CSTA Board Member Biographies
Candidates standing for elections for the 2013-14 year are starred (**)
Rachael Manzer works for as a Science Coach at the Annie Fisher Science Magnet School in Hartford.. Rachael has worked for Suffield, CREC and NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. At NASA, she partnered with scientists, engineers, and mathematicians to bring the latest in science and technology to educators and students across the nation. She is part of the Teachers in Space Program and will (someday) orbit!
Terry Contant is the Science Curriculum and Instructon Specialist at LEARN. During her 30+ years as a science educator, she has worked in elementary, middle schools, preservice education, inservice, and informal settings to excite people about doing and knowing about science. She often says, " I don't know, let's find out!" or "That would be a good science project!" She has served as New London County rep and Vice President of CSTA.
Vice President (2012-2014)
Raymond Cirmo has been teaching physics at Cheshire Academy since 2003. Prior to coming to Cheshire Academy Ray spent twenty six years designing diagnostic and surgical medical equipment for several major medical equipment providers. In his spare time he enjoys his hobbies of restoring antique watches and amateur astronomy. Ray has served as New Haven County Representative.
Betty Catelli(2011-2013) (nominee for 2013-2015) taught at Southington High School for 23 years. Though retired from full time teaching, she still tutors students in chemistry and physics and presents programs on chemistry demos at science teacher conferences. She also enjoys having time in retirement for reading, knitting, and square dancing.
Tiffany Haley is currently a 7th grade teacher at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Middletown. This is her second year in Middletown after teaching for 5 years in Los Angeles. She is the Content Seminar Specialist for new science teachers in the Teach For America program. In this role she provides new teacher support and training for the Teach For America science teachers in Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport. She just completed her sixth year at St. Joseph's college specializing in multiple intelligence theory and art integration. She has assisted in her students participating in Project O and Bioblitz. During the summer she enjoys participating in Earthwatch research projects. She has received three grants for helping with research on sea otters in Alaska, herbivores in South Africa, and Hawksbill turtles in Australia.
Terry Wilson is a grade 5 teacher at Myrtle H. Stevens Elementary School in Rocky Hill. She has taught for 13 years. She holds a BS in Elementary Education, a MS in Special Education, and is currently working towards her Sixth Year Certificate in Educational Leadership. Is was the 2004 Connecticut Presidential Awardee for PAEMST.
Journal and Newsletter Editor (appointed by the president)
Ray Delehant is also the co-editor of the CSTA Journal. A former president of CSTA (1980-84, 1992, 1995-97) he has served on CSTA conference and other committees. He is a Fellow of the Connecticut Academy for Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology, and a CSEAF awardee.
Norm Barstow served as CSTA president from 2004-2006.
Webmaster--(appointed by the president)
Laurel Kohl is the Education Specialist at the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University where she administers http://www.ctenergyeducation.com/, a program for CT high school teachers. She is also one of the committee cochairs for the Connecticut Green LEAF Schools program, www.ctgreenschools.org/ctgreenleaf.htm Laurel is a Connecticut Academy Fellow. She holds an AS in nursing, a BGS in Environmental Earth Science and a MAT in teaching and an MS in Geoscience from Mississippi State University. She served as CSTA president (2006-2008.)
Brian Olsen (nominee for 2013-2015) has been a Science Teacher at Enfield High School for the last 12 years, teaching Physical Science and Biology and also served on his district's curriculum committee for these courses. He holds a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Educational Technology from CCSU, recently earned his Administrative Certificate from Sacred Heart University and hopes to one day become a Science Coordinator for a school district in Connecticut.
A member of both CSTA and NSTA , he was recently appointed to a three year term on the NSTA's High School Science Teaching Committee in June 2013. He participated in the NSTA/UTC Summer Externship Program at Otis Elevator in 2011 and in the Smith College Summer Scientist Program in 2012. In additional to his teaching duties, he is the Head Coach of the Enfield High School Wrestling Team and also serve as Youth Soccer Coach in Enfield.
Bruce Johnson (2011-2013)has been a Science Teacher, practicing engineer and an administrator. As a Science Teacher in Maine I was President of the Maine Science Teachers Association for two consecutive terms. As an administrator I chaired the Maine Science Fair Committee twice. I currently teach Chemistry in Windsor and mentor two First Robotics Teams.
Susan Matthews retired from teaching in Hartford after 37 ½ years. She is currently teaching part time at the University HS of Science and Engineering in Hartford and is an adjunct professor at Capital Community College and Saint Joseph College. In addition, Susan supervises student teachers from St. Joseph College and is a retired "team” mentor in Hartford. She has presented numerous workshops in Biology education and was an MIT visiting scholar studying vasculogenic potential of human embryonic stem cells.
