Congratulations to our 2014 Siemens Summer of Learning Fellows!

2012 STARs Fellows



The following forty middle and high school teachers from across the country were chosen to participate in the Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs) program over the summer of 2012. These educators worked with the nation’s top scientists on short-term projects focused on the most current and innovative science research happening today at either Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee or Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington.


Danny Delgado

Danny Delgado, Sacramento, CA
Christian Brothers High School
Program: Oak Ridge

Danny Delgado received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Irvine in psychology, his Masters in Social Work from California State University, Sacramento and finished 45 units at National University in elementary education. He has worked in the sciences since 1987 and although he is not formally educated in sciences, he is obsessed with and has given his life to learning and teaching science. He is currently his school's STEM coordinator and cross country coach. “The opportunity to be involved with this highly recognized program is so exciting! It is truly an opportunity to further the STEM goals of our school while working with people from around the US, all the while sharing, collaborating and learning!”

 Jennifer Schriber

Jennifer Schriber, Fremont, CA
Alsion Montessori Middle/High School
Program: Pacific Northwest

Jennifer Schriber received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Horticulture from the University of Florida and a Master of Science in Tropical Plant and Soil Sciene from the University of Hawaii. Jennifer teaches 7th grade Biology, 8th grade Physical Science, and 9th grade AP Environmental Science at Alsion Montessori in Fremont, CA. She is also responsible for the school garden, science club, and as a coach for World Savvy and Department of Energy's Science Bowl Competition. "I am ecstatic about being selected as a Siemens STARs Fellow and thrilled about this amazing opportunity of engaging and working with other researchers and educators."

 James Brochinsky

James Brochinsky, Darien, CT
Middlesex Middle School
Program: Oak Ridge

James Brochinsky has taught Technology and Engineering Education at Middlesex Middle School in Darien, Connecticut since 1998. He received his teaching degree from Central Connecticut State University. While attending Southern Connect State University to achieve a Masters in Science, he met his wife Nanci. Jim serves his state professional organization The Connecticut Technology Education Association as its conference chairman. "I am honored to be chosen a STARs Fellow and look forward to the experience."

 Benjamin West

Benjamin West, Washington, DC
Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School
Program: Pacific Northwest

Benjamin West received his B.S. in Marine Science/Chemistry from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL. Upon graduation, Benjamin joined Teach for America, taught in Baltimore City Public Schools for 3 years, and earned a Master's of Arts in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University. In the summer of 2009 Benjamin was selected to travel to Shark Bay on the western coast of Australia to study the relationships of tiger sharks and their prey in order to bring real-life field research experience into the classroom. "I am thrilled that I have been given the opportunity to be part of the STAR's Fellows, expand my own science knowledge, and enhance student learning in my classroom."

 Wendy Graham

Wendy Graham, Rotonda West, FL
L.A. Ainger Middle School
Program: Oak Ridge

Wendy Graham received her Bachelor’s Degree from State University of New York at Cortland and a Masters Degree in Math, Science and Technology from University of South Florida. Wendy teaches 6th grade Earth and Space science at L.A. Ainger Middle School. She was chosen to participate in a Zero Gravity parabolic flight in 2007.Wendy became a National Board Certified Teacher in 1999. She was recognized as 1998 Charlotte County Teacher of the Year and participated in the Governors Roundtable. “Being selected as a STARS Fellow is a dream come true as a science educator and a life-long learner. I am looking forward to conducting research with scientists, sharing with other educators and most importantly bringing the knowledge back to my students and school."

 Jennifer Gordinier

Jennifer Gordinier, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Pine Crest School
Program: Oak Ridge

Jennifer Gordinier is in her eleventh year of teaching at the Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, FL. She is the Science Research Coordinator for grades 10 -12 and co-teaches a Biology/Chemistry Dual Combination course for accelerated 10th graders. Instilling high academic standards, she encourages students to be curious about their experiences – to believe in themselves as scientists and to learn to think deeply. "I am excited for the opportunity to participate in the 2012 STARs program. Working with scientists at the ORNL and other teachers from across the country, models the cooperative and collaborative enterprise of science and research which we strive to impart with our students."

