, and helping people realize that “different isn’t bad.” Their drive to create fun, accurate science media has led them to work with some amazing organizations: the U.S. Forest Service, Norman Borlaug Institute of International Agriculture and Microsoft to name a few!

Wednesday, July 8th 3:30pm – 4:30pm EDT
Breakout Session: “Amazon Adventures: Social-emotional Learning”

Join JASON partners Kristie Reddick and Jessica Honaker of The Bug Chicks as they share the behind-the-scenes narrative of their Amazon adventures with the JASON Argonauts, and how bugs have the power to inspire and empower people while challenging perceptions of ourselves, others and the natural world. Brainstorm simple exercises that students can do – even in their backyards or schoolyards – to observe the beauty and wonder of arthropods.

Darine Haddad_JNCV20
Dr. Darine Haddad

Physicist, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Darine Haddad is a Physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She received her Ph.D. in optics, optoelectronics, and microwaves from the University of Versailles, France, in 2004, where she continued teaching and conducting research in the field of optical sensors and dimensional metrology. Since 2006, she is involved in building precise experiments, called Kibble Balances, to measure the Planck constant, first at the Laboratoire National de Metrologie et d’Essais (LNE), Trappes, France, and then at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD, USA in 2008. NIST Kibble balance played an important role in redefining the unit of mass, which led to the redefinition of the International System of Units (SI).

Tuesday, July 14th 11:45am – 12:45pm EDT
Keynote: “From Constants to Units”

The units we use to measure everything have changed forever! On May 20 2019, approximately 60 countries met in Versailles at the 26th General Conference of Weights and Measures and voted to revise the International System of Units. It was a culmination of over two centuries of ideas and experiments to create a system of measurements linked to nature. Join Darine as she describes this transition from basing units on physical artifacts to natural phenomena, and hear her story of how she became a physicist at NIST.

Tony Castilleja_JNCV20
Tony Castilleja Jr.

 Systems Engineer, Global Sales & Marketing, Boeing Defense, Space & Security’s Space and Launch Division

Tony Castilleja Jr. is a systems engineer for Global Sales & Marketing, supporting Boeing Defense, Space & Security’s: Space and Launch division. His areas of focus include the Space Launch System – the world’s most powerful rocket launching the journey to deep space – and development of the full-scale astronaut trainer for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, the United States’ first human-rated commercial spacecraft for low Earth orbit transportation to the International Space Station. Tony’s past Boeing positions include serving as a stress engineer on the P-8A Poseidon aircraft, and as a propulsion engineer for 16 space shuttle missions, working launches and landings for NASA at Mission Control in Houston.

Wednesday, July 15th 11:45am – 12:45pm EDT
Keynote: “Rapid Change – Dream Big: Engineering Your Career to Build the Future of Aerospace”

AldrinFamilyFoundation_RGB
Aldrin Family Foundation

Wednesday, July 15th 2:15pm – 3:15pm EDT
Keynote: “Aldrin Family Foundation”

Join Andrew Aldrin, President & CEO of the Aldrin Family Foundation, a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization  dedicated to harnessing the inspiration of space to ignite a passion for STEAM education in students of all ages and backgrounds.

THE LAST ARTIFACT

Tuesday, July 14th 2:15pm – 3:15pm EDT
Special Screening: “The Last Artifact”

The Last Artifact follows the high-stakes race to redefine the weight of the world and reveals the untold story of one of the most important objects on the planet. The kilogram, the base unit of mass in the International System of Units, helped send humans to the moon and satellites into space.

Tuesday, July 14th 3:30pm – 4:30pm EDT
Breakout Session: “The Last Artifact” Panel Discussion

Join the scientists and engineers of the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) involved in redefining the kilogram for a more in-depth discussion and question-and-answer session following the showing of The Last Artifact.

