Duke Albanese is an education advisor to schools, state education agencies, and national organizations. His educational career spans 44 years and includes long tenures as a superintendent of schools and commissioner of education. For the past decade, he has been a sought-after advisor on policy and practice in the following areas: assisting schools, school districts, and departments of education with the design and implementation of academic reforms intended to improve educational opportunities and prepare all students to access and complete a collegiate education; assisting school districts in strategic planning; defining and implementing healthy youth and interscholastic athletic programs at the middle and high school levels; and advising on the policy and implementation of 1:1 computing technology for teachers and students in schools, districts, and states. From 1996–2003, Albanese served as the Commissioner of Education for the State of Maine and is currently Senior Policy Advisor for the Great Schools Partnership, Inc. in Portland, Maine. As a nationally recognized leader in high school redesign and the school change process, the Great Schools Partnership works to raise educational aspirations and achievement by creating equitable, rigorous, and personalized academic programs that prepare all students for college, work, and citizenship in the 21st century. Albanese is also a founding director of the Sports Done Right initiative, which has been one of America’s leading efforts to strengthen youth and school sports programs. Initially funded by the United States Congress and based at the University of Maine, Sports Done Right has been featured in national news media and in numerous professional publications. Originally hailing from East Providence, Rhode Island, Albanese attended public schools before earning his bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and completing graduate studies at the University of Maine. Albanese has served on several boards and commissions and was, for six years, Chair of the Maine Children’s Cabinet, comprised of the commissioners of Health and Human Services, Labor, Corrections, Public Safety, and Education. Duke and his wife, Nancy, reside in the college town of Brunswick on the coast of Maine. They have two grown children, Derek and Kelsey, of Scarborough and Brunswick respectively, and two grandchildren, A.J. and Ava.
Diana Allen is a 7th grade life and environmental science teacher at Sanford Junior High School. She has taught there for 11 years, and taught at Shapleigh Middle School for two years prior to that. She is passionate about teaching students to respect their environment, to apply all that they learn to make the world a better place and that they can achieve great things if they are willing to do the work. She successfully completed the two-year Governor’s Academy for STEM Education Leadership. She is president-elect for the Maine Science Teachers Association, vice chair of the Maine STEM Council, was on the school board in Wells-Ogunquit for five years, and coaches cross country and track and field. She has a B.S. and a M.S. degree from USM. She is currently working on her National Board certification.
Dr. Sue Allen is a Senior Research Scientist at the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA) and director of Allen & Associates, an evaluation consulting firm based in Newcastle. Sue works on MMSA’s STEM Guides project and leads the Noyce-funded “Afterschool Coaching for Rural Educators in STEM” (ACRES) project. She is an external evaluator for the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach at Tufts University on a project to integrate engineering and literacy in elementary classrooms. Prior to her work at MMSA, she held positions at the National Science Foundation and the Exploratorium in San Francisco. She contributed to the Framework for Evaluating Impacts of Informal Science Education projects, and served on the NRC consensus committee on Learning Science in Informal Environments. Her Ph.D. is from the interdisciplinary Search for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (SESAME) program at U.C. Berkeley.
Erika Allison is a mechanical engineer who left the corporate world to encourage more youth to consider STEM careers. She taught high school science and mathematics in Harlem, directed an engineering education non-profit in NYC, and spent the last five years working to strengthen science education in Maine classrooms as project director for the RiSE Center at the University of Maine, where she directed the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership and Maine Elementary Sciences Partnership.
Jon Amory was an advanced robotics engineer for five years at Boston Dynamics where he helped design a number of robots, including BigDog, RiSE, RHex, and LittleDog. Through volunteer work with students, he came to realize that the skills that made him a successful engineer were not the skills he had learned in high school or that he saw being taught in high schools. This realization moved him to teach. Before becoming a founding faculty member at Baxter Academy for Science + Technology, Jon taught engineering for four years in Freeport. There he focused on teaching skills through large-scale, student-led, real-world projects, such as a wind tunnel that clocked the highest wind speeds ever recorded in Maine. These projects were the inspiration that led Jon to design Baxter Academy’s unique Flex Friday program.
Elizabeth Baker has been a science teacher at the Belfast Area High School for the last 16 years. She has taught earth science, AP environmental science, biology, and AP biology. Prior to that Ms. Baker worked in the clinical labs at Penbay Hospital. She has also worked in clinical labs in Exeter NH, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge as well as DMA and RAM research for Millennium Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge. She has a B.S. in medical technology from UNH and an M.S. in biological science from UMass.