 Alicia Schiller

Alicia D. Schiller, Donnellson, IA
Central Lee High School
Program: Pacific Northwest

Alicia D. Schiller received her Bachelor's of Science degree in Botany with a minor in Science Education from Iowa State University, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Science Education at The University of Northern Iowa. Alicia teachers High School General Biology, Advanced Biology and Biotechnology at Central Lee High School. She serves as the advisor for the Independent Student Based Science Research Club, and the AFS (American Field Service) Club. In 2006, Alicia was recognized at the Outstanding New Biology Teacher by the National Association of Biology Teachers. "I am very excited, and am looking forward to the opportunity to network and collaborate with other teachers and scientists through the STARs fellow Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) research experience."

 Sharon Cannavino

Sharon Cannavino, Oswego, IL
Oswego East High School
Program: Oak Ridge

Sharon Cannavino earned her Bachelor’s in Biology: Secondary Education from Western Illinois University, her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Illinois University, an endorsement in ESL from National Louis University and a Master’s in Teacher Leadership: Life Sciences from Aurora University. She is currently teaching Honors Anatomy and Physiology and Biology 1 at Oswego East High School. She has also taught Remedial Biology, Biology ELL Spanish, Biology ELL (Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu and Panjabi), Biology Special Ed., Biology 2, and Honors Biology. Sharon has researched and developed high school curriculum on Biosensors at Northwestern University as well as presented original curriculum on separation techniques at the Illinois Biology Teacher’s Association Conference. Sharon recently interned with Oceans System Laboratories in the USVI. "I am excited for the opportunity to work with other educators and researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and bring back experience and ideas for new curriculum to enhance my classroom."

 Lyudmila Shemyakina

Lyudmila Shemyakina, Chicago, IL
Team Englewood Community Academy
Program: Oak Ridge

Lyudmila Shemyakina earned her Bachelor’s degree in biology from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Brown University. In 2010, she was also selected as a Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Teaching Fellow which is awarded to exceptional young men and women dedicated to teaching science and mathematics in United States high schools. She teaches 12th grade forensic science and 9th grade physics at TEAM Englewood Community Academy and co-facilitates an after school science program. "I am honored to be selected as a STARs fellow and look forward to being inspired by both fellow educators and scientists to create relevant, engaging curricula for my students."

 Maureen Pappas

Maureen Pappas, Indianapolis, IN
Fountain Square Academy
Program: Pacific Northwest

Maureen Pappas earned her Bachelor’s degree in Health Physics while attending Purdue University. In 2010, she was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and received her Masters degree in Secondary Education from Ball State University. Currently, Maureen is the High School Science teacher at Fountain Square Academy where she teaches Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth/Space Science curriculum. “I look forward to participating in the 2012 Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs) Program at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. This prestigious opportunity will allow me to bring back several experiences for the benefit of my future students.”

Adam Robb

Adam Robb, Moundridge, KS
Moundridge High School
Program: Oak Ridge

Adam Robb received his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and minor in Physics from Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas in 2006; in 2011, he completed a Masters of Arts in Education degree through Baker University. Currently, Adam teaches Chemistry, Physics, Algebra II, and Calculus and coaches Scholars' Bowl and middle school boys basketball at Moundridge High School in central Kansas. "I am thrilled to be selected as a 2012 Siemens STAR Fellow, and know that this will be a career-defining opportunity. I am excited to collaborate with scientists and other educators in this environment, and am anxious to return to my classroom next fall and act on this experience!"

