Education Scientists 2018-2019
Technology & Digital Media SpecialistHamilton Park Montessori School
Michele is currently the Technology & Digital Media Specialist at Hamilton Park Montessori School in Jersey City, NJ, designing curriculum & learning with students grades 3 through 8. She has had a meandering career path that includes sommelier, filmmaker and startup founder and has a B.A. from NYU’s Gallatin School for Individualized Study.
Michele is also the founder of Human First, empowering students, schools and families create the future, without fear. She spends lots of time cooking, eating, reading & yoga-ing, and she loves sharing a great campfire on a cool night with her husband Francesco, son Ellis and the family dog, Riley.
"How can holistic student reports improve student self-understanding and allow admissions teams to improve the selection process, ensuring better school choice and fit?"
Educational Technology Coordinator
St. Albans School
An experienced educator of over 18 years, Dawn Berkeley currently leads technology integration and development as the Educational Technology Coordinator at St. Albans School in Washington, DC. Prior to St. Albans, she worked at Sidwell Friends School as the Upper School Academic Technology Coordinator and Coordinator of the Global Online Academy, as well as at Parkdale High School, where she taught AP Biology and spearheaded the school’s first iPad program and facilitated the deployment of 700 iPads into a school population of 2,300.
Dawn is a Level 1 and 2 Google Certified Teacher, a Common Sense Certified Educator, and a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator. She has also been a member of the Discovery Educator Network Leadership Council and was a scholarship recipient of the Google Developer Challenge for Front-End Web Development offered through Udacity. She is a wife and mom to four children.
"How might the boys use technology for good in order to create meaningful opportunities for underserved populations?"
Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart
Barbara earned a B.A. in African Languages and Literature with a Certificate in African Studies as well as an M.A. in African American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has also done post-graduate studies at the Southern University at New Orleans in Education. She has both studied and worked in several African countries and has experience in written and spoken Krio and Mende languages of Sierra Leone. Prior to Stone Ridge, Barbara taught writing and literature at Montgomery College in Takoma Park/Silver Spring. She and her family relocated to Maryland after Hurricane Katrina blew them out of New Orleans, where she served as an English teacher and Director of Diversity.
Barbara, her daughter Kiah, and husband David live in Silver Spring and she enjoys reading, travelling, hiking, and kayaking.
"How can guided meditation at the beginning of class foster creative writing?"
Middle School Science Teacher
Olivia graduated from Providence College with a dual-certification in elementary and special education and works at Commonwealth Academy as a middle school science teacher. She engages her students with a combination of hands-on learning and innovative technology.
Olivia recently attended the Learning and the Brain conference in Boston where she refined her expertise in educational technology and implementing augmented and virtual reality in the classroom.
Olivia coaches girls varsity volleyball and basketball as well as facilitates two Destination Imagination Teams. Outside of the classroom, she can be found playing tennis, watching hockey, and going to Caps games.
"How can project-based learning impact student grit and perseverance?"
Fourth Grade Teacher
Rocky Hill School
Inspired by his teaching parents, Charlie has been teaching for over twenty years. With a M.Ed. from Boston College, He is a passionate educator. Presently Charlie is a fourth grade teacher, robotics coach and faculty technology mentor at Rocky Hill School in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.
Charlie has worked in both public and independent schools, and worked with children with severe and profound disabilities, learners with developmental delays, kindergartners, third graders and fourth graders. He has also worked as an elementary principal, admission director and diversity director. The sum of these experiences have taught Charlie to appreciate and understand the relativity of success and inspired him to always search for and celebrate the successes, however small or big, of his learners, their families and his colleagues. Beyond the campus, Charlie enjoys spending time with his two daughters, Alexa and Sara, his wife, Amy and their beloved yellow Labrador, Hulk!
"Are elements of PBL an effective method for addressing and teaching elementary social studies skills and concepts, which can be measured?"
Founder and CEO, Sustained Learning Solutions, LLC
Sharia has 35 years of experience as an urban educational and organizational leader and practitioner in the roles of teacher, school psychologist, assistant principal, instructional facilitator and Washington, DC Government Agency Interim Director. She founded Sustained Learning Solutions, LLC as a result driven educational, organizational, social and scientific consultancy that provides offerings in program development, professional development, and strategic planning to facilitate systemic organizational and personal change.
Sharia is widely accomplished and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California Los Angeles, Masters of Education from Howard University, Masters of Educational Leadership from George Mason University, and a Doctor of Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Outside of her work, Sharia can be found traveling, attending shows and concerts, as well as jogging, weightlifting, and dancing.