Dunkin Birkbeck & Clementine Blaschke are 10th grade Yarmouth students involved in the Upweller project with Mr. Cuthbert.
Gayle Bowness has been working at Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) since 2005. She currently serves as Science Education Program Manager. She works with GMRI staff and educators from across the state to create, test, and develop meaningful science and math learning experiences for Maine’s students. Gayle has a B.S. in marine science from Dalhousie University and a B.S. in science education from Unity College. She received a M.S. in ecological teaching and learning from Lesley University. Prior to coming to GMRI, Gayle worked throughout North America, from Hawaii to Nova Scotia, leading educational and immersive marine science experiences.
Alexandria Brasili is a marine science and aquaculture educator at Herring Gut Learning Center in Port Clyde. She has extensive experience in marine systems, educational program development, youth work, grant writing and communication. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Bowdoin College and a master’s degree in science education from Oregon State University. While at Herring Gut, Brasili has worked to develop, instruct, and fund educational programs with students in grades K-12. Programs at Herring Gut are designed to engage students in authentic inquiry into issues and topics that are meaningful to students who live in a coastal community. In addition to school year programs, Brasili also created a summer work skills development program (First Work Experience) for local teenagers, which is currently in its sixth year, having provided over 100 students with an opportunity to gain work skills and experience in aquaculture and gardening.
Dr. Pamela Buffington is Co-Director of Science and Math Programs at Education Development Center and is co-PI on two NSF-funded projects. She leads technology professional development for middle and high school mathematics teachers for Maine Learning Technology Initiative, serves as lead TA support for STEM related Investing in Innovation(i3) grantees, serves as Regional Educational Laboratory -Northeast and Islands liaison to Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, and facilitates REL-NEI’s Northeast Rural Districts Research Alliance. Dr. Buffington has extensive experience as professional development leader, mathematics, physics, and computer science teacher, school and district technology coordinator, and has taught mathematics education and educational technology courses in higher education. She also served as PI for several professional development and research projects.
Alaina Clark grew up around the lakes and forests of southern Maine and fell in love with environmental science when she was in a third-grade musical teaching people about recycling and carpooling. Since then, she has taught students along Maine’s coast, among Washington’s mountains and rainforests, on top of Minnesota’s frozen lakes, and within the sandstone and coal canyons of Alabama. After years of traveling, Alaina is thrilled to be back in Maine as the STEM Collaboration VISTA with Maine Campus Compact. VISTAs in her position in the past helped create and disseminate a “Landscape Analysis” of STEM education in Maine and analyze the need for collaborative partnerships in STEM between K-12 and higher education. Alaina’s position is to provide technical assistance in forming these collaborations. She would love to help further the passion and collaboration occurring at the STEM Summit into partnerships that can benefit students of all ages.
Jane Crowley is a classroom teacher with more than twenty years’ experience. She has taught sixth, seventh, and eighth grade social studies, language arts, and mathematics. She has held a variety of leadership roles including developing curriculum and professional development programming and serving as a literacy coach. Currently, Jane is the RTI coordinator for Grades 6-8 at Greely Middle School and works with sixth grade students who struggle with reading and writing. She is a graduate of Bowdoin College and earned a master’s in business administration from University of Kansas. After moves to Chicago and Connecticut, she shifted gears toward education and has been a teacher ever since. She earned a certificate of advanced studies from USM in 2008 and a doctorate from the Muskie School of Public Policy at USM in 2015. Her phenomenological interview study is entitled “A View from the Bottom: The Self-Perceptions of Highly-Regarded Teachers”.
John D’Anieri is the founding Head of School at Harpswell Coastal Academy, a place-based, project-based public charter school in Midcoast Maine. He recently founded the Propeller Project, a non-profit focused on incubating, replicating and scaling innovations that prepare young people to live, work and create in Maine. He was part of the founding faculty of Poland Regional High School, led the start-up of Casco Bay High School in Portland on behalf of Expeditionary Learning Schools and has worked as a start-up school consultant for several Gates Foundation-funded projects, including the Great Schools Project, the National School Reform Faculty, and the Small Schools Project in Ohio, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and Washington.
Micah Depper is a founding faculty member of the Harpswell Coastal Academy, a Public Charter School specializing in place-based, project-based, and proficiency-based learning. He teaches STEM and serves as curriculum leader for the school.