 JP Clark

John-Patrick Clark, Owensboro, KY
Owensboro High School
Program: Oak Ridge

John-Patrick (JP) Clark received his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Murray State University and was awarded a Masters of Science in Education form the University of Evansville. JP currently teaches Chemistry, Physics, Earth/Space Science, and Forensics to the students of Owensboro High School. He serves as the sponsor of the National Honor Society for the upcoming school year. I am beyond thrilled and humbled to have been selected for a STARs fellowship. There is innate negative criticism in the phrase, 'Those who can't do, teach,' and I cannot wait to work hand in hand with fellow teachers and researchers to re-write the myth as 'Those who can do, teach!'"

 James Pendred

James Pendred, Columbia, MD
Hammond High School
Program: Pacific Northwest

James Pendred recieved a Bachelor of Science in Education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and is working on a Masters in Science Education at Johns Hopkins University School of Education in Baltimore. James teaches full time at Hammond High School in Howard County Maryland as an Earth Science, Astronomy, and Introduction to Chemistry/Physics teacher and will be teaching Environmental Science in the 2012-2013 school year.  At Hammond, James has also volunteered his time with the Robotics Team and the Hammond 65 (CO2 Car Race). His other involvements have been working with NCTAF, NASA and HCPSS on a 21st Century STEM initiative for teaching the high school science curriculum. "It will be a privilege to work at a National Research campus with professionals that share the same passion as I have.  I hope to take wisdom, resources and inspiration back to my classroom in the following academic year to race the students to the top and move onto college and careers with a well-rounded passion that is reflected in STEM."

 Beth Foster

Beth Foster, Annapolis, MD
Annapolis Middle School
Program: Pacific Northwest

Beth Foster received her Bachelor’s in Biology from the University of Southern Maine and a Master's in Teaching from The Johns Hopkins University. Beth works with 6-8th grade science at Annapolis Middle School and serves as the science Department Chair. She organizes the school science fair, MESA club, and is currently coordinating Annapolis Middle's Green School certification. In 2010, Beth was awarded an Earthwatch Educator Fellowship on the Coral and Coastal Ecology Team in the Bahamas. “I am honered to be selected for this award! I look forward to working with research scientist in a different capacity this summer and collaborating with other teachers from across the country!"

 Christy Miller

Christy Miller, Linden, MI
Linden High School
Program: Oak Ridge

Christy Miller received her initial degree from Michigan State University with a dual major in Employment Relations and Psychology. She went on to pursue a career as a chef and kitchen manager. Christy returned to school to obtain her teaching certification and a B.S. in Biology and a minor in General Science from the University of Michigan. She spent a year and a half teaching middle and high school science at a charter school in Detroit before taking a position at the high school in Linden, Michigan. She has been teaching Chemistry, Biology and Zoology at Linden High School for the past six years. During this time, Christy has received her Master’s degree in Educational Technology from the University of Michigan. She started a FIRST robotics team at the high school two years ago, the RoboEagles, and is also the sophomore class advisor. “I look forward to my fellowship in the STARs program to help foster the connections between current research and the classroom. I am very excited to work with top scientists and the other outstanding teachers that are part of the program.”

 Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson, Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis Academy
Program: Pacific Northwest

Peter Johnson received his Bachelor’s degree in Broadfield Science Education with a minor in Physics (University of Wisconsin – Platteville).  He has taught Project Lead the Way courses and physics and currently teaches 6th grade Physical Science, 7th Grade Life Science, and 8th Grade Earth Science in a charter school that primarily serves a low income population. He has experience presenting on the use of technology in the classroom and has been recognized by ETS for excellence in General Science and Physics.  "Being chosen as a Siemens STAR is a wonderful opportunity to better understand what is happening in the world of research and to bring this cutting-edge research back to my classroom. Collaboration between researchers and teachers helps to dispel the idea that science is a static subject and bears no relevance to students’ everyday lives.  Through this program, I get to experience first-hand what I teach my students."

 Dave Pinkus

Dave Pinkus, Freehold, NJ
Biotechnology High School
Program: Oak Ridge

Dave Pinkus received his BS in the GeoSciences from Penn State. Dave teaches Physics at the Biotechnology High School in Freehold, NJ. He is a Siemens Founders Award recipient and an ETS Recognition of Excellence Award recipient. “I am excited to be a STAR. It has been many years since I have conducted original research and this should help me better relate to what my students experience in their own research projects.”

