CSTA Board 2015-2016

Executive Board

Past President (2016-2018)
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.

President (2016-2018)
Louise McMinn 
has taught science in the Stamford Public Schools for over 25 years. She is currently teaching sixth grade computer technology at Scofield Magnet Middle School. She works closely with the science and math teachers at her grade level to encourage their students to develop critical STEM skills.  She encourages teachers to investigate professional development opportunities that allow them to engage in authentic research.

Vice President (2016-2018)
Diane Hart 
was the Litchfield County director for CSTA for the past two years. She teaches science to fifth graders at Forbes School in Torrington where she established a fifth grade science fair in 2009 and coaches the Forbes Paleo Knowledge-Bowl Team. Diane is the district's Elementary Science Teacher Coordinator. She also represents Torrington Public Schools on the Connecticut State Science Assessment Advisory Committee.

Secretary (2015-2017)
Betty Catelli 
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. 

Treasurer (2014-2016)
Thomas Kohl 
has participated in CSTA events for the last 12 years as a spouse and willing volunteer. He is retired from Department of Defense, Navy service in haz-mat management at the Sub Base. He has been treasurer for two Lions Clubs over more than 20 years.

Membership Chair (appointed by the president)
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.

Publications Committee (appointed by the president)
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. Laurel also is an adjunct instructor at ECSU and at Manchester Community College. She served as CSTA president (2006-2008.) Laurel was recognized as a Connecticut Science Education Fellow in 2015.

County Directors

Hartford (2015-2017)
Christine Tedisky
is currently the K-12 Science Curriculum Supervisor for Windsor Public Schools.  As of July 1, 2015, she will be the Director of Science for Glastonbury Public Schools. She taught high school biology, anatomy and physiology, and AP biology for 11 years at Chicopee High School (Chicopee, MA – 1999-2001) and East Windsor High School (East Windsor, CT – 2001-2010) prior to becoming an administrator.  In East Windsor, she also served as the science department chair for four years.  In her current role, she is responsible for curriculum development and implementation, professional development for science teachers, and supervision and evaluation.  She also currently serves on the CSDE Next Generation Science Standards District Advisory Council.  Christine received her BS in Biology from St. Michael’s College (Colchester, VT), and her MS in Education and CAGS in Educational Leadership from the University of New England (Biddeford, ME).

Hartford (2014-2016)
Crystal Caouette

Fairfield (2015-2017)
Eva Bartush
taught 8th grade science at Nathan Hale Middle School  for 22 years.  She is currently serving on the CT State Science Assessment Advisory Committee. Eva received her BS in science education and biology from Florida Institute of Technology, her MS in curriculum from Western Connecticut State University, and pursued addition professional training in educational techology and instructional development from Fairfield University and educational leadership from Southern Connecticut State University. She is certified to teach secondary biology and general science and also holds an Intermediate Administration and Supervision Certificate. Eva is looking forward to serving on the CSTA board. 


Fairfield (2014-2016)
Pat DeCoster has over thirty years of educational experience both as a teacher and administrator in a number of different positions. She has her BA and M,A. in Biochemistry and Biology respectively from Occidental College in Los Angeles, Secondary education certification from St. Mary's College in Moraga, CA and a 6th year in Educational leadership from Sacred Heart University. Presently she is a doctoral candidate studying self-efficacy in secondary urban students for UCONN's EdD program and is the Lead Teacher in Science for Ansonia High School. Pat has been on the CSTA board for more than eight years serving, at  as Treasurer, CEU coordinator and Fairfield Director. She enjoys presenting at NSTA and CSTA Science conferences and is published in the Science Teacher. At home Pat enjoys sailing, kayaking, golfing and walking with her dog, Ollie. 