Janet Jochem (2012-2013) (nominee for 2013-15) has been the chair of the Science Department at Wooster School in Danbury, CT since 1997. She teaches Biology and AP Biology as well as a Marine Biology elective. In 2008, Janet and a colleague began the Field Studies in Science Program which takes students to Casey Key, FL each spring to satellite tag loggerhead sea turtles in collaboration with Mote Marine Laboratory. Past responsibilities have included teaching middle school Life Science, serving as Dean of Students for grades 9-12, and Director of the Summer at Wooster Program. Janet has been an active member of the Wooster Community since 1991.
Louise McMinn As a middle school science teacher at Scofield Magnet Middle School in Stamford, Connecticut, I am passionate about science education. Recently I have participated in research on the effects of climate change on trees in Churchill, Manitoba and earthquakes in South Central Alaska. I have examined sediment cores extracted from deep under the ocean and have flown on a zero gravity flight. I believe that all students should be encouraged to step outside their personal comfort zones and strive to try new opportunities. I believe that the Connecticut Science Teachers Association gives teachers opportunities to grow professionally and share ideas that work in the classroom.
Michael Kuszpa (nominee for 2013-2015) I am just completing my first year as a teacher. I am the science teacher at New Haven’s L.W. Beecher Museum Magnet School of Arts and Science teaching grade 7 and 8 science. Before teaching, I served over 8 years as an officer in the United States Army achieving the rank of captain. I discovered my talent for teaching during my year as an Embedded Tactical Trainer embedded with an infantry company of the Afghan National Army. I trained my Afghan unit in counter insurgency operations while conducting combat patrols in eastern Afghanistan. I have an MS in Science Education from Southern Connecticut State University and a BA in Marine Science from the University of Miami.
Heather Toothaker (nominee for 2013-2015) is a 6th grade science teacher at the Engineering and Science University Magnet School (ESUMS) in New Haven. In her fifth year of teaching, her passions include working with students to develop their science and engineering skills, mentoring fellow science teachers through the TEAM process and creating authentic integrated STEM units that engage young minds. This upcoming year her goals include the use of technology and a flipped classroom model. Prior to working at ESUMS she was the Director of Education at Schooner, Inc. Heather hold a MS in Education from University of New Haven and BS in Marine Science from Maine Maritime Academy.
Sherry Mitchell (2011-2013) is a science teacher in West Haven. She has been teaching for 17 years. She also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of New Haven where she teaches science methods classes and multicultural anti-bias classes. She is a BEST seminar facilitator and scorer for the State of Connecticut and is a Fellow of the CT Academy for Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology.
New Haven (2012- 2014)
Alison Crosby I am currently a Biology Teacher at Middletown High School. I am originally from Waterbury, Connecticut, and have spent my whole life living in CT. After high school, I went on to receive a Bachelor's Degree from Quinnipiac University, where I studied Biomedical Science and received a degree in health and science studies. Right after I graduated, I immediately began a Master's Degree program at University of Bridgeport, where I studied Secondary Education with a certification in Biology. While completing my coursework, I completed a 1 year internship and student teaching. I also was the recipient of the "Outstanding Scholarship in Biology Education Award" upon graduating. I am currently finishing up my sixth year and 092 certification in Educational Leadership from Sacred Heart University. I currently live in Wallingford and enjoy reading, running, and volunteering for different organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, and I often volunteer at the Meriden Humane Society.
Lynn Hancock has been a fourth/fifth grade teacher at the Regional Multicultural Magnet School in New London for 15 years where she also serves as the Science Committee chair. She helped to write curriculum for the Connecticut Science Center and has provided professional development opportunities in Inquiry, notebooking, and The Selborne Project, a study of the square kilometer of land around the school. She also successfully participated in the three year Math and Science Partnership program to become an Instructional Coach. Her interests in butterflies, beekeeping, orchid growing, and gardening provide numerous learning opportunities for her elementary students as well as her colleagues.
Ralph J. Yulo, Jr. (2011-2013) (nominee for 2013-2015) Professor of Science Education emeritis, Eastern Connecticut State University and Project Oceanology.
Laura Rodriguez moved to Willington, Connecticut from Greenville, South Carolina eight years ago. Originally from New Jersey, I have lived and taught in Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina and now Connecticut. I earned a BA in Biology from Boston University in 1983; after which I joined the Peace Corps. I was in the freshwater fisheries program in Ecuador, South America from 1983 until 1985. Upon my return to the United States, I enrolled in the MAT program at Wayne State University in Michigan specializing in elementary science education. I received my MAT degree in 1992
I have been teaching seventh grade science at Hall Memorial School in Willington, CT, since 2002. I am presently the 7th grade team leader and a student council advisor. While at Hall, I have been the science fair coordinator and six years ago initiated our first ever entry into the Connecticut State Science Fair. I have been an advisor for our middle school science club and afterschool elementary science club. I have also been an advisor for our school's Science Olympiad and Science Bowl teams.
