CEF’s Certified Instructors are selected from a competitive pool of applicants and attend the Certified Instructor Training Conference in Washington, DC, in July each year. Once trained, Instructors organize and lead Essential Elements workshops in their local communities. Our goal is to build a nationwide network of Certified Instructors who can provide high-quality, hands-on education across the US!

Certified Instructors: Click here to log in to access our Workshop Resources.

Meet CEF’s Current Certified Instructors

Amy A.

Chicago, IL

Amy is a National Board Certified Teacher, specializing in Middle Childhood Education. She has been teaching at Lincoln Elementary School for ten years and with the Chicago Public Schools for the last 20 years (with the exception of a year abroad at the American School of Warsaw, Poland). Her favorite work activities include teaching the You Be The Chemist Club after school program, and running the school gardening and environmental program. Reading, biking, hiking, stargazing and trying new restaurants are her favorite personal hobbies. Amy received a master’s degree in Science Education from DePaul University and has recently taken several math courses at the University of Chicago. She very much looks forward to her involvement with CEF and cannot wait to spread the love for hands-on science in Chicago and beyond!

Gabriella A.

Hollister, CA

Gabriella, currently an administrator for the Hollister School District, has been an educator for 15 years. She has worked as a middle school teacher, mathematics coach, and a professional development presenter. She is passionate about bringing as much hands-on science as possible to San Benito County educators and students. Her love of science has grown through watching educators and students get excited about the annual science fair and bringing home several acknowledgments. She is looking forward to bringing the You Be The Chemist Challenge to her county this year!


Dasha B.

Cottage Grove, MN

Dasha has been teaching elementary school for eleven years. She has a Master’s degree in Differentiated Education. During her time teaching elementary school she has taught first through fourth grade. During this time, the richest learning she witnessed, the type that crosses curricular boundaries, has been from doing STEM-based activities. She is excited to be an Essential Elements Certified Instructor so that she can share resources with colleagues and enable them to experience this richness for themselves.


Dorian B.

Florham Park, NJ

Dorian has managed environmental monitoring and materials testing for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for over 20 years. Her son’s love of the STEM fields led her into coaching robotics and helping to prepare other local students for the You Be The Chemist Challenge. Dorian has an MS in Environmental Science from the NJ Institute of Technology, an undergraduate degree in Biology from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, accreditation through the National Registry of Certified Chemists as an Environmental Analytical Chemist, and is also a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM) handling hazardous waste disposal and remedial investigations of contaminated properties. Her staunch belief that, as a community, we must invest in future generations of scientists at an earlier age, which resulted in Dorian’s engagement as a volunteer with JerseySTEM: a network of parents, professionals, students and educators whose goal is to promote excellence in STEM education. This partnership focuses on sharing STEM-related opportunities with underprivileged students and communities.

Rachael B.

Sioux City, IA

Rachael has been teaching for 19 years, and 17 of those years were spent teaching high school science. Currently she is an Instructional Strategy Coach in the middle school. She has her BS in Science Education with endorsements in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, Masters in Education, and is currently working towards her Doctorate in Administration through the University of South Dakota. Her teaching experiences have led her to becoming an Essential Elements Certified Instructor to share outstanding strategies with teachers.

Kevin B.

Knoxville, TN

Kevin is a Global Quality Systems Specialist/Analytical Chemist for The Dow Chemical Company in Knoxville, Tennessee. He has taught Chemistry and Physics at the high school level and Chemistry at the college level. Kevin has participated in STEM outreach by doing local elementary school science demonstrations under the stage name of “Dr. Beaker.” Kevin is a You Be The Chemist Challenge Organizer. Kevin has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Chemistry from LaGrange College and Middle Tennessee State University respectively, and a master’s degree in Training and Development Leadership from Northcentral University.


Christi B.

Morris, IL

Christi has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, which was the platform for her first career as a Lab Director at a small university. While working with college students and teaching labs, an enthusiasm for science education was discovered. She decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Education and make a career change. Christi is currently a 6th and 7th grade Science teacher, and also is the You Be The Chemist Challenge coordinator for her school.


Mary Alice B.

Lamont, CA

Mary Alice has a master’s degree in Education. Currently, she is working on her second year in the Ed.D in Organizational Change and Leadership at the University of Southern California. Her dissertation is on NGSS and Female Teacher Science Self-efficacy: It’s influence on fifth grade female science self-efficacy. She is currently a fifth grade Dual Immersion Teacher for the Lamont School District, and has been teaching for 24 years. She has been involved with the South Kern Mathematics Program for three years incorporating STEM into the classroom. She enjoys the opportunity of providing engaging science experiences for her students including robotics, electricity, and NASA engineering activities. Mary Alice is excited about teaching science with multicultural lessons that integrate historical science of marginalized populations. She understands that combining science with ELD is a wonderful engaging way to experience the nature of science while gaining language development with efficiency. She enjoys the opportunity of inspiring Latinos to become future scientists and engineers. She is excited about starting the You Be The Chemist Challenge with her students, and working with CEF to bring Essential Elements workshops to parents and teachers.


