California Science Teachers Association Board of Director Elections
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Board of Directors Election -

2017-2019 Term

On April 17, 2017 voting for the 2017-2019 elections begins. Most members will receive their ballots via email. Some will receive paper ballots in the mail. If you were a member on April 17, 2017 and didn't receive a ballot, please contact the office at 916-979-7004 or


Shawna Metcalf

Shawna Metcalf is the Science Teacher Specialist for the Glendale Unified School District. She currently serves as CSTA's Region 3 Director, has presented at CSTA's California Science Education conference and the CA NGSS Roll Out, and written for California Classroom Science. Additionally, Shawna served as a member of the Science Curriculum Framework Evaluation and Criteria Committee for the State of California.

All students have the right to a solid science education. This education should prepare them to be critical consumers of scientific information throughout their lives, but should also foster their innate curiosity of the world. Science is more than just a book of facts; it is the process of making sense of the world around us and science teaching and learning should reflect this. It is the role of science education to provide students with a conceptual understanding of the natural world and the skills needed to apply this understanding throughout their lives.

CSTA has two main roles that resonate with me: advocating for high quality science education and supporting the teachers who provide this education. As a teacher who spent the better part of my career in the silo of my classroom, I have recently discovered the immense value of having an organization of volunteers who advocate for and support every teacher, whether they are in their silo or collaborate with others. CSTA supports science teachers, not just members, and because of this, we have an ever growing pool of science education leaders statewide who are making science a priority in schools.

Jeff Orlinsky

Jeff Orlinsky is a Science Teacher at Warren High School in the Downey Unified School District. He served as CSTA's High School Director and has presented at CSTA's California Science Education conference, written for California Classroom Science, and been presenter at the CA NGSS Roll Out. Additionally, Jeff served as the committee chair for the Assessment and Testing Committee in the California Teacher's Association. 

I love teaching science. It is my goal to make science fun, entertaining and attainable for my students. Science is more than the vocabulary found in textbooks or tests. It is how we progress in society. Every day we learn a little more about our world and how it fits in the universe. I want to make that information understandable to my students so that when they grow up, they can make better informed decisions. Along the way, I hope to inspire students to enter the field of science.

I believe my view of science and science education aligns very nicely with CSTA's vision and goals. Every day in my classroom, I encourage my students' curiosity. I offer hands-on experiences, so my students can ask questions and learn how science works. Scientific literacy is very important to me as I know it is to CSTA. An educated population can make more informed decisions regarding medicine, the environment, and the value of learning. I feel CSTA should be a critical player in the approval and development of science curriculum in the state of California, especially in Kindergarten through eighth grade


Brennan Brockbank

Brennan Brockbank is the K-8 Science Coordinator for the Ravenswood City School District in East Palo Alto. He has presented at CSTA's California Science Education Conference, serves on the Conference Committee, and has written for California Classroom Science. Additionally, Brennan is the president and chair of the Council of Science and Math Educators of San Mateo County.

I believe that public schools are the backbone of a democracy. Science plays a critically important role in schools because it builds and organizes knowledge about the world around us. Students study science to make sense of their world. Science teachers help students explore the world, from the insides of a cell to the planets beyond our own. Science and engineering hold the answers and solutions to a changing world. Educating our children to be literate in science is the key to a prosperous future.

The CSTA plays an important role in shaping the landscape for science teachers in California. As a professional association, the CSTA is highly effective at supporting the networking and professional development needs of science teachers in our state. Strong leadership in science education is essential for fostering an environment that fosters innovation and growth. The CSTA is important for growing the leadership capacity of science educators in California. Recent research on how students learn science has shifted our thinking about teaching science. The CSTA has a public interest in promoting quality science education to create a science literate population.

Elizabeth Cooke

Elizabeth Cooke teaches Engineering concepts and project based inquiry to all students at Markham Elementary School in the Oakland Unified School District. She currently serves as CSTA's Secretary and has written for California Classroom Science. Additionally, Elizabeth is teacher leader for the OUSD's NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative which involves advocating for science at the school site and district level as well as collaborating with other school site teachers through lesson study to improve science education within the district.

Science education is critical to the advancement of society because it leads to creativity in thought, innovation in technology and industry, and stewardship of our environment through awareness of our resources and the impact we have. Science teachers both formal and informal play a pivotal role in the advancement of society because teachers empower their students as they guide them in inquiry, expand their knowledge and challenge them to apply their knowledge through service learning.

