Board of Directors Election
The Nominations Committee of the California Science Teachers
Association presents the following individuals for election
to the CSTA Board of Directors for the 2015-2017 term.
The election is being conducted electronically. CSTA members
were sent links to the online ballot. Members for whom we
do not have current email addresses or who request a paper
ballot were mailed a ballot and links to the candidate statements.
Region 1 Director
Voting will open on April 15, 2015 and close on May
Jill has a broad teaching background that
provides a common experience between herself and CSTA’s
members. She has been a middle school science teacher for
ten years and prior to that she was an elementary science
specialist. Outside of the classroom, she has spent a significant
amount of her time working in teacher professional development.
For the past two years, Jill has served as the Middle
School/Jr. High School Director on the CSTA Board of Directors.
Science education empowers. It empowers curiosity as it provides
ways to know and understand the world, the mind as it develops
a strategy for generating knowledge, the individual as part
of an informed citizenry who makes important life decisions,
and the dreamer as the creator of new solutions in an ever
changing world. As science educators, our role isnâ€™t to just
teach science content, but to provide opportunities that empower.
CSTA’s support of quality science education is critical in
this new era of education reform. For many years, I have supported
CSTA with my membership. Then in 2013 I decided to run for
the board as I wanted to do more and to help shape conversations
for the very things that directly impact our classrooms: standards,
instructional strategies, curriculum, and assessment. As your
president elect I will work tirelessly for CSTA to continue
informing state leaders and legislation, advocate for high
quality science education, expand active support for teachers
and their professional growth, and for the empowerment of
Heather has been teaching high school science for 17
years, primarily geology and environmental sciences. She has
received numerous teacher of the year awards, including recently
the Northern California Geologic Society and the Pacific Section
AAPG teacher of the year awards. She has been active in CSTA
since 2007, serving as the High School Director from 2008-2012,
and the Treasurer from 2012-2014.
I believe science education to be one of the most important
in education, as it teaches critical thinking, analysis and
improves the overall literacy of our youth. It also utilizes
all of the other skills learned from Mathematics, English
and History, incorporating them together to make a well-rounded
member of society. Without these skills, we are not well equipped
to excel in the 21st century. Science education should be
discovery, hands-on, inquiry based, and using technology as
often as possible to lead students to discover the world around
CSTA as an organization is extremely important to the Science
Teachers in California. CSTA follows legislation in California
that directly affects our students, the way we teach science,
and even how much science is mandated and in what grades.
CSTA works to improve Science Education in California by working
with legislators and the State School Board to improve Science
Education, including the adoption and development of NGSS.
I fully support this, and want to continue to be a part of
this organization to help improve Science Education in California.
I believe as one of the largest states in the United States,
California should be at the top of the pack in education once
again. We (California) need to be the leaders in Science Education,
and CSTA helps Science Teachers to become leaders.
Valerie’s entire professional career has been dedicated
to educating students from their early years in kindergarten
through the graduate level with pre-service teachers. She
has taught elementary students for 35 years, including over
twenty years with grades K-2 and has always placed a special
emphasis on science. Valerie is currently serving as the Primary
Director on the CSTA Board of Directors.
My philosophy of science education encourages all students
to think, access knowledge, and apply science in their everyday
life. Today, science education must be based on the three
dimensional learning provided through the Next Generation
Science Standards. While science education begins at home
and in informal settings like gardens, kitchens, museums,
and parks. It is enriched and solidified as children enter
school and go through the grades. When students personally
experience scientific explorations, whether in kindergarten
or AP chemistry, they deeply understand and confidently use
science disciplinary core ideas, practices, and crosscutting
concepts. With the increasing demands by our society to increase
scientific literacy; all science educators must teach students
to think and act scientifically, so they can develop the new
technologies we will need and to understand its implications
for the future.
My vision for CSTA is to promote science learning into every
child’s daily curriculum and life experiences. Primary
and elementary students in particular are missing crucial
skills for success when we fail to capitalize on their natural
curiosity and provide them with daily science instruction
and experiences. To understand our ever expanding body of
science knowledge, students need specific understanding of
scientific disciplinary core ideas, practices, and crosscutting
concepts. This understanding is best nurtured by experiencing
science first hand. Only then can students eagerly apply critical
thinking and science concepts to participate in the technological
revolutions of the future. To assure scientific literacy and
see our students successfully develop and evaluate future
technologies, daily science experiences are a necessity. CSTA
will continue to play an important role in the implementation
of NGSS in the coming years. It will need strong primary grade
leadership to insure that California’s young children
receive the very best foundation in science education. This
foundation must include science for every student, every day,
Marian has 22 years as an educator and has experience
teaching grades 5-11 in both urban and rural communities.
In both instances, she stepped into site and district, then
finally county curriculum leadership roles. She currently
works in the Educational Services Department of the Siskiyou
COE. Marian has served as CSTA Secretary for the past 4 years.
Science education and the need for science literacy - fluency
in scientific thought and content - are why I am in my profession.
I cannot think of anything I value about education more than
providing every student with the ability to assemble evidence
and answer a question using the knowledge of those who have
gone before and the process of inquiry refined through experience.
I see science education as a vital balance when superstition
or lack of knowledge might influence personal health or societal
well-being. While every teacher has a meaningful role in society
and children's lives, the role of science teacher stands out
for its part in sustaining curiosity and providing the voice
and logic in a wonderfully complex world. These critical elements
of education no longer have to remain in the back seat in
California's schools. With the Next Generation Science Standards
(NGSS) transitioning into place, science needs all the support
it can get from educators, policy makers, and organizations
like CSTA to move to its proper place in every classroom.
Prior to being on the board, and now after working with the
board, I have seen CSTA and the invididuals who comprise it
take leadership roles for science education, and live by the
mission and goals. I have supported the organization's efforts
to refine itself to be as current and effective as it can
be - reducing resource consumption by moving to electronic
publications and practices, developing a shared leadership
model, and re-envisioning the design of the annual conference
for example. I am impressed and encouraged by the difficult
but intentional reorganizational decisions CSTA has made to
ensure its financial and philosophical survival during a difficult
phase in California's economic history. Each of these reflects
the deepest commitment, which I share, to provide and promote
science education in California.