Heather D’Ippolito has been in education since 2005 when she entered the New York City Teaching Fellows program. She found her passion for ‘real world’ and project-based learning teaching English in Brooklyn, when she collaborated across content areas to help students examine the United Nations role in the Bosnian War. Most recently, she has begun a new chapter in her role as partnership and outreach coordinator at Baxter Academy for Technology and Science. In this work, she aims to connect students with opportunities within the community to enhance learning that is done within the classroom.
Dr. Francis Eberle is the Principal of SE Consulting supporting states, organizations and individuals with strategic planning, research, coalition building, leadership development, and education policy review and development. Previously he has held executive roles at the National Association of State Boards of Education, the National Science Teachers Association and the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance. During that time, Francis was integral to developing the new science standards, two innovative online platforms, and advocating support for quality science education and education policy for all students. His current portfolio of work is in states around the implications for the Every Student Succeed Act, vision, deeper learning, STEM and with non-profit organizations the focus is on improving STEM education and leadership development. Francis has published many articles on science education and policy as well as co-authored four books. He has been a middle and high school science teacher and higher education faculty. Eberle graduated from Boston University, University of Connecticut; he received his Ph.D. from Lesley University and attended Harvard Business School’s Executive Management Program for nonprofit management.
Jerry Ellner is the National Director of High School Development at Universal Technical Institute, the nation’s leading provider of training for aspiring auto, motorcycle, diesel, marine and collision repair technicians. In this role, his expertise in managing admissions and enrollment, and developing and fostering relationships with high schools has enabled hundreds of schools nationwide to better understand the value of a technical, STEM-based education. Ellner serves on the STEM Education Coalition Board of Directors in Washington, D.C. He is also a member of the Industry Workforce Needs Coalition and the Opportunity Nation Coalition. Ellner is a Vietnam-era veteran and served as a combat intelligence specialist in the United States Army. He is a graduate of the Joel Hornstein School of Middle East Studies at Brandeis University. He is the father of four adult children and grandfather of nine grandchildren. He lives in Manchester, NH.
Lynn Farrin is a STEM Education Specialist at Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA). Her work is primarily in the areas of science and engineering education professional development for K-8 teachers, connecting literacy to science and engineering, mentoring, and teacher leadership. Prior to coming to MMSA in 2004, Lynn taught middle school science and mathematics for 15 years. She is a Fellow of the Maine Governor’s Academy for Science Education Leadership and received a state-level Presidential Award for Excellence in Secondary Science Teaching in 1999. She serves on the board of Maine Science Teachers Association and was National Science Teachers Association’s District II Director, 2012-2015. Lynn graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington with a degree in Secondary Science Education (Biology) and earned her M.Ed in Science Education at the University of Maine.
Joy Gould is a Project Manager for Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc., one of the three workforce boards in Maine. Her focus is on developing career pathways in the information technology, health care, and advanced manufacturing sectors. Joy has nearly 20 years of experience in workforce development and management of industry led initiatives. She connects employers, educators and job seekers to create a pipeline of talent for in-demand, high growth occupations in the coastal regions of Maine.
Ethan Frederick is a senior at Baxter Academy for Technology and Science. He came to Baxter in its first year to explore STEM opportunities, and he has continued to do so for four years. He was on a team of students that won the University of Maine’s Wind Blade Challenge. He is currently designing auxiliary programming to engage middle school students in STEM learning. Ask him about wind turbines, fencing or beekeeping!
Karen Giles is the director of the Robotics Institute of Maine. She is Maine’s regional director for FIRST Robotics Competition and the lead mentor of Hall Dale High School’s Delta Prime Robotics team. She is currently the vice president of the board of directors of REM in Waterville. She has also been a successful therapeutic horseback riding instructor and was an ed. tech in Augusta schools. Karen has studied commercial illustration and small business administration, at Cazenovia College in New York and at UMA.