CSTA provides California teachers with a voice through concerted efforts in advocacy. CSTA keeps its members informed of policy and actions that may impact the classroom and advocates on behalf of students and teachers. CSTA plays a significant role in the adoption and implementation of the State science standards and I believe that CSTA can draw on the strength of its membership to ensure that our students have access to high quality science education.

Region 1 Director

Melissa Marcucci

Melissa Marucci is a Science Teacher at Ceres High School in the Ceres Unified School District. She has presented at CSTA's California Science Education Conference and the CA NGSS Roll Out, written for California Classroom Science and served as a member of CSTA'S E-Communication and Outreach Committee. Additionally, Melissa provides content support for the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative.

Vast educational inequities exist for children in California, especially within science education. I want to end these inequities by increasing educational opportunities in science where students experience what being a scientist and engineer is like and are able to use the tools of these domains. Building a child's curiosity and interest from the earliest of ages and presenting real-world problems to students will allow them to take ownership over their ideas and find ways to feel like productive contributors to the world at school, at home, and in society.

NGSS requires a great transformation in how science is viewed and learned. Advances in technology has prompted massive updating of technology in classrooms. Providing students with access to the same technologies that scientists and engineers use to solve problems and figure out how things work will require professional development for teachers. CSTA's most important mission is to promote professional development and find ways to revolutionize our 21st Century classrooms into centers promoting curiosity and innovation. Science profoundly impacts mankind and creating dynamic thinkers in our classrooms will forever change our world. I advocate for more resources that create intimate professional development at district, site, and classroom levels and increased communication among members, making our work smarter not harder.

Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the Educational Services Director at the Siskiyou County Office of Education in Yreka. She has served as CSTA's Region 1 Director and Secretary, has presented at CSTA's California Science Education conference, has written for California Classroom Science, and is a writer and presenter at the CA NGSS Roll Out. Additionally, Marian served as a Co-Chair of the California Joint Special Populations Advisory Committee for Career and Technical Education. 

I cannot think of anything I value more about education than every student having opportunities to understand their world by using their innate abilities to observe, question and investigate. Science education is vital when superstition or lack of knowledge might influence personal health or societal well-being. While every teacher has a meaningful role in children's lives, the science teacher stands out by sustaining curiosity and providing the voice of reason and logic in a wonderfully complex world. These critical elements of education deserve all the support they can get from all educators, policy makers, and organizations like CSTA.

I have seen CSTA and the individuals who comprise it take leadership roles for science education and its promotion statewide. I am proud to have served CSTA by supporting the organization's efforts to refine itself to be as current and effective as it can be through reducing resource consumption by moving to electronic publications, practicing responsible financial management, developing a shared leadership model, and re-envisioning the design of the annual conference. I share CSTA's mission and goals, and the commitment to them through these and other actions, to serve every science teacher in California and the students they teach.

Region 3 Director

Wendy Hagan

Wendy Hagan is a Science Teacher at Granada Hills Charter School in Granada Hills. She is a member of CSTA's NGSS Committee and has presented at CSTA's California Science Education Conference, the CA NGSS Roll Out, and has been an invited speaker to a CSTA leadership event. Additionally, Wendy worked on the ABC Unified MSP Grant to integrate life science, engineering, and earth science for high school teachers.  

Science education has shifted from a classical approach to a more authentic learning experience built on curiosity, exploration, and application of scientific principles. To better understand the true nature of science, phenomena-based and three-dimensional instruction should be used to engage students through evidence-based investigations and conceptual modeling. This allows students to construct scientific explanations about the natural world. Moving away from a teacher-centered to student-centered learning environment is necessary for conceptual change and metacognition. Science is built on collaboration and, whether it be at the state, regional, or local level, educators must work together to create a scientifically literate society.

CSTA’s mission is to promote high quality education and provide guidance in the facilitation of NGSS to K-12 informal, formal, pre-service, and higher-education science educators and administrators in the state of California. CSTA represents unity among science educators across the state. This collaboration promotes professional development, instructional ideas, the sharing of resources, and communication of policies throughout the state to better support educators. My vision is to help Region 3 science educators and administrators in the implementation of NGSS and communicate our successes in NGSS for both formal and informal science education to the CSTA community.

