CSTA

Elections

Board of Directors Election | 2022-2024 Term

The Nominations Committee of the California Association of Science Educators presents the following information regarding candidates for election of directors to the CASE Board of Directors for the 2022-2024 term. It is through your elected leaders that the direction of the association is determined. Thank you for being proactive in exercising your voting rights and select the board that will lead CASE.

VOTING PROCESS
CASE uses an online election platform called Election Runner to conduct the 2022-2024 Board of Directors elections. A separate email from Election Runner was emailed to all eligible CASE members on March 18, 2021 at 12:09pm. Please check your spam quarantine folder and/or promotions folder for your Election Runner email, which includes your voting login information. Please note - CASE members as of March 18, 2022 are eligible to vote.


TREASURER

Shay Fairchild



Shay Fairchild has been a teacher for 16 years in the Norwalk La Mirada Unified School District. Currently, she serves as a TOSA for Science, Computer Science. Health and elementary PE. Additionally, She has served 4 yrs on the Instructional Quality Commission, participated in the Community of Practice, and presented in the statewide rollouts.

All students deserve a comprehensive education; where they see themselves in the curriculum and are given the skills and opportunities to be successful in life beyond high school.

All students deserve a comprehensive education; where they see themselves in the curriculum and are given the skills and opportunities to be successful in life beyond high school. Support the vision and mission of CASE, emphasizing that science has a profound influence on our lives, our local environments, and our world. CASE fosters a community focused on enhancing scientific and environmental literacy and agency for all.


REGION 2 DIRECTOR

Jennifer Mutch



Jennifer is currently a Science Coordinator for the Santa Clara County Office of Education serving 31 school districts and over 20 charter schools. She is a member of the California Environmental Literacy Initiative’s Office of Education Innovation Hub and has been a member of CASE for over 11 years, most recently serving as the Region 2 Director. Prior to her work as a Coordinator, she was a middle and elementary school math and science teacher. She has been a strong leader and advocate for science education throughout the state during her 19 years in K-12 education.

All students should have access to innovative, engaging, equitable and relevant science education in all grade levels, in all schools, all districts, and everywhere across California. I have always made science education a top priority for my students and now for the teachers I support. Students should be guided to become critical thinkers and problem solvers who grapple with phenomena and can help solve some of the world's most pressing issues. Our future generations depend on us for giving them the education and knowledge to handle the challenges that they will be facing.

CASE is leading the way for equitable science instruction across the state. We work tirelessly to support science educators in making sure that engaging and relevant science instruction is a top priority and that professional learning opportunities are available to every formal and informal science educator. CASE's drive and focus are ultimately for the benefit of students so that they can have access to the highest quality science instruction. CASE has taken the lead with communicating and supporting the rollout of NGSS and environmental literacy and keeps their members updated on the latest state-level initiatives and decisions.


REGION 4 DIRECTOR

Crystal Howe



Crystal Howe has been a science educator in San Diego for 20 years. After 14 years teaching high school science, she focused her work on helping students find the wonder in science as well as their connection to the natural world. As the environmental literacy coordinator for San Diego County Office of Education, Crystal’s day job includes supporting teachers to use an environmental lens to inspire kids across the content areas and grades, to identify local environmental phenomena for the science classroom, and to bring scientists together with teacher to collaborate on classroom resources. Crystal has served CASE as a member of the legislative committee and the conference committee over the last 5 years. She has been the Region 4 Director for the last year and would like to continue to connect the science educators in Region 4 to CASE.

I believe that the students of CA deserve access to high-quality science experiences. They should be inspired to create, fail forward, and explore the world. For this to happen, teachers need support to grow their science content and pedagogy as well as be inspired themselves.

I believe that CASE is positioned to connect science educators across California, support their growth in content and pedagogy, and lead the implementation of science education in the state. CASE allows science educators to have a space to develop their understanding of science in their classrooms and the world that is safe and fun!


UPPER ELEMENTARY

Doron Markus



Doron Markus is the CTE and STEM Coordinator for the San Mateo County Office of Education. In addition to his current position, Doron served as a science teacher for all grades K-12, district-level science coordinator, science department chair, and vice principal during his twenty-six years in education. He received his MS.ED in School and District Administration (College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, NY) and Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership (St. John's University, Queens, NY). Doron currently serves as co-chair for the "Integrating NGSS and Career Education" CASE committee and for the CA Environmental Literacy Initiative (CAELI) "Green Career Innovation" hub, and co-leads CISC's "Elementary Science" subcommittee. Recently, he was a lecturer in the UC Davis School of Education, and will be an instructor in the Teachers College of San Joaquin during the Spring of 2022.

Humanity, by its very nature, is a species of scientists and engineers. I believe that it is the moral obligation of all educators to not only foster our youth's wonder and curiosity-- characteristics that define a scientist and engineer--but to provide them with the tools they need to solve our planet's greatest challenges. And for this, time is of the essence. In the 1950s, the U.S. system of education rose to the challenges posed by geopolitical crises after receiving millions of dollars to create and improve STEM programs. Today, our crises are much more real and dire, so it is critical that we, again, rise to these challenges by infusing our education system with those funds, high-quality teachers, and rigorous programs that we require to respond accordingly. Furthermore, these upgrades of funds, teachers, and programs, first and foremost, must be used for the purpose of providing our most disenfranchised and underserved students access to college and career opportunities in the STEM fields. Our efforts to combat climate change and future pandemics must be universal, and, therefore, must exclude no one in the development of an army of scientifically- and environmentally-literate citizens. Humanity, by its very nature, is a species of scientists and engineers. I believe that it is the moral obligation of all educators to not only foster our youth's wonder and curiosity-- characteristics that define a scientist and engineer--but to provide them with the tools they need to solve our planet's greatest challenges. And for this, time is of the essence. In the 1950s, the U.S. system of education rose to the challenges posed by geopolitical crises after receiving millions of dollars to create and improve STEM programs. Today, our crises are much more real and dire, so it is critical that we, again, rise to these challenges by infusing our education system with those funds, high-quality teachers, and rigorous programs that we require to respond accordingly. Furthermore, these upgrades of funds, teachers, and programs, first and foremost, must be used for the purpose of providing our most disenfranchised and underserved students access to college and career opportunities in the STEM fields. Our efforts to combat climate change and future pandemics must be universal, and, therefore, must exclude no one in the development of an army of scientifically- and environmentally-literate citizens. Please read my article in the CA Classroom Science publication, "The Space Race as a Model for Transforming Education in California" to learn more about my philosophy and approach to science and engineering education.