 Jessica Reuther

Jessica Reuther, Jackson, NJ
Jackson Liberty High School
Program: Oak Ridge

"I am honored and excited to be selected for the 2012 STARs program. I am grateful for the opportunity to interact with top scientists and collaborate with other teachers on scientific research projects at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. I look forward to bringing this experience back to my classroom and my students."

 Etzel Brower

Etzel Brower, Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Egg Harbor Township High School
Program: Pacific Northwest

Etzel Brower is a Technology Instructor with a Bachelor of Science degree from Penn-State. He has a research background in renewable and alternative energies from Princeton. "To be chosen by the Siemens Foundation as a Siemens STAR Fellow will improve my focus on the New Jersey Technology Standards that identify the rewards of researched theory, experienced application, and competitive prototype designs that comply with the challenging specifics in the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content.”

Sarah MacNab

Sarah MacNab, Las Vegas, NV
East Career and Technical Academy
Program: Oak Ridge

Sarah MacNab received her Bachelor's in Science in Microbiology from New Mexico State University and a Master's in Arts in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix. Prior to becoming a teacher, Sarah was a research technician for the University of New Mexico and worked as a contracted researcher for Sandia National Laboratory. Currently, Sarah teaches 10th - 11th grade Chemistry Honors and 12th grade Science Foundations. She serves as Department of Chair for the Science Department, mentors students who participate in the Southern Nevada Regional Science Fair, and serves as the Basketball Club Advisor. “I am ecstatic to be able to work in a research setting once again and then be able to bring this new knowledge back into my classroom to improve my students' science education and hopefully motivate them to be the scientists of tomorrow.”

 Stephanie Spiris

Stephanie Spiris, Las Vegas, NV
Northwest Career and Technical Academy
Program: Pacific Northwest

Stephanie Spiris, a Biotechnology at the Northwest Career and Technical Academy has worked with the education and the scientific community for the last 15 years. Prior to her position at NWCTA, Stephanie taught marine sciences at The Scripps Birch Aquarium and outreach science and environmental education at Museum of Natural History, both in San Diego. Stephanie majored in Biology with a minor in Chemistry at California State University, San Marcos and assisted in production of San Diego County’s Mammal Atlas and numerous other research studies. “As a biologist, I am literally surrounded by science. Oceans, streams, forests and deserts are natural classrooms for my students. I am honored and excited to join other scientists and teachers in the Pacific Northwest to enhance the classroom experience for the years to come.”

 Vanessa Vidalon

Vanessa Vidalon, Freeport, NY
J.W. Dodd Middle School
Program: Oak Ridge

Vanessa Vidalon received her Bachelor’s in Biology and Master’s in Secondary Education at Adelphi University. Vanessa teaches 7th grade life science and 8th Grade introductory Physics and Earth Science. She also teaches Living Environment in the evenings for the high school. She is a Judge for the Annual Science and Engineering Fair at Freeport High School. Vanessa is the head coach for JV soccer. She is a part of a Technology grant that has provided the school with I pads, Net books and other technology resources. In her first year teaching she worked with Intel Semi finalist 2008 and taught AP Biology as well as the Advanced Science Research Program. She is working with her 7th & 8th grade students encouraging high school level science projects. Vanessa is currently involved in a project with Brookhaven National Laboratory using the National Synchrotron Light Source. "I am very excited to be participating as a 2012 STARs fellow. I am eager to see what new and innovative ideas I can bring back to my colleagues and students."