Valerie B.

Meridian, MS

Valerie has been a biology instructor at Meridian Community College for 10 years, and is also the division chairperson for Science and Wellness. Prior to this, she spent 15 years teaching high school biology, chemistry, and physics. Valerie is also one of the Mississippi You Be The Chemist Challenge Organizers. She enjoys reading, music, and walking.

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Amy B.

Hartman, AR

A National Board Certified Teacher with her Master’s in Instructional Improvement, Amy has been teaching for 19 years, and 17 of those years were spent teaching middle school science. Currently a gifted and talented teacher, Amy is a Local You Be The Chemist Challenge Organizer. Her experience teaching has given her a passion for sharing outstanding strategies with other teachers, leading her to become an Essential Elements Certified Instructor.

Ed B.

Philadelphia, MO

Ed is a Chemical Engineer who now works in Agriculture for Dow AgroSciences. After obtaining Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Chemical Engineering, Ed spent several years designing, building, and operating chemical plants. He now works in Quality Assurance supporting field and laboratory processes for Agriculture. He has spent time during the last 10 years supporting science outreach to various schools in Missouri. Ed has been involved with CEF since organizing the first Missouri You Be The Chemist Challenge in St. Louis County in April 2015. 

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Molly B.

Florham Park, NJ

Molly is responsible for the development, management and implementation of BASF’s community-based science education programs. She joined BASF in April 2011 after successfully launching Kids’ Lab (BASF’s educational program for children 6-12 years old) in North America at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey. Working at Liberty Science Center for more than six years, Molly has a great deal of experience working with K-12 students. In addition, while in graduate school, Molly taught several Geology Laboratory courses for undergraduate students. Molly has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Geoscience from Montclair State University. Her master’s thesis research includes extensive field work in Antarctica. Additionally, in 2015, Molly became a member of the Board of Trustees for the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey.


Vicki B.

Louisville, KY

Vicki is entering her fifth year as a 5th and 6th grade science teacher. Prior to teaching, she worked at the Kentucky Science Center where she discovered her love of hands-on science. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Wright State University, and has a Masters in Teaching from University of the Cumberlands. She is currently working on her National Board Certification. Vicki is always looking for ways to enhance her science education and was chosen to attend the Star Station One conference at Kennedy Space Center as well as the Mickelson Exxon Mobile Teacher’s Academy in New Jersey. Vicki is excited about bringing You Be The Chemist programs to both formal and informal educators in Kentucky.

Valarie B.

Trabuco Canyon, CA

Valarie has been teaching high school chemistry and physics for ten years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, and has a Secondary (Specialized) Credential in Chemistry. She has earned certification in Robotics and Engineering from Georgia Tech, and uses her love of STEM education to coach Robotics, First Lego League, and Jr. First Lego League teams. Valarie is a Tier II Educator for several NASA Educator programs including MAVEN’s Atmospheric Space Physics, coaches the after school ACS Chemistry Competition Team, and MESDT Authentic Research Team. Valarie has a passion for hands-on science education, and is excited about bringing You Be The Chemist programs to both formal and informal educators in South Orange County, CA.

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Charice C.

Hampton, GA

Charice is an experienced science educator within the Atlanta Metro area who has been teaching secondary education for over ten years. In addition to teaching, Charice is also a Professional Development STEM Facilitator for YELL! Academy. As an experienced Gifted Science Instructor, Charice believes in providing creative, strategic learning modules within the classroom and creating and building positive relationships with her students and peers. Most recently she began working with the Georgia STEAM Alliance Network and the FDA/NSTA Teach Food Science Professional Development Program that has enabled her to be a great asset to Atlanta Public Schools and Clayton County Public Schools. Charice has a Masters in Teaching with a Gifted-in Field Endorsement. She is currently a Gifted Science Teacher in Clayton County Public Schools at Eddie J. White K-8 Academy, where she serves as the Science Department Lead. Charice truly believes that we are all lifelong learners and it is her goal to utilize her range of knowledge and expertise to become a Master Teacher Leader, making a positive contribution to her educational community.


Amy C.

Castleton, VT

Amy is a K-6 science specialist and curriculum specialist for Addison Central School District in Middlebury, Vermont. She holds a Master’s Degree in Science Education and B.A.’s in Anthropology and Elementary Education from Colby College and the University of Montana, Missoula. Amy is dedicated to teaching hands-on, inquiry based science in the elementary schools in a way that makes students excited to learn more about science in middle school, high school and beyond. In her 19 years of teaching, she has enjoyed participating in scientific field work on rivers in the Arctic. She is excited to bring Essential Elements to teachers in Vermont, and working to get the You Be The Chemist Challenge to the state.