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Breakout Session Schedule July 8
Breakout Session Schedule July 14
Breakout Session Schedule July 15

CONFERENCE TRAINING TEAM

Grace Allstrom

Grace Allstrom, Content Developer, Project Manager

Grace coordinates the development of new curriculum projects, making engaging and inspiring STEM materials available to kids across the country and around the world. She enjoys collaborating with STEM role models, writers, and teachers to create cutting-edge content. Grace strongly believes in JASON’s mission to bring relevant, fascinating STEM education to all students.

Mary Cahill

Mary Cahill, JASON Trainer
Academic Dean and Science Teacher, The Potomac School, McLean, VA 

Mary Cahill started teaching in 1980 and has been at The Potomac School since 1989. Inquiry field work dominates her sixth and seventh grade science classes, either in the local environment or traveling with her students to Galapagos, Costa Rica, and throughout the United States and Europe. She started using JASON curricula with her students in 1991 and became a national JASON trainer in 1994. Mary also works as a consultant for the National Geographic Society, and has trained teachers in Canada, Japan, and throughout the United States to effectively use a number of National Geographic’s curricula. Mary’s teaching has been filmed to provide examples of best practices for teaching with inquiry. In addition to being a National Board Certified teacher, she has received a Woodrow Wilson teaching fellowship, a Grosvenor fellowship for travel to the Arctic Ocean, a Fulbright fellowship to Japan, and the JASON Education Leadership award.

Deb Hill

Deb Hill, Regional Director, Texas and Oklahoma

Deb came to JASON Learning after retiring in July 2018 from a 28 year career in public education. From July 2009-June 2018, Deb was the Secondary Science Coordinator for Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in NW Houston, Texas, the 3rd largest school district in Texas and the 23rd largest in the nation, educating a very diverse population of over 114,000 students. Deb was responsible for curriculum, assessment, professional development, new and renovated facility design as well as establishing the community partnerships necessary to support over 600 educators and 80 administrators from 33 different campuses. Deb’s role as a coordinator and educator have allowed her to develop a deep understanding of the practices and partnerships that influence and support effective educational systems and the development of STEM literate students. Deb has two daughters who attend Trinity University in San Antonio. Deb enjoys traveling, meeting new people, hiking and attending her daughters’ cross country, orchestra, track, theater and improv comedy events.

Jude Kesl

Jude Kesl, Expedition Leader, Argonaut Program

Jude Kesl is currently the JASON Learning Argonaut Expedition Leader and Adjunct Instructor at three universities in the Milwaukee WI area. Jude is also a Google Certified Innovator and Education Trainer. She has worked as a science teacher, literacy and technology coach, and university instructor in Milwaukee WI, New York City, and other cities around the country. She has also been the K-8 science teaching specialist at the Milwaukee Public Schools district level. Jude is passionate about igniting a love for learning in students and teachers. Jude helped to write JASON Project Curriculum and was the producer for two online simulations for JASON. As the JASON Argonaut Expedition Leader Jude has taken students and teachers on over thirty JASON Learning expeditions to various locations around the world. Jude is responsible for making sure that all JASON Learning participants have a safe and extraordinary learning adventure.

Justin Maffei

Justin Maffei, JASON Trainer
STEM Coordinator, Warren County Public Schools, VA

Justin Maffei spent 5 years in the classroom as a high school mathematics teacher before being hired as STEM Coordinator in Warren County Public Schools in Front Royal, VA. As a high school mathematics teacher, he taught Math 8, Algebra I, Algebra Functions and Data Analysis (AFDA), Geometry, Algebra II, Computer Mathematics, and Pre-Calculus. Justin has Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA with a Secondary Education focus and an Educational Specialist’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. He is currently in the dissertation phase in order to earn my Doctorate in Education focused in Curriculum and Instruction, also from Liberty University. Justin serves on the Executive Board of the Virginia Council of Mathematics Supervision as the secretary and was honored with the 2019 VCTM William C. Lowry Mathematics Educator of the Year Award for the Math Specialist Level.