 Lawrence Peretto

Lawrence Perretto, Mamaroneck, NY
Hommocks Middle School
Program: Oak Ridge

Lawrence Perretto’s career in science began as a fisheries technician with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. After a decade as a naturalist and outdoorsman, Lawrence graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in History and MA in Teaching from Manhattanville College, NY, and began his career teaching elementary environmental science in New York City. Lawrence teaches 6th grade science in Mamaroneck, NY and is currently a NASA Endeavor Distinguished Teaching Fellow earning a Masters Certificate in STEM Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Lawrence volunteers as a science education consultant in New York City, and is an active member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. “The Siemens STARs Fellowship is a rare opportunity to grow professionally and to make world class science research accessible to students. I am honored by the privilege of this selection.”

 Clare Nugent

Clare Nugent, Copiague, NY
Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School
Program: Pacific Northwest

Clare Nugent's ingenuity and professional ethos stem from an education layered with science and art. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design, an a M.S. in Earth Science/Education from C.W. Post University and an additional M.S. in Technological Systems Management from Stony Brook University’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She presently serves as Science Research course instructor, Science Olympiad Coach, Science Quiz Bowl team adviser, Coordinator of the Extended Day Program and adviser for Bringing Unity Through Youth. Her diverse background and creativity facilitate her classroom's energy and her drive to be inclusive of her students' many ways of learning. "It is a thrill, and an honor, to be selected as a STARs fellow. I hope to use my research experience wisely, returning after training to rejuvenate my classroom and my colleagues--fresh strategies, information, and ideas can inspire my students' deserved success and showcase the growing potential of Copiague’s science program!"

 Channa Comer

Channa Comer, Bronx, NY
Baychester Middle School
Program: Pacific Northwest

Channa Comer received her bachelors degree from Baruch College and a Master of Science in Science Education from City College, both in New York. Channa currently teaches 6th grade science at Baychester Middle School in the Bronx in New York City where in addition to being a founding teacher, she coordinates the school's SECME Science Club, is the school Sustainability Coordinator, and serves as a science teacher mentor to new pre-service teachers. "I am excited to participate in the Siemen's STAR program and look forward to bringing back a wealth of new knowledge and skills to my students that will help them to discover their inner scientist."

 Melanie Retterer

Melanie Retterer, Grove City, OH
Brookpark Middle School
Program: Pacific Northwest

Melanie Retterer is a National Board Certified Science teacher. She currently teaches 8th grade Science at Brookpark Middle School in Grove City, Ohio. She received her Bachelors Degree in Landscape Architecture from West Virginia University and her Masters in Education from The Ohio State University. She serves as a District Director for the Science Education Council of Ohio (SECO) and has received several teaching awards. I am honored to be selected as a STARS fellow. I am ecstatic about the opportunity to work with scientists and other educators in conducting research this summer at the Pacific Northwest national Laboratory. I know this will be an amazing experience that will help me to grow as an educator.

 Jennifer Bush

Jennifer Bush, Edmond, OK
Deer Creek High School
Program: Pacific Northwest

National Board Certified teacher Jennifer Bush has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Central Oklahoma, and currently teaches Anatomy/Physiology, Physical Science, and Biology 2 at Deer Creek High School. She is an active member of Professional Oklahoma Educators, the Oklahoma Science Teachers Association, and has written multiple grants to use technology in the classroom and attend national conferences. Jennifer stays active in her district by sponsoring the academic team, the swim team and serving on several different committees. "I am honored to be chosen to participate in the Siemens Teachers as Researchers Program. I look forward to developing relationships with other members of the scientific community and am excited to bring back my experience to share with students and faculty."

 Todd Davis

Todd Davis, Bloomsburg, PA
Bloomsburg Area High School
Program: Oak Ridge

Todd Davis received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Scranton and continued there to earn his teaching degree in secondary chemical education. He has taught chemistry for 25 years at the Bloomsburg (PA) Area High School from honors organic chemistry to learning support general chemistry, enjoying all levels. He has coached varsity basketball for a number of years, acts as liaison for the science department for the school district's "Super Saturday" program, and is an officer with the town's fire department/hazmat response team. "I was surprised and very grateful to be chosen as a STARs fellow. The opportunity of working at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the positive impact it will have on my classroom and students have me very excited."