Heather C.

Rochester, NY

Heather is a Kindergarten Wrap Around teacher at the YMCA of Greater Rochester and has been teaching there for 11 years. She also works part-time as an Education Instructor at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. Her love of science is ever growing! Heather teaches a science-based curriculum to her students, and started introducing weekly STEM and STEAM challenges to her kindergartners after taking the Techbridge STEM training last school year. She also is a certified Makey Makey trainer and enjoys learning new ways to incorporate science into her classroom! In her spare time, Heather coaches and plays ultimate frisbee. She also enjoys hiking the Adirondack peaks and hopes to be a 46er someday! Heather is looking forward to sharing the You Be The Chemist programs in her community.


Tammy C.

Oklahoma City, OK

Tammy is a Youth and Family Director for the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City. She is so passionate about learning that she is currently in school working on a degree in Emergency Management. Her love of science has inspired her to begin a science club for girls of all ages and utilizes community women scientists as her weekly guests. Tammy is looking forward to sharing the You Be The Chemist programs in her community and beyond.

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Theresa C.

Macomb, MI

Theresa, currently a fifth grade teacher for the Grosse Pointe Public School District, has been teaching for 11 years. She has been involved in the You Be The Chemist Challenge with her students for five years, and enjoys providing and creating a variety of science opportunities for her students. In addition, as a recent alumna of the Galileo Institute for Teacher Leadership, she looks forward to working with educators to enhance science instruction.

Jerry C.

Torrance, CA

Jerry has been teaching middle school science in the South Central Los Angeles area for eight years. He is currently working on being a National Board Certified Teacher and finishing his Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. His students have participated in the You Be The Chemist Challenge at the state level for the past two years. His experience teaching students and collaborating with teachers from underrepresented communities and his passion to lead others has led him to become an Essential Elements Certified Instructor.

Cathi C.

Lincoln Parish, LA

Cathi currently serves as the ACHIEVE Coordinator for Lincoln Parish Schools. She initiated the region’s premiere STEM program in partnership with Louisiana Tech where she also serves on the Advisory Board for the nationally recognized UTeachTech program. The co-author of three teaching engineering guides, Cathi currently serves as the Louisiana Director for ITEEA’s Engineering by Design Consortium. She was named by Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White to serve on the state’s Louisiana Believes Advisory Committee and recently tapped to serve on the Louisiana Science Standards Review Committee. Selected for Louisiana’s LPB STEM Forum, she was honored in Baton Rouge with the Claudia Fowler Distinguished Service to Science Education Award, recognized with the national Outstanding Leadership in Science Education award, and named among the 2015 Louisianians of the Year by Louisiana Life Magazine. Listed among Delta Style Magazine’s “Sweet Sixteen” Most Influential Women, Cathi was honored with the national Kappa Delta Sorority Order of the Pearl Award for her prominence in professional and civic service at the national, state, and local level.


Andrea D.

Midlothian, TX

Andrea is a Texas State Certified Teacher, specializing in grades 6-12 education. She has been teaching at Trinity Christian Cedar Hill for four years and with Texas schools for the last 12 years. Her favorite school activities include coaching junior high volleyball – which she has done for the last 12 years – and going to watch her students play at other sporting events and activities. In her free time, she loves spending time with her husband and two kids! She received her Master’s Degree in education from Dallas Baptist University and looking forward to starting her doctorate sometime in the future. She is excited for her involvement in CEF and cannot wait to start workshops around the Dallas/Fort Worth area!


Nicole D.

Houston, TX

Nicole has been a middle school educator for 15 years. The first 11 years of her career she was in the classroom, and for the past four years she has been the Science Content Curriculum Instructional Specialist and Technology Liaison for her school in Cypress. Nicole graduated magnum cum laude from Sam Houston State University with a BS in Education and a minor in Physics. Her passion is inspiring students and teachers to discover new things through exploration. In addition, Nicole loves to bring community members in to work with students and show them all the possibilities of STEM careers. Nicole and her students have participated in the You Be The Chemist Challenge since 2013, and she attended the National Challenge as a Nominated Educator in 2016. She is honored to now have the opportunity to share the Essential Elements program with other professionals.


Chaka D.

Church Hill, TN

After initially going to college to study forensic science, Chaka later found her passion as a middle school educator. Chaka holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology and a Master’s in Education & Administration. Her enthusiasm to see lives transformed has led her outside the classroom as a John Maxwell certified life coach, speaker, trainer, and consultant for individuals as well as companies across the nation. As a prior educator in the Tri-Cities, TN region where she resides, Chaka is excited about the opportunity to stay connected to the educators in her community through sharing of the hands-on training of the You Be The Chemist and Essential Elements programs. For the past 18 years Chaka has been passionate about training, transitioning, and transforming of the lives of those she touches and making learning fun!