Meggie Harvey is a Science Curriculum Specialist for the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI). She works with the vital signs team to help Maine middle and high school teachers integrate authentic science research into their curricula. Before joining GMRI, Meggie worked as a 7th grade science teacher in Chicago and Skokie Public Schools in Illinois. In that role, she implemented problem-posing science curricula for middle schoolers, valuable experience which will inform her work with our education team. Meggie earned her undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University, where she also captained the rugby team. Later, she earned her master’s in education from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Brooke Haycock is former high school dropout from an urban public school system. She has been a playwright-researcher with The Education Trust for more than a decade. Her issue-focused docudramas, based entirely on interviews with students and educators, transform research into performance, exposing the stories behind the data and driving straight to the heart of debate around equity in schools. Brooke is the author of Education Trust’s Echoes From the Gap series, and her other off-stage writing, focused on student stories and message communication in schools, has appeared in Phi Delta Kappan and is regularly featured in Ed Trust’s blog, The Equity Line. She holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of California–Santa Barbara and a master’s from Johns Hopkins. https://edtrust.org/team/brooke-haycock/
Erich Hunter is President and CEO of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics Foundation in Limestone, ME. In this role he leads the MSSM Foundation in the pursuit and support of improved STEM educational experiences for students at MSSM and throughout the state. He strives to build connections between industry, students, alumni and the school through unique partnerships and works to strengthen MSSM’s role as a leader in education throughout the state. He is a graduate of the pioneer class of 1996 at the magnet school, where he experienced first-hand the unique educational environment that the Maine School of Science and Mathematics has to offer students from across Maine. A native son of coastal Washington County Maine, Erich grew up hiking in the woods of Cobscook Bay State Park and boating on the waters of the Passamaquoddy. In his off time, he can be found kayaking the rivers and lakes of Maine. He holds a Bachelor of Science in public administration from the University of Maine system.
Andrew Johnson has been a business manager at Apple Inc. since 2010. An ambitious and strategic thinker who is focuses on the big picture, he creates and maintains strong relationships by establishing trust and rapport. His past experience includes seven years at Situation and two years at Jive Records in NYC. He received a B.A. in business and jazz composition at Berklee College of Music in 2000. His goal is to be an insightful resource by understanding business from an ever-changing and unique perspective.
Laura Millay, Research and Evaluation Coordinator for the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE), facilitates interdisciplinary STEM education research, coordinates program evaluations, and designs formative feedback loops to support improvement efforts in PK-16+ STEM education. A native Mainer from Hancock County, Laura has founded two Maine-based non-profit organizations, managed a 200-acre organic farm business, led Appalachian Trail construction crews from the Smoky Mountains to Maine’s Hundred-Mile Wilderness, and lived in rural Thailand for two years. She has a B.A. in international development from Brown University and is currently working toward a master’s in science teaching and certification to teach high school science and mathematics through the University of Maine. She is a single parent to two children, ages 7 and 9, who attend the Bangor public schools.
Alison Miller is an assistant professor in education at Bowdoin College. She earned her Ph.D. in science education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She conducts research that focuses on student learning and engagement with science practices in the context of STEM education. She is particularly interested in students’ engagement with practices around model use in the context of Earth Science and in pedagogical strategies and educational contexts that support such engagement. Her recent work includes a manuscript, “Investigating the Impacts of Targeted Professional Development around Models and Modeling on Teachers’ Instructional Practice” (in review) and a paper entitled “Examining the Relationship between Physical Models and Students’ Science Practices,” which she presented at the NARST Annual International Conference in April, 2016.
Rebecca Millett. Maine State Senator Rebecca Millet has represented district 29 since 2012 and is the Senate chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs. Before that she was an independent consultant, technology projects manager at the Children’s Aid Society, business manager at the Center for Urban Community Service, Times Square Hotel, New York, on the Economic Development Team for Ukraine, Peace Corps and assistant vice president, Mitsubishi Bank, New York. Senator Millet has a B.A. in international relations and a B.S in business administration from American University, Washington D.C. and a M.B.A. in finance from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Jan Mokros, Senior Research Scientist at Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA), is principal investigator of MMSA’s NSF-funded STEM Guides project and co-leads MMSA’s Reach Center project. She served as MMSA’s executive director from 2008 to 2014. She also serves on the Governor’s STEM Council. Prior to coming to MMSA, Jan worked at TERC, where she authored curriculum and directed projects to bring math to science centers, zoos, aquariums, and after-school programs. Jan has developed activities, games, and a book for parents to help incorporate engaging math into their everyday family lives. She also has been involved in higher education as a professor and administrator. She launched San Francisco State University’s Center of Science and Mathematics Education, which focuses on recruiting and retaining K-12 science and math teachers. She holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Minnesota, Institute of Child Development.
Dr. Mike Muir has been an educator for 30 years. He has been a high school and middle school mathematics teacher, a middle grades technology integrator, a university practicum supervisor, a professor of middle grades education and educational technology, an educational developer and manager (including projects in Philadelphia, PA; Chester, PA; Fairbanks, AK; and Buffalo, NY), and a consultant. As Multiple Pathways director for the Auburn School Department, he supported the district’s large-scale school change initiatives that included customized, proficiency-based learning and the country’s first primary grades 1to1 iPad initiative. Mike has been an active member of MLTI, Maine’s statewide learning with technology initiative, and now directs that initiative as Learning Through Technology director at the Maine Department of Education.