Denise Martin

Denise Martin, JASON Trainer
Retired Curriculum Specialist, Charlotte D. Burns Science Resource Center, Cypress, TX

Denise has been an educator for 40 years, having taught elementary and middle school science.  Denise and her students were early participants in the JASON Project’s Distance Learning programs at Johnson Space Center.  She just retired as Curriculum Specialist at Cypress-Fairbanks ISD’s Science Resource Center (SRC) in Houston, TX where she trained parents and teachers on SRC programs for the past 20 years! She was recognized for Excellence in Science Teaching by the American Medical Association.  Denise has received two Earthwatch Fellowships; one researching sustainable dyes in Canada and the other with Hawksbill sea turtles in Barbados.  She is a lifelong learner and loves to share her passion for education with students and adults alike.  Denise has two adult children and lives in Historic Houston Heights with her partner and two schnauzers.

Melinda Meyer

Melinda Meyer, JASON Trainer

K-8 Science Coordinator, New Canaan Public Schools, CT 

Melinda Meyer has been a dedicated science educator since 1999.  Her work has inspired students to be curious about the world and confident to take actions to conserve it.  As a science coordinator, Melinda designs curriculum that engages students in scientific phenomenon.  She has been integrally involved in the development of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) from its creation, implementation and assessment, serving in various roles such as a Critical Stakeholder Reviewer as well as Connecticut’s NGSS Review Committee.  Her passion for learning has led her to participate in several workshops such as the US Patent and Trademark Institute on Innovation to support students in developing original products and designs. Most recently, she travelled to Iceland as a Funds for Teachers Fellow (FTF) to study earth’s constructive and destructive forces.  Utilizing real world experiences allows her to make curriculum and content “come to life” for her students.

Cindy McGlynn

Cindy McGlynn, JASON Trainer
Retired Teacher, Goshen High School, NY

Cindy McGlynn has been teaching since 1987, recently retiring from her post as a HS Science Teacher in Goshen High School in NY. Her specialty is getting students out into the field – in  both in the local environment and travelling abroad with students in places like the Rainforests of South and Central Americas, Iceland, Yellowstone, and other unique geologic landscapes throughout the US, including Alaska and Hawaii. She started using JASON with her students in 1997 as a Teacher Argonaut in Yellowstone National Park, and started training for JASON in 1998. She has also worked with and trained educators overseas in addition to helping write JASON lessons. Cindy has worked with the NY DEC, protecting and monitoring Bald Eagle habitat. In addition to being a National Board Certified Teacher, she received Outstanding Earth Science Teacher and New York State Outdoor Educator Award, during her teaching career.

Dee McLellan

Dee McLellan, JASON Trainer
Educator Consultant, Jackson Middle School Observatory in Champlin, MN

Dee has worked in education since 1981, after receiving a degree from the University of Minnesota. She has taught in many settings, including middle school Math and Science, and started using the JASON curriculum with her own children in 1992. Dee has been a teacher trainer, a pilot teacher and curriculum writer for JASON Learning and NASA programs. She is also a NASA Solar System Educator and the recipient of the NASA team achievement award and Smithsonian team trophy award for the STARDUST mission. Dee is the coordinator of the Jackson Middle School Observatory in Champlin, MN and substitute teaches on the side when not entertaining or teaching her 14 grandchildren! She likes to experience life; watch the northern lights, meteor showers, transits, solar & lunar eclipses, rocket launches, and landings on other planets; travel and explore; build and create.

Chris Newlan

Chris Newlan, JASON Trainer
Science Teacher, David Wooster Middle School, Stratford, CT

Chris is a certified 7-12 science teacher and has been an informal and formal educator for over 20 years. He is currently the lead middle school teacher for Stratford where he has taught for 12 years. As an NGSX Exemplar trainer, he is a leader on his district’s NGSS transition team. He was the 2016-2017 teacher of the year in Stratford and was presented the Excellence in Middle School Science teaching award from the Connecticut Science Teachers Association (CSTA) in 2014. In his free time, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters and being active outdoors, especially on the water.