Pamela D.

Lake Charles, LA

Pamela has been teaching elementary school for 23 years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from McNeese State University. For the past three years she has been a STEM Master Teacher for her parish through the PROGRESS Project. Pamela worked with the local university to begin an afterschool club utilizing Engineering is Elementary. In July of 2016, she was a participant in the Mickelson Exxon Mobil Teacher Academy in Jersey City. She is a member of the Civil Air Patrol, NSTA, NCMT, and is an Online Adviser in the NSTA Learning Center Forums. Pamela recently accepted a position as Lead Teacher at a PreK-5 school in her area. She is inspired by her students and her favorite historical hero: Leonardo da Vinci.

Alex E.

Memphis, TN

Alex has a master’s degree in Education and has worked at the Pink Palace Museum for over 20 years. Life as a “non-traditional” educator allows her to devote a significant part of her workday toward bringing exciting professional opportunities to teachers, as well as providing engaging and educational opportunities to students in the Memphis region and beyond. Alex is currently a MESSENGER and New Horizons Educator Fellow and has been a NOAA Teacher at Sea and PolarTREC participant. She is now excited to be working with CEF to bring the You Be The Chemist programs to the Memphis area.

Barbara F.

Bedford, MA

Barbara has master’s degrees in both Elementary Education and Science Education. She has been teaching middle school since 2000. For the past eight years she has served as the Massachusetts You Be The Chemist Challenge Organizer and is a member of the Challenge Organizer Committee. Additionally, she is adviser to the John Glenn Middle School science club, environmental club and she runs the school recycling program.

Rebecca F.

Bay City, MI

Rebecca has her Master’s in Teaching Natural Science. She has taught for 20 years, and almost all of that time was in the fifth grade. Currently, she is teaching fifth grade Gifted and Talented. She has been involved with the You Be The Chemist Challenge for over eight years. Rebecca is also on the inaugural board of the American Association of Chemistry Teachers as their Elementary Ambassador. She was interested in becoming an Essential Elements Certified Instructor because of her passion for engaging her students in hands-on science activities and encouraging their love of learning.

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Mickie F.

Deer Isle, ME

Mickie has been teaching science since 1983 in one form or another. She has taught middle school science classes, high school chemistry and biology, and content and methods science courses as an adjunct instructor for the State University of New York at Potsdam. Mickie was the recipient of the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship award and managed Senator Durbin’s education portfolio 2004-2005. Currently, she is the 2015 Hancock County Teacher of the Year and teaches 6th, 7th and 8th grade science at Deer Isle Stonington Elementary School in Deer Isle, Maine.


Michelle G.

Daphne, AL

Michelle has been an educator for over 20 years and is National Board Certified in middle childhood. She currently teaches gifted 3rd and 4th grade learners at Foley Elementary School in Alabama. Michelle has had a love and passion for science since high school, and has participated in a number of science teacher training programs around the country to further develop her skills as an educator. She is an Alabama Math Science and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) teacher and presenter for 4th grade, served on her school AMSTI professional learning community for three years, attended the Sally Ride Academy, the Exxon Mobil Academy, and is an advisor for Scholastics SuperScience, Scholastic Magazine, and Scholastics National Advisory Board.


Nancy G.

Harwich, MA

After 15 years of teaching grades K-2, Nancy made the jump to middle school science. She currently teaches 7th grade and 5th grade robotics. Nancy Is particularly interested in Earth and Space Science and was honored to be chosen as a Distinguished Alumna for the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy. She is currently working with WGBH and NASA on the Bringing the Universe to America’s Classroom project. In recent years, Nancy has served as County Director for the Massachusetts Association of Science Teachers. When not teaching kids or adults, Nancy is likely to be found chasing her boys around Cape Cod. She is looking forward to spreading a love of chemistry among teachers in her area.


Adam G.

San Francisco, CA

Adam is a science curriculum designer with the K-12 educational technology company IXL Learning, where he develops engaging, rigorous science content that sparks curiosity and promotes scientific thinking. Adam earned his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology while studying the genetic factors that enable plants to invade new habitats. In addition to his time as a visiting assistant professor of biology at Colgate University, Adam also has experience teaching at the middle school and high school levels. He’s looking forward to working with the Chemical Educational Foundation to bring more hands-on learning opportunities into local classrooms!

Bill H.

Huntley, IL

Bill has worked for over 25 years as a consumer paint chemist for such companies as Ace Hardware, Tru Value Hardware and Valspar. He is now a high school teacher, adding his professional experience and content knowledge to the classroom. He is also a US Soccer Licensed Coach, Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor and Board Member for the Chicago Paint and Coatings Association. Bill looks forward to bring his knowledge and experience to help educators get students excited about science.