Linda Tolladay

Linda Tolladay is a K-12 District Academic Coach, Science for Madera Unified School District. She has presented at CSTA's California Science Education conference, been an invited panelist to CSTA leadership events, a member of CSTA's NGSS Committee, and a presenter at the CA NGSS Roll Out. Additionally, Linda is a member of the Stanford SCOPE/NBRC/CTA Instructional Leadership Corps.

There has never been a more critical time for an informed citizenry able to use science as a lens through which to understand their world. We must provide students with the critical thinking and communication skills to process and analyze information. The CA NGSS provide us with the charge to do just that. There has never been a more exciting and challenging time to be a science educator. The intersection of rigorous standards, technology, and excellent pedagogy is just what our students need. However, this intersection requires us to be willing to shift our teaching to meet 21st century and NGSS needs.

There has never been a more necessary time to have a professional organization serving to ensure quality science education for every student in California. CSTA serves to connect teachers across grade levels, across content areas, across regions, across our state. It serves the critical need of ensuring science educators have a voice in legislation, content development, textbook approval and adoption, and the daily work of a classroom. I have particular concern for the needs of those teachers far from large population centers who lack access to quality professional development needed to make the sweeping changes called for in our new standards.

Primary (K-2) Director

Jenny Chien

Jenny Chien is the K-5 STEM Specialist at Casita Center for Technology, Science and Math in the Vista Unified School District. She has presented at CSTA's California Science Education Conference. Additionally, Jenny is part of the Core Leadership Team for VUSD's CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative.

Students enter school with a curiosity that must fostered. Educators have the opportunity to help our students channel their inquiry so that they can make observations, conduct experiments about the natural and physical world around them, and design solutions to advance our society. Through my work with K-12 Alliance's Early Implementation Initiative, I strongly believe in the shift of CA NGSS as it has reinvigorated California educators to provide our youth with three dimensional learning experiences so that students are not just memorizing scientific knowledge but instead, they are practicing it as future scientists and engineers.

As the 2017 California Teacher of the Year, I have the opportunity to encourage current and future educators to make science a core subject in elementary. In efforts to attract more elementary members, it is my vision to be a voice of change and expand CSTA's digital presence with blogs moderated by exemplars from science education and twitter chats. As the Primary Director for CSTA, my vision is to empower our elementary teachers to be part of the revolution of science education as we enter into a world of CA NGSS three dimensional learning where phenomena are understood through inquiries and explorations.

Debbie Gordon

Debbie Gordon is a 2nd Grade Teacher at Vista Del Monte Elementary in the Palm Springs Unified School District. She has presented at CSTA's California Science Education conference and the CA NGSS Roll Out. Additionally, Debbie is a part of the Core Leadership Team for K-12 Alliance/PSUSD's CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative.

My philosophy of teaching and science education continues to evolve as my teaching has become more student centered, more open-ended, and more exploratory. I want students excited to be in science classes and become science literate. When engaging students through natural phenomena-based science in my classroom, I have seen young girls and boys sit up tall and say, "Bring it on." The role of science education in society is to make science accessible to all students, because only through knowledge can we expect people to weed through the onslaught of misinformation as society tackles issues such as sustainability and climate change.

CSTA's role is vital as teachers begin grappling with NGSS and the instructional strategies associated with them amidst an increasingly hostile political environment. CSTA's goals to promote effective science teaching and increase scientific literacy affects all Californians. I am excited to be a part of an organization that advocates for teachers and gives teachers the tools, resources, and support they need. I used to think that CSTA wasn't for me because I teach primary grades and didn't consider myself a science teacher. Obviously I was wrong! My vision is to help primary teachers see themselves as science teachers qualified and ready to teach the next generation.

Middle School/Jr. High Director

Allison Bogart

Allison Bogart is a science teacher at Paul L. Cato Middle School in the Bakersfield City School District. She has presented at CSTA's California Science Education conference and is a member of CSTA's Membership Committee. Additionally, Allison has created and presented professional development for NGSS for all teachers in her district as a member of the district's Teacher Leadership Team for Science. 

Science is a way of thinking, of trying to figure out why and how things happen. Science teachers have the greatest responsibility of getting students to become scientific thinkers. When students think scientifically they are able to take their curiosity about a subject or phenomenon and investigate how and why it happens. In this way, students become actively engaged, and even empowered learners. This, in turn, will make them become engaged and empowered citizens.