Amy O'Neal

Amy O’Neal, Director of Education & Professional Development

Amy has been a science educator since 1995, working in a variety of informal and formal settings including Mystic Aquarium, East Hampton and East Lyme public schools in CT, and aboard Dr. Ballard’s E/V Nautilus. Her work at JASON Learning focuses primarily on professional development, program design and implementation, and Next Generation Science Standards pedagogy. As a member of the CT Leadership Development Academy, leading NGSX experiences, Amy works and collaborates with many educators throughout the state to support the transition to NGSS. She serves on the Board of the CT Science Teachers Association (CSTA), Southeastern New England Marine Educators Association (SENEME) as Past-President, and the CT Green Leaf Schools Steering Committee.

Shelly Pine

Shelly Pine, JASON Trainer

Shelly Pine is a mathematics educator with 28 years of experience with students of grades kindergarten through junior college.  She completed her undergraduate work at West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Mathematics.  While teaching high school mathematics in Maryland, she completed her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with Western Maryland College.  She currently shares her love of mathematics with the teachers and students of Clarke County, where she lives with her husband, John and her daughter, Kathleen, and a host of animals. She is excited about sharing her love of mathematics and evidence based, research supported math instructional practices with as many audiences as possible.

Julie Richards

Julie Richards, Lead JASON Trainer

Julie has been an educator since 2000, and a Lead Trainer for JASON Learning since 2006.  Her experiences include teaching elementary and middle school, serving as an Instructional Coach and Novice Teacher Mentor in middle and high school, and leading summer camps and Gifted Resource programming in Albemarle County, VA. Julie has trained hundreds of educators from all over the country, tailoring each professional development session to meet the goals and objectives of individual school districts. Julie has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Virginia and her Master of Arts in Teaching from Mary Baldwin College. When Julie is not in a classroom, you will most likely find her riding horses and working bird dogs in Virginia with daughter Kelsey, traveling in South America with daughter Kerry, or talking science with her husband Joel.

Monica Schmidt

Monica Schmidt, JASON Trainer
Retired Science Coordinator, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Cypress, TX

Monica is a certified teacher for grades 1-8 with 35 years of experience as a classroom teacher, instructional coach and science curriculum coordinator in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, a suburb of Houston, Texas.   She holds a B. S. in Education from The University of Texas at Austin, a M. Ed. In Educational Leadership from Concordia University, Austin, as well as Texas Gifted and Talented, English as a Second Language and Principal certifications.  Monica believes that students learn science best through active hands-on experiences and real-world connections.  She constantly looks for ways to connect the content students are learning with future career opportunities.  In her free time, Monica enjoys spending time with her husband traveling to state and national parks in their RV.  She has two grown children and loves playing with her two grandsons.

Patrick Shea

Patrick Shea, Executive Vice President

Patrick Shea is Executive Vice President at JASON Learning, a non-profit organization with a mission to inspire and educate students everywhere through real science and exploration. During his 20+ year career as a digital media producer he combined technical savvy and content production skills to develop science curriculum, educational websites, mobile apps, live events, videos, and digital games for learners in formal and informal STEM learning environments. Along the way, he enjoyed incredible opportunities to travel the world to document and share the work of scientists, explorers and engineers. Highlights include adventures to the Amazon, the Arctic, an active Hawaiian volcano, and the wreck of the Titanic. 

Today, Shea continues providing the next generation with a strong foundation in STEM so as to best prepare them for the future careers and challenges of the 21st century. His management responsibilities at JASON cover a wide range of functional areas including program management, video production, fundraising, and business development.

Eleanor Smalley

Eleanor Smalley, President and CEO

Eleanor Smalley is the President and Chief Executive Officer of JASON Learning. Dr. Smalley returned to JASON after working at the University of Virginia for the Darden Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education, aligning leadership and business practices between state and district superintendents, as the Senior Project Director. Dr. Smalley served 30 years in Public Schools, with 12 years as Superintendent. While Superintendent, she promoted a zero dropout rate, an accelerated learning model, and a collegiate learning model with James Madison University. Dr. Smalley holds a master’s degree and doctorate in Education Leadership from the University of Virginia. She served as an adjunct professor for the Curry School of Education for 12 years. In 2011, she co-authored a book with Dr. Daniel Duke, entitled District Case Studies and Individual Lessons in Leadership.  Dr. Smalley has consulted with Glenville State College in West Virginia and designed a Masters Program in Teaching Science.