Mike H.

Downers Grove, IL

Mike just completed his 25th year of high school science teaching. He is beginning his 7th year as the science department chair at Downers Grove North High School in Downers Grove, IL. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Northern Illinois Science Educators community. Throughout his career, Mike has taught AP Chemistry, Honors Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Science, and Physical Science. He is the DuPage County You Be The Chemist Challenge Local Organizer and has run this local competition for the past two years. He was a member of the Flinn Scientific Foundation team for four summers and traveled around the country training teachers in chemistry demonstrations, laboratory investigations, and classroom activities.

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Mary H.

Coleman, MI
Mary has been teaching secondary sciences since 1994. Prior to joining the classroom she was a research scientist at Michigan Technological University. Her passion is to bring a love of science to the students through hands-on, inquiry-based learning. She has her BS in Chemistry and her masters in Science Education. For the past ten years she has also organized the statewide Michigan Association of Christian Schools Science Fair. She has been involved with You Be The Chemist programs for the past two years.


Joe H.

State College, PA

Joe is an Assistant Teaching Professor at Penn State University. He received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Virginia in 2013. After graduation, he took a teaching position at the University of Maryland, College Park where he taught general and organic (his favorite!) chemistry. After his son was born, Joe sought a job that would bring him closer to his family. In 2016, his family moved “home” to State College and Joe joined the faculty at PSU. He currently teaches general and organic chemistry both on campus and online. Joe is excited to share his passion for chemistry with teachers in Central PA!

Tracie H.

Charleston, SC

Tracie is a National Board Certified Teacher with a master’s degree in Science and Math for Teachers. Currently teaching 7th and 8th grade Science, Tracie has been teaching middle school for 14 years in Charleston, South Carolina. Her students have participated in the You Be The Chemist Challenge for the past three years. She enjoys inspiring future generations of scientists, as well as getting other educators excited about incorporating more hands-on instruction in their classrooms.


Denise K.

Old Tappan, NJ

Denise has been both an educator and a scientist. She has taught high school chemistry and environmental science, and is currently the science lab specialist in a K-6 school. Before becoming a teacher, she was a scientist in the biotech industry, a researcher in a university molecular biology lab, and an educator at a nature center. She is a certified International Baccalaureate teacher, a Space Foundation Teacher Liaison, and was a Dow Fellow in the National Science Teachers Association’s New Science Teacher Academy. Her degrees are from Penn and Columbia University.

Danielle K.

Tularosa, NM

Currently in the agriculture industry, Danielle and her family are stakeholders in pistachio production and actively serve American Pistachio Growers as ambassadors for domestic and international markets. In addition, Danielle teaches fifth grade in Tularosa, New Mexico, while coordinating after school STEM programs for K-5 students. Danielle’s passion for agriculture was nurtured at an early age being raised in agritourism and horseback in the mountains of New Mexico. Danielle received her bachelor’s in Agricultural Education at NMSU and attained her master’s in Educational Administration at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. While working in Oklahoma in the pork industry, she was a production trainer and volunteered as a facilitator in Pork Quality Assurance with the Oklahoma Pork Council. Her teaching experience spans high school agriculture, biology, physical science, zoology, animal science, and agricultural mechanics, to elementary second and fifth grade.

Reneé L.

Decatur, GA

Dr. Reneé L. is a veteran teacher with over 20 years experience in the classroom and in leadership roles. She is a former Gifted and Talented Education Teacher, and is currently a STEAM lab instructor at the elementary level where for the past 12 years she has pursued her passion for STEAM while engaging both middle and elementary students in science education. Dr. L. experiences significant personal gratification when students enthusiastically respond to STEAM topics: both a demonstrative physical expression of enjoyment on the part of the student (eyes light up with wonder) coupled with a behavioral response realized, as a student’s commitment to stick with the work even when it challenges them is the root of her gratification. Leveraging crowdsourcing and local sponsors to obtain needed classroom equipment and materials, Dr. L. was able to obtain needed classroom supplies in a time of challenging budget constraints. Dr. L. obtained undergraduate and master level degrees in Middle Grades Education and Educational Leadership from Brenau University.  She earned and her doctorate degree from Nova Southeastern University.  Dr. L. considers herself a “lifetime learner” and seeks opportunities to continue to expand her experience, which in turn helps her to grow along with her students.


Laurie L.

Punta Gorda, FL

Laurie earned a Master’s degree in Educational Technology and has been teaching middle school science for 13 years. She serves as the Science Department Chair and provides classroom technology support for her school. Laurie has been involved with CEF in the You Be The Chemist Challenge for the past five years as the Challenge Organizer and a school coordinator. She also serves as the Education Chair for the Friends of Little Salt Spring, an archaeological sinkhole 12,000-7,000 years old conveniently located right next to her school. Some of the oldest human remains ever found in North America were unearthed in this spring!