New Haven (2015-2017)

Stephanie White is the Discovery Lab Teacher at Quinnipiac Real World Math STEM Magnet School in New Haven.  She's been teaching for over 13 years, where the last 7 have been strictly science – grade 5 –6 Science at Columbus school and this year, she is the DL teacher where my main focus is on STEM and Engineering.  She also leads a group of teachers from grade K – 5 as a Science Curriculum Facilitator, who are currently trying to adapt the NHPS Science Curriculum to fit the needs of NGSS.  She has been trained in Inquiry through the CT Science Center and has a true passion for the study of science through hands on learning. Stephanie stated, "I would love to be a part of CSTA to be on the forefront of the NGSS implementation."     

New Haven 

Seat Vacant, Please contact Ray Cirmo if you are interested!


Seat Vacant, Please contact Ray Cirmo if you are interested!

Middlesex (2014-2016)
Seat Vacant, Please contact Ray Cirmo if you are interested!

New London (2014-2016)
Lynn Hancock
has been a fourth/fifth grade teacher at the Regional Multicultural Magnet School in New London for 20 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.

Windham (2015-2017)
Ralph J. Yulo, Jr. 
Professor of Science Education emeritus, Eastern Connecticut State University and Project Oceanology.

Tolland (2014-2016)
Laura Rodriguez
teaches 7th grade science at C.H. Barrows STEM Academy in Windham, CT. She is originally from NJ, but has taught in Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina and now Connecticut. After earning a BA in Biology from Boston University she joined the Peace Corps and worked as a freshwater fisheries extensionist in Ecuador, South America. After returning to the United States, she received her MAT degree from Wayne State University in Michigan specializing in elementary science education. She was selected for an Earthwatch Live From the Field fellowship in 2008 and a NOAA Teacher at Sea fellowship in 2010.

Level Directors

Elementary (2014-2016)
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!

Middle School (2015-2017)
Heather Toothaker
is a 6th grade science teacher and Science Department Chair at the Engineering and Science University Magnet School (ESUMS) in New Haven. In her seventh 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. Her current endeavors include exploring and developing NGSS materials through Project SING and working as an adjunct professor at the University of New Haven teaching Elementary Science Strategies.  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.

High School (2015-2016)
Janet Farquhar
brings a diverse background to the classroom. Janet earned a B.S. in Biology with an emphasis on Pre-Med from Millikin University in Decatur, Il. Janet worked as a phlebotomist and surgical assistant for an oral surgeon while her three children where in school. Janet relocated to Connecticut 10 years ago and received her teaching certificate and MAT from Sacred Heart University. She began her teaching career at the Science & Technology Magnet High School where she has been instrumental in growing the Project Lead the Way Biomedical program. This past year Janet earned her 092 Certificate and has assumed an administrative role at STMHS where she is the PLTW and STEM Coordinator. She is responsible for the continued success of the Biomedical program, STEM curriculum integration, and the launch of a new manufacturing program for students that will position students to not only earn their high school diploma but also an Associate’s degree in Advanced Manufacturing in either 4,5, or 6 years. Janet has also presented nationally at the Magnet Schools of America Conference on a variety of topics.

Vocational Technical Schools (2014-2016)
Marie DiTaranto
teaches science at AI Prince Tech School

Independent Schools (2015-2017)
Charles Alt
has been a faculty member at Greenwich Academy since 2006.  He is currently the Assistant Director of the Duff Center for STEM Initiatives, and teaches in the Science Department (AP Environmental, Biology, Chemistry) and Philosophy Department (Ethics, Philosophy Through Film). At Greenwich Academy, he is primarily responsible for the development of STEM initiatives, including the creation of an experiential learning program, the development of a student internship program, and the organization of subject specific science interest groups, “STEM Groups,” that enable students to share common experiences outside of the classroom.  In addition he has recently pioneered an experiential learning program that enables students to conduct conservation research in the Peruvian Amazon—part of a larger effort to get girls doing and loving science.   

Parochial Schools (2014-2016)
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 (2011-2014)

Charter and Magnet Schools (2014-2016)
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.

Higher Education (2015-2017)
Seat Vacant, Please contact Ray Cirmo if you are interested!

Retired Teachers (2015-2017)
Norm Barstow
For many years, Norm has chaired the exhibits committee for at the Annual CSTA/CSSA Conference.  He is a 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.