 Thomas Dame

Thomas Dame, Glen Mills, PA
Garnet Valley Middle School
Program: Pacific Northwest

Thomas Dame received his Bachelor’s in Engineering from the University of Michigan, his Master’s of Science in Education from Wilkes University, and is a Licensed Professional Engineer. Thomas teaches 8th grade Physical, Earth-Space, and STEM science at the Garnet Valley Middle School in Glen Mills, PA. Each summer, he strives to complete additional STEM training such as this Siemens "Teacher As Researcher" Fellowship. Previous summer training has included his work with NOAA Fisheries, NASA, a National Science Foundation Minerals & Mining Institute, NEED energy programs, and astrophysics courses at Penn State University. “I am grateful to be selected as a STAR’s Fellow, and I am excited to conduct cutting-edge research with U.S. Department of Energy scientists, to collaborate with other educators from across the U.S. to expand our curriculum at GVMS, and to gather even more ideas to share with my students and colleagues about the value of helping students get a solid education in STEM courses to ensure the U.S. can meet our needs for highly skilled workers.”

 Henry McGill

Henry J. McGill III, Timmonsville, SC
Timmonsville High School
Program: Oak Ridge

Henry J. McGill is the chairman of the Science Department at teaches Chemistry and Physics at Timmonsville High School. He is the 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year for Florence School District Four. “Being selected as a STARs Fellow is a wonderful opportunity, and I look forward to conducting research at Oak Ridge and collaborating with other educators to help my students reach new heights in learning.”

 Jessica Chewning

Jessica Chewning, Darlington, SC
Darlington High School
Program: Pacific Northwest

Jessica Chewning received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Lander University. After working for IRIX Pharmaceuticals, Jessica’s passion for science and education led her to become a science teacher. Jessica currently teaches physical science to ninth graders. Also, she is the faculty advisory for her school’s science club. “I am honored to be selected as a STARs fellow. It will be such an awesome opportunity to collaborate with other STEM educators and conduct research with leading scientists. I look forward to this invaluable experience at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) as a chance to advance my abilities as a STEM educator. I am very excited to share this experience with my students and fellow teachers.”

 Jeff Knox

Jeff Knox, Knoxville, TN
L&N STEM Academy
Program: Oak Ridge

Jeff Knox teaches STEM design classes at the L&N STEM Academy. He has a B.S. and M.Ed. from Carson-Newman College and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from The University of Tennessee. The system’s PTA recognized Dr. Knox as the most outstanding teacher in Knox County in 2009-2010. He has taught in Tennessee for 8 years and is the Founder/Director for School Support, an organization that provides AP Science and Art enrichment classes. ”I am thrilled to be chosen to learn and collaborate with other STEM professionals as a part of the Siemens STAR program and I am excited to share the experience with my students.”

 Melissa Duncan

Melissa Duncan, Wolfforth, TX
Frenship Middle School
Program: Oak Ridge

Melissa Duncan received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Post-Baccalaureate in Education, and a Master of Science in Multi-Disciplinary Science from Texas Tech University. Melissa teaches 6th and 7th grade science and serves as a Science Teacher Mentor for Region XVII. She is also a sponsor for state math and science competitions, GEAR robotics, and UIL. She has received the following honors: “2007 Innovative Teacher of the Year” awarded by CISER and HHMI, “Region XVII Secondary Teacher of the Year” in 2009, and the “Outstanding Middle School Science Teacher” presented by the Science Teachers Association of Texas in 2010. "I am honored to have the opportunity to conduct research as a STAR Fellow while also collaborating with other teachers from around the country. In addition, I hope to obtain resources to enhance STEM education in the classroom while preparing students to be college and career ready."