Joe M.

Lansdale, PA

Joe is currently contracted to The Dow Chemical Company as a STEM Manager through The Franklin Institute science museum of Philadelphia. He previously directed STEM outreach and corporate volunteer initiatives for 13 years at the Merck Institute for Science Education, where he also contributed as a content specialist in numerous professional development programs. His experience of increasing both awareness and engagement of STEM learning helps to actively grow and nurture a culture of STEM outreach in communities where Dow employees live and work. Through the Essential Elements workshops, Joe will share his passion for science by introducing educators to effective instructional techniques that excite, engage and motivate students in STEM exploration to ensure the future talent necessary to solve major world challenges. Joe received his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Colorado State University and his B.S. in chemistry from Providence College.


Holly N.

Hillsboro, OR

Holly has been teaching math and science for the past five years. Prior to that, she was an inorganic chemist at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. She graduated with a B.S. from George Fox University before going on to get a Masters in Environmental Science from Portland State University. Her thesis looked at the atmospheric chemistry of nitrogen oxides. Holly really enjoys being a part of any kind of science professional development. She was a Siemens STEM Fellow, part of the PITSCO Teacher Advisory Group, and is currently active as the Secondary Lead at Valor Christian School International. She helps to coach a science team where her students compete in the You Be The Chemist Challenge, Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Flight, E-Cybermission, MATE Underwater Robotics, Team America Rocketry Challenge, Envirothon, and Science Olympiad. Holly also helps to run the FFA, Honor Society, Chem Club, and Math Club at her school. Currently, Holly lives in the wonderful state of Oregon along with her husband and new daughter. She is very excited to share her passion with other teachers and wants to help teachers feel successful at teaching chemistry.

David N.

Rock Hill, SC

David is entering his 31st year in education having served in a number of positions from classroom teacher to district science instructional specialist during his varied career. He entered the teaching profession as part of South Carolina’s alternative certification program in 1987 after working at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory in Aiken, SC as an environmental chemist for five years. He has been involved in writing science curriculum at the state level and has among his many passions hands-on science and STEM education. David has taken several students to the SC You Be the Chemist Challenge and has also served as coach for Oakdale Elementary School’s Science Bowl team. He will be coaching the You Be The Chemist Challenge team at Dutchman Creek Middle School during this school year.

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Kathleen O.

Detroit, MI

Kathleen is a middle school science teacher at Madison Carver Academy in Detroit, Michigan. She is currently earning her Masters of Science Education and Curriculum at Lawrence Technological University. Kathleen has taught science for a total of twelve years and is currently a member of the Michigan Science Teachers Association and the National Science Teachers Association.

Terisa O.

Sherman, TX

Terisa recently retired after 29 years as a K-12 educator. Terisa has expertise and leadership in professional development, and curriculum and instructional technology. She recently became a Certified Instructor and currently works as a profession development consultant for several school districts in Texas. With her focus on curriculum development and hands-on constructivist learning, she is excited to be a part of bring FREE hands-on science training to schools, educational organizations, home school teachers, and after-school programs.

Shannon O.

Milwaukee, WI

Shannon, an alumnae of Alverno College, graduated in 2011 after working as a bus driver and raising two boys. The plethora of life experiences have influenced Shannon’s pursuit of a career in education. The life experience that she brings to the classroom has increased student knowledge and understanding of science is everything in life: from the air we breathe to the food we eat. She is driven to build confidence in her students as they acquire scientific knowledge. Working with CEF to provide the  hands-on training of the You Be The Chemist programs to teachers and community members in the Milwaukee and surrounding area is an extension of her passion to build scientific confidence throughout the community.

Megan O.

Milwaukee, WI

Megan is a middle school science teacher at a dual-language immersion school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Currently in her sixth year of teaching, Megan is passionate about bringing quality science instruction to all students, especially English Language Learners. Megan received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Notre Dame and has a master’s in Education from the same university. Her enthusiasm for science education led her to become a Certified Instructor; Megan is looking forward to collaborating and sharing resources with other teachers!

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Yvonne P.

Richmond, VA

Yvonne has been involved in education for over 30 years. She has a bachelor degree in Chemistry, is endorsed is Physics, and has a masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She enjoys being in the chemistry and physical science classroom. She has developed many courses with the MathScience Innovation Center where she presently works to inspire students to become creative thinkers. Yvonne has been involved with CEF since organizing the Local You Be The Chemist Challenge at MSiC for the Metro Richmond area since 2014.

Paul P.

