Education Scientists 2019-2020
Middle and High School History Teacher
Sora Wondra studied at Coe College and the University of Cambridge and is now a Middle and High School History Teacher at Commonwealth Academy in Alexandria, Virginia. Before returning to teaching she was the Chief of Staff at Character.org, a national nonprofit in Washington, D.C. and conducted research in the Republic of Georgia. Having grown up in Colorado, she loves the outdoors and hiking with her family.
Middle School Coordinator & PBL 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.
Volunteer and Training Coordinator
Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo, and Shedd Aquarium
Vicky Vaccaro joins us from the Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo, and Shedd Aquarium. Over the past 12 years she has written, coordinated, and delivered educational conservation programs and special events. Besides her zoo and aquarium experience, she also has worked as the education manager at a local horse barn where she trained horses, pigs, and people! Her interests outside of the animal world include tabletop games and pizza! She is also very passionate about inclusion, completing an inclusion training from the National Inclusion Project to make all feel welcome in zoo programs. Vicky has also worked for Chicago Public Schools as an educator and her own startup as a community coordinator. She is extremely excited to work with all of you and learn about your own backgrounds.
Upper School Computer Science Teacher and Coordinator
Severn School in Severna Park
Damian enjoys the challenge of challenging young minds in learning computer science, technology, and robotics in a meandering career that has brought him coast to coast to coast, teaching middle school and high school-aged students evenly split, until now, in day schools and boarding schools. This summer he has completed the move to Maryland, where he will continue his adventure as the Upper School Computer Science Teacher and Coordinator of the Graw Innovation Center (Makerspace) at the Severn School in Severna Park.
In his spare time, Damian has worked on some extra certifications, which become hobbies, which lead to less spare time! He currently has his EMT certification, and would like to team up with local fire and ambulance company, or even find a search and rescue team where he would like to train with his German Shepherd Dog. He is also a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, so these clever single board computers find their way into his classrooms, in projects around the house, and into various student robotics projects.
Fourth Grade Math and Science
Van Ness Elementary School
Jennifer Krystopowicz has taught for 12 years, 11 of which have been in the District of Columbia Public Schools, where she was placed as a 2007 Teach for America corps member. Jennifer currently teaches fourth-grade math and science at Van Ness Elementary School in South East DC. Jennifer is dual certified in general and special education, received certification in the Wilson Reading System, has achieved National Board Certification, and was awarded the Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Teaching.
Jennifer strives to empower students to take on the role as a maker where they build, create, design, and produce while developing transferable skills that will improve learning across all disciplines. She holds a BA in Communication from George Washington University and MA in Special Education from George Mason University. When not teaching Jennifer loves to travel, go to live concerts, and stay active with her family and friends.
World History Teacher and Chair of the History Department
Amy Littlefield teaches World History and is the chair of the History Department at Commonwealth Academy in Alexandria, Virginia, where she has been teaching for 5 years. Amy’s original career was in government affairs and communications for nonprofits. She began her 17-year career in education teaching psychology and educational technology. She then began teaching History at both the middle and high school levels and eventually college courses in psychology and education. Amy received her BA from Baylor University in Psychology and her MA from American University in International Affairs. During her education career, she completed her MA in Curriculum and Instruction and her PhD in Educational Psychology from The Catholic University of America. Her dissertation focused on combining reading strategy instruction with the motivator of choice to increase engagement in history and her study was conducted with her own students.
Amy is passionate about the power of visual learning in history and is an avid art lover and traveler. She loves to paint, read historical fiction, and go for long walks with her two dogs. She and her husband live in Bowie, Maryland and have 3 grown children.
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.
Technology Integration Specialist
District of Columbia Public Schools
Liz began her career as a 5th-7th-grade humanities teacher with Baltimore City Public Schools. In SY15-16, Liz joined D.C. Public Schools to support the Arts, Health and Physical Education, and World Language content teams with establishing performance metrics, and collecting data to capture the narrative and improve outcomes for students.
Liz now serves as a Technology Integration Specialist, serving 30+ DCPS schools with the district-wide 1:1 initiative; intended for grades 3, 6, and 9. In addition to her work, Liz serves as a volunteer English teacher for the Washington English Center.
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 over 10 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 two young children, 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.
Vicki has a long history of working in the technology industry, starting with her years as a consultant to government organizations, corporations, and law firms, and most recently her work as the Academic Technologist and Technology Integrator at Lowell School in Washington, D.C. Vicki holds a BS in Secondary Education and English, and a MA in Education and Human Development in Educational Technology Leadership from the George Washington University. Vicki is passionate about volunteer opportunities; she has built houses internationally through Habitat for Humanities, and in 2019 she traveled to Rwanda to provide technology training with the non-profit, Connect Rwanda. When not researching technology, Vicki enjoys traveling, writing, and spending time with her son.
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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