Sean Smith

Sean Smith, COO & CIO

Sean Smith is an operations and technology leader with over 20 years of experience in for-profit and nonprofit environments. Some previous roles included CTO and Senior Vice President of JASON Learning, Technology Director with National Geographic, systems engineering consultant for several major nonprofit organizations, entrepreneurial venture co-founder in Beirut, Lebanon, and a regional systems manager for an international technology systems manufacturer and solutions provider.  Sean also served with honor in the U.S. Army as a German and Arabic translator.

Juliana Texley

Juliana Texley, Consultant
Assistant Professor, Lesley University,  Past President – NSTA

Juliana Texley has taught science and mathematics  from preschool to graduate school and served as superintendent of a fast growing school district.  She has led curriculum efforts in environmental, earth and ocean sciences for 20 years, including the development of online coursework and curriculum for JASON. In 2015 she was President of the National Science Teachers Association.  She has served on the boards of the National Science Foundation, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Young Voices for the Planet and Innovation Collaborative.  She has authored seven books and developed the JASON/ISRI Recycling Curriculum. Her current work involves redefining STEM in curriculum and science literature.  She also leads an effort by NSTA and thirteen other agencies to enhance equity through STEM.

Scott Van Beck

Scott Van Beck, Regional Director, New England

Dr. Scott Van Beck served as Executive Director of Houston A+ Challenge, an educational non-profit working with Houston schools to improve leadership and classroom practice, before coming to JASON Learning.  From 1984 to 2008, Van Beck worked as a teacher, principal, and region superintendent inside the Houston Independent School District.  When he left HISD, Van Beck supervised 60 schools and around 54,000 students. In addition to serving JASON Learning, Van Beck also consults with micro-schools and other learning organizations spreading personalized learning throughout the country.  Scott, and his wife Sarah, live in Montpelier, Vermont, where Dr. Van Beck serves on the board of Montpelier Alive and the City of Montpelier recreation committee.  Scott is also active with GirlsBoyzFirst, a central Vermont mentoring program for school-aged children and sings in the Montpelier Gospel Choir.

Valerie Wolterman

Valerie Wolterman, JASON Trainer
Retired Districtwide Campus JASON Coach & Instructor, Fort Bend ISD, TX

Recently retired to pursue her passion for working with educators, Valerie was a middle school teacher at Sartartia Middle School for 15 years where inquiry and investigative labs dominated. She started using JASON curriculum as a supplement in 2015 to increase rigor and integrate STEM and real-world examples. Promoted to districtwide campus JASON coach, Valerie trained and supported middle school science teachers, and shared innovative ways to integrate JASON into lessons while addressing Texas science standards.  She also wrote curriculum, updating and improving classroom instruction. In 2015, Valerie was a JASON Teacher Argonaut on the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) expedition in the Bahamas. Valerie joined the JASON National Training Team in 2017 where she continues to work with educators at both the national and international level. Valerie has two grown children and enjoys traveling worldwide with her husband.

Susan Zelman

Susan Zelman, Regional Director, Ohio

Dr Susan Tave Zelman started her career as a nyc high school teacher . She was a college professor at Emmanuel College in Boston and held research positions at Harvard Graduate School of Education  and  Columbia Teachers College. She served as Associate Superintendent of Massachusetts Department of Education, Deputy Commissioner for Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Ohio. She is the recipient of numerous academic awards and grants from the federal government and foundations.

Recap of the 2019 JASON National Conferences

JNC - Innovating HouSTEM

March 28-30, 2019

Leesburg, VA Conference

JNC Virginia, July 9-11, 2019

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