Tustin, CA

Paul has embraced informal education as a means to motivate, inspire and educate students of all ages. After beginning his education career path in environmental education, Paul joined Science Adventures a hands-on, after school/summer camp program. As Training Manager, responsibilities included curriculum development and professional development of over 300 staff nationwide. As Director of Education for Discovery Science Center, Paul works with a team to coordinate and the implement outreach reaching 250,000 students in five counties annually. Using science as a platform to make connections through out curriculum, Paul has helped to develop lasting and sustainable programs. Paul holds a master’s degree in Education with a focus on STEM.


Cindi R.

Surgoinsville, TN

Cindi has taught first and second grade at Joseph Rogers Primary School for 12 years. Her favorite work activity is leading the You Be the Chemist leadership club at her school. In her free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family. Cindi received her BS from East Tennessee State University, her M.Ed. from Lincoln Memorial University, and her Ed.S. from Liberty University.

Shawnee R.

Ogden, UT

Shawnee is a STEM Instructional Coach with 20 years of experience teaching and coaching educators at the elementary school level. She has a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and certifications in Special Education, Educational Technology, and STEM. Her passion is getting kids involved in experiential, hands-on investigations to help students understand the world that surrounds them. Shawnee is excited to help share CEF’s Essential Elements program.

Susan R.

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

After originally working in marketing, eight years ago Susan found her passion in teaching science. She has taught both elementary and middle school science with an emphasis on hands-on, inquiry-based activities. She received her master’s degree in Science Education from the University of Florida, where she was specifically trained as a Science Teacher Leader. Susan was the recipient of the 2015 MIT Alumni of the Palm Beaches scholarship for the MIT SEPT summer program (Science and Engineering Program for Teachers). With her Gifted Certification, she was selected to develop curriculum for SciQuest, the three-year science academy for grades 6-8. Susan also provides after school science opportunities through several clubs, including a, student run, digital science journal and The STEAM Factory. She loves to collaborate with other teachers and share best practices.

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Stephen S.

Cranston, RI

Stephen has taught middle school science for 15 years. He has taught professional development in curriculum and technology in his district. He also is a Science Olympiad Coach and currently is the Science Program Supervisor for Cranston Public Schools.

Carolyn S.

Syracuse, NY

Carolyn is currently a 6th-grade math and science teacher in the East Syracuse Minoa Central School District and has been teaching for 15 years. She spent seven years as the middle school’s math diagnostician, working both with groups of students and collaborating with fellow faculty members to improve math instruction. Carolyn has been privileged to work as a Project ENGAGE instructor, inspiring young women to pursue studies in engineering hosted on the campus of Syracuse University. She is always in search of ways to inspire students to be involved in STEM fields, including serving as co-advisor of her school’s Science Olympiad team, leading a middle school STEM Club, and sharing her experiences as a Honeywell Educator at Space Academy. Carolyn is excited to be involved with CEF as an Essential Elements Certified Instructor and looks forward to sharing engaging science instruction strategies with teachers in her area.


Tredina S.

Gainesville, FL

Tredina has been teaching for five years, and three of those years were spent teaching high school AVID, Anatomy and Physiology, and Chemistry. Currently, she is an 8th grade Science Instructor at a K-12 Research Developmental school. She has her Bachelors of Science in Biology with a teaching endorsement in Biology, and is currently working on her Master’s in Education Leadership with Nova Southeastern University. Her teaching and leadership experiences have led her to becoming an Essential Elements Certified Instructor to better support educators with engaging science classroom strategies.

Larry S.

Indianapolis, IN

Larry retired in 2014 from Dow AgroSciences where he worked for over 25 years as a Canola Breeder and Project Manager in the Seeds and Traits business unit leading teams in the development of healthier vegetable oils and insect resistant cotton. He was very involved in STEM education outreach during his career at Dow AgroSciences and helped with the formation and leadership of the Science Ambassador program for Dow AgroSciences. In retirement, Larry continues to be very involved in STEM education outreach serving as Vice Chair of the Science Education Foundation of Indiana and is very involved with SEFI’s Hoosier Science and Engineering Fair and Celebrate Science Indiana science festival. Since 2007 he has served as a core volunteer and judging co-chair for Plant Sciences at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. His real passion though is for the Chemical Educational Foundation’s You Be The Chemist programs. Larry first got involved with the YBTC Challenge in 2011 as the State Challenge Organizer in Indiana and over the years has worked to grow the Challenge in Indiana to eight Local Challenges across the state. In 2014 he became a certified instructor for CEF’s Essential Elements professional development workshops and has done numerous workshops in Indiana and other states. He is also part-time contractor with the Chemical Educational Foundation supporting the Dow Chemical sites involved in the You Be The Chemist programs.

Danielle S.