Margo Murphy is a science teacher at Camden Hills Regional High School. She teaches freshman global science, AP environmental science and a sustainable agriculture elective. She works with an award winning student group, the Windplanners, focused on long-term sustainability. She taught science for 22 years at Georges Valley High School where she served as department chair, K-12 science team facilitator, HS-MLTI teacher leader, NCLB teacher quality PD coordinator, and Eisenhower/Title II coordinator. Margo chairs the National Academies Teacher Advisory Council (TAC) and serves on the board of the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance. She was a member of the Board on Science Education in the Center for Education at the National Academies (2004-2006). In 2003, she became a National Board certified teacher in earth and space science. She received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 1994 and the Presidential Innovation Award in 2013. Margo received her B.S. in forest management in 1985, and her M.Ed in secondary science education in 1992, both from the University of Maine.
Dr. Jennifer Page, Director of Education at the Hurricane Island Foundation, a science, sustainability and leadership non-profit in midcoast Maine. She has degrees in marine science and biology from the University of Maine and Georgia Tech and has spent five years as a public school science teacher in Bangor. Jenn is passionate about bringing authentic research experiences and inquiry based curriculum to students and supporting teachers through a variety of professional development opportunities.
Emanuel Pariser is Director of Instruction at the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences, which he designed and co-founded in 2011. Previously he cofounded and codirected the Community School (now Wayfinder Schools) in Camden for 36 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lindsay Pinchbeck is Director of Sweet Tree Arts and founder of Sweetland School, a Reggio-inspired arts integrated program in Hope. She has been teaching in art and alternative education settings for the past 17 years. Art, she says, can be shared by all ages and all abilities on many levels: “We create as active participants, engage as observers and share experiences together that enrich our lives and build empathy when we explore the world through the arts.”
Dr. Nicole Poulton is a Research Scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. Her research primarily focuses on phytoplankton ecology, including harmful algal blooms and role of phytoplankton in the global carbon cycle. Her research uses unique imaging tools to examine phytoplankton in its natural environment. She received a B.S. and B.A. (’93 biology and ’93 chemistry) from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D (2001 biological oceanography) from the MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program. In addition to her research she is very active in education and outreach at Bigelow Laboratory and directs the Laboratory’s high school Keller BLOOM Program and BLOOM Educators Program a professional development workshop for Maine educators. Dr. Poulton is also a Research Professor at Colby College and teaches part of the Fall Semester-in-residence program for Colby College Students at Bigelow Laboratory.
Pamela Rawson has taught high school mathematics all over southern Maine for nearly 30 years. In addition to her teaching, she has designed professional development experiences for mathematics teachers focusing on instruction and effective use of technology. She is a past president of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Maine, the 2011 recipient of the Jacqueline Mitchell Mathematics Educator Award, and a certified Texas Instruments T-cubed Regional Instructor. Pam is thrilled that her most recent educational journey has been as a founding faculty member of Baxter Academy for Technology and Science
Andrew Sandweiss, a 2015 graduate of Bangor High School, is a sophomore at Yale University studying architecture with a concentration in urban studies. His involvement with STEM began in 2012, when he entered the STEM Academy at BHS. Throughout his remaining years of high school, Sandweiss worked on developing strategies to mitigate the climatic phenomenon El Niño, specifically working with its recently-discovered variant: El Niño Modoki. During this time, Sandweiss participated in a number of national science competitions that culminated with an invitation to present his work at the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research’s conference on “Climate Change and the Future of Water,” held in Abu Dhabi in 2014. At Yale, he has chosen to pursue his interest in architecture, but still works within the sphere of sustainability. He works as a Research Assistant at Yale’s Office of Sustainability and is the website manager for Urban Studies at Yale.
Molly Schauffler, is Assistant Research Professor at the University of Maine in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences, the Center for Research in STEM Education, and the Climate Change Institute. She also coordinates lab science programming at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center. Her research background is in paleoecology, plant, and environmental sciences. Since 2009, Molly has worked with colleagues at the University of Maine, Schoodic Institute, and with Maine teachers to create the Maine Data Literacy Project, a professional community devoted to improving how students turn data into evidence, especially when learning science. She consults part-time with Tuvalabs, an online data literacy company for K-12 education, small businesses, and NGOs around the world.