CSTA's leadership and support in the transition into the Next Generation Science Standards is paramount for science educators and science learners. During the next few years science teachers will look to the CSTA to help guide them in the development of curriculum, performance assessments, tasks, and investigations that meet the three dimensions of the NGSS. My vision for middle school would be to begin a repository where teachers across the state could openly share lessons and resources with each other, utilizing technology and even social media. I think that CSTA members can become our own professional learning network, with a focus of sharing, providing feedback, and learning from and with each other.

Robert Sherriff

Robert Sheriff is a science teacher at Winston Churchill Middle School in San Juan Unified School District in Carmichael. He has presented at CSTA's California Science Education conference, written for California Classroom Science, and is a presenter at the CA NGSS Roll Outs. Additionally, Robert served as the co-chair of the Science Curriculum Framework Evaluation and Criteria Committee for the State of California. 

Science education is about understanding our world. Sharing the natural fascination of science builds on the innate creativity within students. The impacts of science are seen throughout history. The role of science education is to help develop a more scientifically literate population that can make critical decisions with a solid scientific foundation to understand, solve and prevent problems while increasing our understanding of how the natural world works. Science education begins at the start of one's life as we seek to understand our world. The role of a science teacher is to help guide this lifelong journey.

CSTA plays an important role in supporting scientific literacy, science education and the importance of science in our everyday lives. CSTA's efforts to develop effective science teaching has and will continue, through their efforts, at promoting leadership, in science education statewide for Kindergarten through University science educators. CSTA also plays an important role in its representation of science educators with policy-makers and legislators to ensure a strong role for science education in California. Finally, CSTA is a leader in encouraging dialogue and thoughtful debate about issues in science education through their conferences, online resources, e-newspaper and other forums.

Informal Science Education Director

Clea Matson

Clea Matson is a Teacher Educator and Instructional Coach for the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. She has presented at CSTA's California Science Education conference and written for California Classroom Science. Additionally, Clea co-designed and authored NGSS Demystified, a resource to help professional development providers facilitate learning about the NGSS, and Science Notebook Corner, a library of lessons and strategies supporting the use of notebooks as tools for science learning.

Science learners must pursue their own curiosity through scientific practice. In order to facilitate these opportunities for students to think and act scientifically, teachers should be supported with time, professional development, and encouragement to learn alongside their students. The opportunity to understand the scientific process and participate in scientific ways of thinking and knowing are critical components for full participation in democracy. While for many this opportunity can open up rewarding career paths, I also believe that the capacity for critical thinking supported by science education is essential for, and should be available to, all members of our society.

I believe that to continue its mission to promote high quality K-12 science education, CSTA must continue to focus on educators and their needs. This includes supporting teachers with professional learning opportunities such as the NGSS Roll-Outs and annual conference, resources such as the California Classroom Science newsletter, and policy change that values teachers and students. My vision for CSTA is to build and maintain a strong network across informal and formal institutions, elementary and secondary teachers, and educators in all regions of California. Through collaboration, we can collectively achieve our goals for high quality science education for all students.

Lori Walsh

Lori Walsh is the Education and Operations Supervisor to the SEA LIFE Aquarium in Carlsbad. She has presented at CSTA's California Science Education conference and written for California Classroom Science. Additionally, Lori is the Southern West Coast Regional Leader for the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI). 

Science touches every aspect of our lives. It teaches learners how to question evidence, evaluate findings and reason thoroughly. Science discourse encourages growth by improving society. Science learning occurs inside and outside the classroom. Our roles as science educators are to show each learner their path in which they can explore and discover. Educators aim to enlighten everyone we encounter, inspiring dialogue and the desire to learn more about our natural world. A passion for science will spark changes for conservation, and a partnership between formal and informal science teachers will create an army of future environmental stewards.

CSTA is a resource to enhance science programming through ideas, workshops, and networking opportunities. Pre-service teachers are welcomed into the profession, introducing them to a community of professionals that can ease transition into a new career. As changes in the science field occur, CSTA helps to disseminate and interpret information to teachers. CSTA unites teachers statewide to create a community of stellar science practitioners. An effective Informal Science Director understands the challenges of both informal and formal education. CSTA is only productive when it bridges the gap between all science experiences and connects educators from different areas.