"Does the Alternative Education League (AEL) holistic approach model used to support youth and young adults in Alternative Education settings produce desired outcomes such as increased academic achievement, attendance, retention and enhanced social and emotional development?"
Middle School Math Teacher
Brenda is currently an algebra instructor at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. After being an instructor and Director of Admissions at Georgetown Visitation in Washington, D.C., Brenda has devoted her career to middle school mathematics, in particular, Algebra I for grade 8 students.
Brenda holds a Bachelors of Arts from Clarke University and a Masters of Arts from Trinity University. Outside of the classroom, Brenda loves reading spy novels, cooking new recipes, traveling, and spending time with her husband (also an educator) and their four children.
"Will incorporating a STEAM component into a math unit help students better understand the concepts so that less time is needed for repetition and drill?"
Foreign Language Department Chair and a Spanish teacher
Mary is the Foreign Language Department Chair and a Spanish teacher at Commonwealth Academy in Alexandria, Virginia. She earned a B.A. in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Western Michigan University, a M. A. in Spanish Literature from the University of Kentucky, and is currently finishing a post graduate certificate in Executive Function and LD at Landmark College.
Mary is passionate about making language learning accessible for all types of learners. In her classroom she experiments with ways to use technology as a transformative tool to meet student needs. She has spoken on this topic at several professional conferences including ISTE and most recently NECTFL. When she’s not at school, Mary spends most of her time playing legos and reading comics with her husband and two sons. When left to her own devices she enjoys swimming and working on art projects.
"How can I use coaching strategies to cultivate a system where students take ownership of their technology use and work toward self regulation?"
Lower School Teacher-Librarian
Caren Norris holds a BA from the University of Virginia and an MLS from the University of Maryland. She has worked as a teacher-librarian for twenty years, the last four at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. A constructivist educator, Caren believes in building students’ agency for their own learning through inquiry-based instruction.
Caren is an avid gardener and runner; she and her husband have five grown children.
"Will visible thinking strategies offset students’ limited background knowledge and thereby increase their comprehension of nonfiction text?"
English Teacher and Department Chair
Molly teaches 9th grade Writing and 10th grade English at Commonwealth Academy. She will also be serving as English Department Chair this year. This is her second year teaching and living in Virginia after 7 years as a Special Educator and Teach for America Corps Member in San Francisco, California. A double major, she received a Bachelor's degree in Writing and Psychology from Johns Hopkins University.
When not in the classroom, Molly enjoys traveling, prestige television, podcasts, and eating gluten free baked goods.
"Given the knowledge that female students are under diagnosed with ADHD and executive functioning issue and more often exhibit inattentive rather than hyperactive behavior, is there a discrepancy in student and teacher perceptions about the degree to which their learning differences impact them? Is there a gap in how much direct interaction teachers and female students have on a daily basis? Are there best practices for teachers if this is the case?"
The SET Lab Team
SET Lab Consultant
Allison graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelors of Science in Cell Biology and Genetics. After working as a teaching assistant during her undergraduate years, she joined Teach for America’s Bay Area corps as a special educator in 2014. During her two year commitment, Allison earned a master’s degree in Special Education at Loyola Marymount University. She was her elementary school’s STEAM liaison and helped promote the use of robotics, coding and Google classroom in her school. Allison worked as a resource specialist and RTI coordinator in D.C. Public Schools before joining SET as an EdTech & Innovation Consultant. When not teaching or spreading her love for EdTech, Allison can usually be found hiking, traveling, attempting to not fall at yoga, or finding live music in DC.
Julia is an experienced educator who has been working in educational technology for the last 8 years. She works with all types of educators and inspires them to be innovative in their teaching approaches and curricular design. Julia studied Psychology at the University of Maryland while also earning certificates in Life Sciences, Special Education, and Human Development. Additionally, she holds a MS in Instructional Technology from Towson University with a concentration in School Library Media. In her free time, Julia enjoys “making” with her 18 month old daughter, from crafts to tall towers to original readings of board books. She is also a DC sports fanatic, dabbler of new recipes, and lover of sunshine.
President and Founder
Urvi is an experienced educator and lifelong learner. She is the CEO and Founder of Strategic EdTech (SET). Urvi has worked as a Director of EdTech and Innovation, Middle School teacher as well as a whole school Technology Teaching and Learning Coordinator. She is passionate about edtech, robotics, andragogy and learning through constructionism. Her work alongside teachers, staff, administrators, and students of all ages in education and educational technology has given her the expertise in educational innovation to help schools progress with the values of today’s world within their mission and vision. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, Bachelor of Education and Masters in Education from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Outside of her work, Urvi can be found teaching and practicing yoga, exploring museums, and reading.
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