2019-2021 Election Winners

CSTA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019/2021 Board of Directors elections. CSTA thanks all of the members who voted in this year's election. Our sincere appreciation goes out to all candidate who participated in the election for their support of the association. Please join CSTA in congratulating this year's winners!

CSTA will open nominations for the 2020-2022 Board of Directors in September 2019.


Peter A'Hearn

Peter A’Hearn has been a classroom high school science teacher, district level curriculum coach, and science education consultant working for districts and publishers. He has taught science at levels Kindergarten through graduate school. He was a project director on statewide projects and has worked with teachers, administrators, informal science educators, parents, and business leaders. He has served three terms on the CSTA Board and written numerous articles in California Classroom Science, served on several committees, presented at conferences and led many field trips. In a prior life, he was the co-founder and brewmaster of Ballast Point Brewing Company.

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Leena Bakshi

Leena Bakshi is passionate about science education for all students. She founded the educational nonprofit, STEM 4 Real, that provides teacher professional learning and socially just instructional materials that promote diversity and access in the STEM classrooms. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in integrative biology. She received her master’s degree in math and science teaching from Claremont Graduate University and her doctoral degree in educational leadership from USC. As a former teacher and county office employee, Leena has worked with all levels of leadership to institute systemic science reform.

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Informal Science Education Director

Sasha Stallard

Sasha is the Education Manager at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. She has worked in various positions in her 19 years with San Diego Zoo Global but has most enjoyed serving in an educational role. Sasha has experience working with field trip programs, summer camps, teen volunteers, and grant writing and delivery, with recent success leading a team that has connected formal and informal content to create a cohesive NGSS and Common Core-aligned interdisciplinary curricula that are currently being tested in an Escondido K-8 school. Sasha believes science learning is critical in helping students have a meaningful educational experience.

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Primary Director

Michelle Baker

Michelle Baker is from Southern California and teaches 1st grade. She lives with her husband and sons in the high desert. Michelle received her Bachelor’s Degree from Arizona State University and her Master’s Degree from Grand Canyon University. This is her 12th year of teaching. She has taught preschool, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades. Michelle worked for 3 years as an NGSS Early Implementer. Michelle field tested Physical Science learning sequences and provided feedback. She also serves on the Publications Committee for CSTA, writing and editing articles. Michelle has co-presented short courses on 1st grade Earth Science at the CSTA conference.

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Middle School/Jr. High Director

Maralee Thorburn

Maralee Thorburn teaches 8th grade Science at Art Freiler School in the Tracy Unified School District. She currently serves as a moderator for CSTA’s Middle School Science Teachers Facebook group and has also presented at CSTA conferences. Her experiences as a core lead teacher for the Early Implementer Initiative and reviewer of curriculum materials for the state has given Maralee a unique perspective of the Next Generation Science Standards. She has also been a classroom Science teacher since 1990 and has served on her districts Science committee. She has been described to “live and breathe Science.”

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Region 1 Director

Kelli Quan-Martin

Kelli Quan-Martin is currently the K-12 Science Program Specialist in Elk Grove USD and a teacher leader with the Sacramento Area Science Project. In addition to teaching middle school science for ten years, she also has experience as a science TOSA and district administrator. Her passion for science, commitment to student learning, and dedication to equity are evident in the work she has done in her district and greater Sacramento area supporting educators with the implementation of NGSS and advocating for high-quality science instruction.

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Region 3 Director

Linda Tolladay

Linda is a 35-year veteran secondary science teacher now working as a district academic coach helping elementary teachers implement NGSS. She is co-moderator of the CSTA Elementary Science Teachers Facebook page, active at CSTA conferences and a presenter for the NGSS Rollouts. She is passionate about the shifts of NGSS and the integration of science in other subject areas. She is committed to science for all with particular concern about underserved populations of students in California. She hopes to represent both the urban heart of region 3 and its more rural and isolated counties.

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