Allentown, PA

Danielle has taught K-12 science over 20 years. She enjoys bringing hands-on, minds-on experiences to students and teachers alike. She has a Biology degree, a Secondary Science Education degree, a School Administration degree, and is finishing the doctoral journey in Educational Leadership. From ImClone Technologies, to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s DNA Learning Center, to Biochemistry at Thomas Jefferson University, Danielle has had opportunities to bring real-world research to teachers and students nationally as well as internationally. Currently, both a teacher and administrator at a progressive private school, she looks forward to introducing educators to the Essential Elements model within the tri-state area surrounding the Lehigh Valley, PA.

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Anna S.

Riverdale, MD

Anna has taught middle and high school science for 4 years, in both public and private schools. She graduated from Clemson University with degrees in Biological Sciences (BA) and Secondary Science Education (BA).  Anna is passionate about supporting science teaching in the homeschooling community, and currently teaches elementary school science for a homeschooling co-op.


Mary W.

Cincinnati, OH

Dr. Mary Webb is a veteran mathematics teacher at North College Hill Middle School. She has taught both mathematics and science during her 19-year teaching career. Dr. Webb is a 20-year U.S. Army veteran who earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Psychology at Park University. Later she earned a master’s degree in the Art of Teaching from Goucher College. In 2015, Mary completed a doctorate degree in Educational Administration from Miami University. As an educator, she is a strong advocate for hands-on, inquiry-based, experiential learning. She believes this style of teaching creates a space for students to experience the usefulness of the concepts they are learning. In her classroom, you will find students involved in a variety of projects, including exploring polymers, 3D printing, hatching chicks, sewing, chemistry, creating circuits, launching rockets, building mousetrap cars, racers and gliders. Her philosophy is to provide an interesting, challenging, learning environment where students will flourish socially and academically. She has co-authored two books: 10 Great Curricula (Information Age Publishing, 2012) and Curriculum Windows (Information Age Publishing, 2013). In November of 2016, she presented her theory of Redo’s and Retakes: Grading for Mastery at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Her professional interests include research on how we reconceptualize the perception that math is not for everyone, is not fun, can only be done using paper and a textbook and is not relevant to the lives of students. She is also interested in helping teachers understand how to recapture the joy of teaching and learning that really makes a difference in the lives of our children while creating a space where school is interesting and learning is cool because there are no limits on what can be done both inside and outside of the classroom.


Tony Z.

Irvine, CA

Tony is a STEM/Title 1 teacher at an elementary school in Huntington Beach, California. He teaches science to students in grades K-5. Tony has been teaching for 17 years in multiple grades and teaching positions. Tony holds a multiple subject credential and a single subject science credential. Tony developed and implemented an afterschool science program that utilizes hands-on, inquiry-based methods. In addition, Tony trains teachers on a national level in science and math instruction for the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers academy. Tony also trains teachers internationally through his work in Qatar, where he works with primary and middle school teachers on instructional practices focusing on hands on science and math instruction. Tony is a writer who contributes to the Huffington Post on education issues.


Thank You to CEF’s Former Certified Instructors!

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Gene E.

Tallmadge, OH
Gene has been teaching for 36 years. He is currently an adjunct professor at Kent State University where he teaches conceptual chemistry for elementary and middle school teachers. Also he is an instructor for Operation Physics for elementary and middle school teachers. He is well-versed as professional development instructor and also helped develop the Operation Primary Physical Science Materials.

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Dawn H.

Malcom, IA

Dawn is currently employed at BASF as quality assurance lab technician. She serves as the director for the Malcom Youth After School Program where she mentors students in a variety of subjects. She has been advocate for all of CEF programs since 2014. She also serves on the Malcom City Council.

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Ann I.

Kokomo, IN

Ann has been involved in education for over 25 years. She has a masters degree in materials engineering and currently owns her own lab that does EPA certified water testing. She has developed many ways to get her community involved in understanding the chemistry of water, she often works with home school students, and is also working to develop a science fair curriculum based around water. Her lab helps to sponsor the a local You Be The Chemist Challenge.

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Glenn J.

Tinely Park, IL

Glenn recently retired after 20 years as a middle school science teacher and consulting teacher with the Chicago Public Schools system. Glenn is currently employed at ScienceSmart, a non-profit organization that provides exceptional hands-on, project-based, and problem-based science curriculum for intermediate and middle school students. He also contributes to ScienceSmart as the director of weekly in-class instructions and after-school programs. Glenn has been serving as a You Be The Chemist volunteer since 2012.

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Janice T.

Hockessin, DE

Jan recently retired after 41 years with the Christina School District. She holds a Master’s of Instruction degree as well as National Board Certification. As an elementary classroom teacher, she has experience in 1st through 6th grade. For the past six years, she has worked as the district’s science specialist responsible for developing curriculum, providing professional development and organizing science fairs and after school You Be The Chemist programs.



Get in touch with us at essential.elements@chemed.org.