 Georgeanne Lavery

Georgeanne Lavery, Pulaski, VA
Pulaski Middle School
Program: Oak Ridge

Georgeanne Lavery received her Bachelor’s of Science in Middle Level Education at Radford University where she was awarded the “Teacher of Promise” for 2008. She is slated to receive a Master of Science degree this spring in Educational Technology from RU. Formally a 7th grade Math and Life Science teacher, Georgeanne currently teaches 6th grade Math at Pulaski Middle School. At Pulaski Middle, she is the Math team leader and a participant in the Apple grant which uses MacBooks and iTouches in the classroom. “ I am thrilled and privileged to be selected as a STARs Fellow and I am looking forward to working with research scientist. I am ready to collaborate with other educators to bring STEM teaching into my curriculum.”

 Mary Breslin

Mary Breslin, Alexandria, VA
George Washington 2 Middle School
Program: Pacific Northwest

Mary Breslin, 7th grade science teacher at George Washington Middle School, is honored to be selected as a STAR Fellow by the Siemens Foundation. Mary’s students have been recognized by the Washington Post and at the Potomac Trash Summit for their STEM based learning projects. Mary grew up locally and received her Bachelor’s in Biology and Master’s in Education from George Mason University. "I am excited to implement the ideas from my summer research experience to continue building STEM programs in Alexandria."

 Nancy Smith

Nancy Smith, Essex Junction, VT
Essex High School
Program: Pacific Northwest

Nancy Smith of Essex Junction, Vermont earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from the University of Colorado and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Vermont. She teaches biology and anatomy and physiology at Essex High School. Nancy also serves as the school coordinator for a mentoring program for Junior girls with scientists from the University of Vermont and the local community. She has also taken students on an educational and service trip for the past fourteen years to Belize, Central America to give students a chance to directly experience what they have learned in the classroom. She is honored to be selected for the Siemens STARs and to participate in this research experience at the prestigious Pacific Northwest National Lab. “This will be an exhilarating experience that will allow me to participate in cutting edge scientific research in order to provide motivation and knowledge to my students to encourage them to further their scientific pursuits.”

 Jeff Wehr

Jeff Wehr, Odessa, WA
Odessa High School
Program: Oak Ridge

“I don’t necessarily teach science, but create scientists!” states Jeffery Wehr, a University of Montana undergrad earning degrees in Environmental Biology, Zoology, and Music Composition; Jeff then received his Master’s in Science Education from Montana State University with an emphasis in Physics. Being a 9-12th grade, one-teacher science department, Jeff teaches Biology, Chemistry, Integrated Science, Physics, and Advanced Science Research. He hosts various STEM/STEAM workshops for both students and fellow educators such as the Bi-County Science Challenge, and led his district to become one of five STEM Lighthouses for Washington State. Jeff has been recognized as Regional Teacher of the Year, Department of Education’s American Star of Teaching, and a Congressional Letter of Educational Commendation. “I am a research scientist at heart, so it is an enormous honor and opportunity to be invited to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a STARs Fellow and share that experience with my colleagues and students!”

 Daniel Durr

Daniel Durr, Entiat, WA
Entiat Middle/Senior High School
Program: Pacific Northwest

Daniel Durr received his Master’s and Bachelor’s in Biology from Walla Walla University. He is the only science teacher in his small rural school. Next year he will be teaching Physical Science, Biology, Physics and Natural Resources. Dan is an active member of Washington state’s Science Assessment Leadership Team and was also part of the committee that helped write Washington’s science standards. “I am honored to have been chosen as a STARs Fellow. My hope is that the experience will provide me with new ideas and resources to inspire my students.”

 Russell Craze

Russell Craze, Greendale, WI
Greendale High School
Program: Pacific Northwest

Russell Craze graduated with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from Marquette University in 2008 and with a master's degree in teaching science from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2010. Russell currently teaches a freshmen physical science course and the first biomedical Project Lead the Way course, Principles of Biomedical Sciences, at Greendale High School in Wisconsin. Russell also serves as the advisor for the Greendale HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) Club. "I cannot wait to share my experiences as a teacher and engage in true scientific research opportunities with peers from across the country!"




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