Jonathan Shemwell is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he majored in physics and bridged to a master’s degree in applied physics from Johns Hopkins University. In his early career, Jon served as a U.S. Navy submarine officer, after which he worked as a mechanical engineer in the private sector. In 1998, Jon realized for the first time his childhood dream of becoming a teacher. He taught physics in urban public schools in Chicago for eight years, achieving National Board Certification midway through this period. Jon completed his Ph.D in education at Stanford University in February 2011. His research is dedicated to finding more effective ways for people to teach and learn science. Current topics of interest are scientific modeling and reasoning, transfer of learning, and perceptual learning. Jon teaches courses on science teaching, principles of science education, and research methods.
Anita Smith taught grades 3 to 6 for 25 years, and has her master’s degree in science education. She has been a Maine Project Learning Tree facilitator and serves on the state steering committee. She currently volunteers as a coordinator for the China School’s Forest and leads activities and day camps for the community. She is a Maine Master Naturalist and loves to help people explore the natural world around them.
Douglas Snow is National Manager of Strategic Projects for Education Professional Services at Apple, Inc. For the past fifteen years Douglas has been responsible for the oversight and implementation of programs in Maine, Los Angeles, Chicago and NYC. These are some of the largest, longest running education technology initiatives in the US and are aimed at providing learner-focused opportunities using Apple technology. Prior to working in Maine, Douglas served as Director for the VT/IBM Reinventing Education Partnership that involved a multi-million dollar grant program from IBM designed to develop educational software tools to support standards-based curriculum, instruction and assessment aided by technology. Douglas has also worked at the state and district levels on several curriculum, instruction, and assessment projects, and has worked as director of educational technology at the school, district and state levels. Douglas co-authored a powerful software tool titled “The Electronic Portfolio” and a Video Portfolio Assessment Tool called “SmartMove.”
Eva Szillery is a mathematician. She earned her Ph.D in mathematics at the Eotvos Lorand University (Budapest, Hungary). In 1998, she founded the Maine Mathematics Science and Engineering Talent Search (MMSETS) program. The program started as a nonprofit organization committed to better and equal access to learning problem solving in mathematics in connection to engineering, computer science, engineering with special emphasis on architecture. In the past 18 years MMSETS expanded to offer various mathematics, problem solving and junior engineering classes – preparing students for nationwide mathematics competitions and with this assisting students to excellence in strong work ethic in college and graduate school studies and beyond. Szillery received the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation Educator Recognition Award for Programming Excellence for founding and directing the MMSETS Program. Through these activities she started Modular Origami as a crossover of art and foundation for stronger spatial vision or more in-depth understanding of architecture, structural engineering combinatorics and robotics.
Yvonne Thomas works closely with island and coastal schools to develop and implement place-based and experiential education programs that address their unique educational challenges and opportunities. She has a B.A. from Connecticut College and an M.A. from Lesley University and holds Maine DOE school counselor and assistant principal certifications. Yvonne served as the school counselor for many years on the islands of Vinalhaven, North Haven and Matinicus. She lives on Vinalhaven with her family.
Gabe Weiss is President of the Yarmouth Education Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) organization that serves to raise money for enriching and enhancing Yarmouth students’ educational experience. The YEF grants funds for innovative educational projects and initiatives that fall outside the school budget and supports the curriculum. Gabe joined the board of YEF three years ago and became president last year. Both of Gabe’s parents taught French at Colby College and he grew up in Sidney. He now lives in Yarmouth with his wife and two sons, and works in South Portland in the legal department at WEX Inc.
Nate Wildes is Engagement Director for Live and Work in Maine. He is focused on enabling people to seize the many opportunities for living and working here in Maine. A University of Maine graduate who followed employment to the mid-west only to come running back to the “Way Life Should Be”, Nate knows first-hand how under-appreciated our quality of life is, and how much opportunity there is for our future.
Bill Zoellick studied curriculum evaluation with Robert E. Stake at the University of Illinois in the early 1970s, followed by a 30-year career in computer science, software development, and management consulting. He returned to education research in 2005 and has since served as principal investigator or co-PI on a number of grants funded by the Maine Department of Education, NOAA, and NSF. He has also served as a reviewer for NSF proposals. His research focuses on teacher participation in communities of practice, teacher leadership and its relationship to project scalability and sustainability, rural school improvement infrastructures, and the intersection of informal and formal science learning.