As the leaders of science education in the most populous state in the U.S., CASE is well-positioned to impact science and engineering teaching and learning not only across our 58 counties, but function to showcase what high-quality science instruction and educators for other states in the nation. CASE should live in the innovative space of science education, sharing the best of what we have to offer, and constantly work to move the proverbial needle forward. I have learned so much from CASE members at conferences, during committee meetings, from reading the CA Classroom Science publication, and informally during conversation with my colleagues. The members of CASE are people that drive me to do better, more innovative work.


HIGH SCHOOL DIRECTOR
Melissa Marcucci



Melissa has been teaching high school science courses, including Earth Science, Biology, Physics, Physics of the Universe, Anatomy and Physiology, and Astronomy for 15 years in Northern California. During this time she has been involved in developing, promoting, and initiating science events such as Dinner with a Scientist, the Sacramento Regional Science and Engineering Fair, the Folsom-Cordova STEM Exposition, and both the Sacramento and Central Valley Regional Science Bowls. Additionally, she has been involved with the Sacramento Area Science Project (an entity of the California Science Project) and presented her work to the California Department of Education and at various professional development series in several districts, Science in the River City, Sacramento Area Science Project Summer Institutes, California Science Teachers Association Conference, and the National Science Teachers Association Conference. Melissa was also involved in the West Ed/K-12 Alliance Early Implementers Initiative as a Cadre Member. Although most of her professional work has been completed in Northern California, she grew up and graduated from High School in Southern California, has an extensive knowledge of the area, and has worked with teachers across the state through her positions on the CASE eCommunications and Conference committees and in presenting at many CASE conferences, making her a well-rounded advocate for High School education across the state. In addition, she has also been the CASE High School Director for the past two years.

Many factors can influence the attitude of young children and adults towards science and engineering, including cultural, religious, and gender variables as well as teachers, curricula, and policy. Although this may be a multi-faceted problem, one can argue for a strong correlation between the quality of teaching and student attitudes. In order to better understand which factors most influence students, it is important to continue and support educational research that identifies the aspects of science teaching that make science engaging for all students, including motivations, classroom environments, activities, etc. These elements include a lens into Social Justice. The Next Generation Science Standards were written based on extensive research into, “How People Learn,” which included inquiry based learning opportunities where students experience what being a scientist and engineer is like first-hand 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, home, and in society. In addition, students may discover a strength in these fields and turn towards life-long science or engineering careers whereas those who may not tend towards these careers will be able to use the problem-solving skills developed to better their homes, businesses, and communities, valuing their K-12 science education and enhancing further education. In addition, having a breadth of knowledge in how all domains of science work together, will help students view situations and problems more holistically, creating a society of better informed voters, humanitarians, equal rights advocates, and community builders.

To accomplish the vision of the Next Generation Science Standards, “All students, all sciences,” where students are provided opportunities to master many skills across multiple domains of science as well as engineering and environmental literacy applications, will require a great transformation in how science is viewed and learned at the county, district, school, and individual teacher level. 21st Century advances in technology require massive updating of technology in classrooms in order to provide students with access to similar, if not the same, technologies that scientists and engineers use every day to solve problems. This also requires teacher education for using the new technologies effectively. In addition, teaching students to think like scientists and engineers and solve real-world problems requires professional development opportunities for teachers, district coaches/TOSA’s, and administrators as well as a collaborative community where teachers who have been implementing these practices in their classrooms can share ideas which teachers who might have taught in a direct-instruction like setting or who have never experienced inquiry-based learning themselves. (see attached to read more)


4-YEAR COLLEGE DIRECTOR
Donna Ross



Dr. Donna Ross has advanced degrees in science education and biology, where she studied epibenthic estuarine algae. She is an associate professor of science education at San Diego State University. She has taught science education courses for future and current teachers for 20 years. She is a former classroom teacher, having taught migrant education, elementary school (grades K, 2-4) and high school (10th grade biology and 12th grade environmental science). She serves as the Far West Director of the Association for Science Teacher Education and hopes to expand the connections between these two organizations.

Science is more than an accumulation of facts; it is the ability to wonder about the world, ask questions, collect data and systematically examine findings from different perspectives. Perhaps more than at any other point in my lifetime, I realize the need for science educators to support all people, not just future scientists, to develop their ability to reason, analyze evidence, and make critical decisions. This is also an exciting time. Recognition of the importance of social justice in science strengthens our field, and rapid scientific and technological advancements allow us to make sense of amazing natural phenomena.

My primary goal is to increase the involvement and collaboration with preservice science education programs across the state. The California Association of Science Educators does far more for science education than most teachers realize. The conferences and workshops bring educators from across the region together to learn, share ideas, and experience the reinvigoration that comes from working together with colleagues and friends. Yet, CASE does so much more. The behind-the-scenes work with legislators and policy developers is critical to the support of science teachers in California. I also hope to make this work more visible.

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