Lisa Vaudreuil is a grade 3 teacher at Flanders Elementary School in East Lyme. She has taught for 12 years, with the last 10 being in East Lyme. She holds a BS in Psychology and an MS in Elementary Education. She recently completed a 3 year MSP program with the State of CT and LEARN. She coached all third and fourth grade teachers in East Lyme last August on the three phases of inquiry and is planning to work with grade 3 teachers this summer on matter, using an inquiry based approach.
**Middle School (2013-2015)
Angela (Angel) B. Tangney (2011-2013) (nominee for 2013-15)is currently teaching 8th grade science at Thomas Edison Middle School an ACES Science, Math, and Technology (laptop initiative) Magnet School in Meriden CT. She has 27 years of teaching experience 15 years teaching Chemistry/Physics at H.R. Career H.S in New Haven a science magnet school, and served as a team mentor for F.I.R.S.T Robotics for 9 years. Angel has worked on the 9-12 curriculum alignment and initiated the summer S.C.H.O.L.A.R. Program at Yale. Angel is a Yale Peabody fellow and holds a 6th year degree from SCSU in teaching & learning science education. She has served on the CSTA board as Middle School Director since the 2007-08 term and was chosen to serve on the State of Connecticut Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) review committee.
Kristen Record has been a physics teacher at Bunnell High School in Stratford, CT since 2000. With a B.S. in physics from Fairfield University and an Ed.M. in Teaching and Learning Science from Harvard University, she also has a background in hydrogen production and fuel cell research. Kristen is a TEAM Mentor and Cooperating Teacher and serves on her district's TEAM Coordinating Committee. In addition to teaching, Kristen has also been a consultant for the CT Clean Energy Fund and the CT Science Awareness Network (http://www.cleanet.org/) Kristen is a US Department of Energy Academies Creating Teacher Scientists (DOE ACTS) Fellow, as well as a Fellow of the Connecticut Academy for Education, and has presented at several Area and National NSTA conferences. In addition to being the recipient of the 2008 General Electric STAR Teaching Award and the 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, Kristen is also the 2011 Connecticut Teacher of the Year.
Vocational Technical Schools (2012-2014)
Marie DiTaranto teaches science at AI Prince Tech School
**Independent Schools (2013-2015)
Lauren Kelly (2011-2013) (nominee for 2013-2015) has been teaching Biology at Cheshire Academy since 2007. Prior to teaching, Lauren was in school at Saint Joseph College where she was the secretary of the Biological Honor's Society, Beta Beta Beta. During which time she focused on genetics and microbes by working with the genetic differences between freshwater and saltwater species of Foraminifera. Lauren currently has the certifications to teach Advanced Placement (AP) and the International Bachelorette (IB) in Biology.
Patricia Ruane is a past president of CSTA, and served as the coordinator of the NSTA Hartford Regional Conference in 2005 and will chair the 2011 NSTA Regional in Hartford. She also is the current NSTA Region I Director, serving Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Scott Johnson currently teaches second grade at the Capital Region Education Council's University of Hartford Magnet School. His previous positions include Principal of the East Hartford – Glastonbury Elementary Magnet School, which specializes in science, technology and global education, and as the Pre-K –12 Science and Mathematics Curriculum Coordinator for Windham Public Schools. He was also an Assistant Professor at the University of Hartford, teaching elementary science methods. Formerly, Scott taught in and coordinated several enrichment programs in Connecticut and Iowa. He previously served as a CSTA Hartford County Representative for numerous years. Scott earned his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction/Science Education, and M.A. in Educational Psychology/Gifted Education, at The University of Connecticut.
Dr. Kristine Larsen (2011-2013) (nominee for 2013-2015) is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Central Connecticut State University. An Alumna of CCSU, she has been a faculty member at her alma mater since 1989. Although trained in general relativity and cosmology, her academic career has focused on science education and public outreach, both through CCSU's Copernican Observatory and Planetarium and in concert with amateur astronomy groups. She has taught courses and presented workshops for pre-service and in-service teachers, and delivered talks on her teaching innovations at several NSTA conferences. She is especially dedicated to bridging the gap between the sciences and humanities, through courses such as Women's Contributions to Science, The Science of Middle-earth, Science and Science Fiction, and Zombies and 20th Century Science. She is the loyal and obedient servant of five rabbits and two cats.
**Retired Teachers (2013-2015)
Norm Barstow (2011-2013)(nominee for 2013-2015)Retired elementary school teacher, Town of Simsbury ; 27 years with the last ten years as the Elementary Science Coordinator. PIMMS fellow. CSTA Secretary, VP, and served as CSTA president from 2004-2006. NSTA member and FOSS Consultant.