Achieve/NSELA/NSTA: Building a Science Strategy for Your School or District
Michael Lach is currently the Director of STEM Education and Strategic Initiatives at UChicago STEM Education and the Urban Education Institute of the University of Chicago. Previously, he was appointed by Secretary Arne Duncan to lead science and mathematics education efforts at the U. S. Department of Education. Mr. Lach began his professional career teaching high school biology and general science at Alceé Fortier Senior High School in New Orleans in 1990 as a charter member of Teach For America. After 3 years in Louisiana, he joined the national office of Teach For America as Director of Program Design, developing a portfolio based alternative-certification system that was adopted by several states. Returning to the science classroom in 1994 in New York City Public Schools, and then back to Chicago in 1995, he was named one of Radio Shack's Top 100 Technology Teachers, earned National Board Certification, and was named Illinois Physics Teacher of the Year. He has served as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, advising Congressman Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) on science, technology and education issues. He was lead curriculum developer for the Investigations in Environmental Science curriculum developed at the Center for Learning Technologies in Urban Schools at Northwestern University and published by It’s About Time, Inc. As an administrator with the Chicago Public Schools, he led the district’s instructional improvement efforts in science and mathematics in a variety of roles between 2003 and 2009, ultimately becoming Officer of Teaching and Learning overseeing curriculum and instruction in 600+ schools. He earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Carleton College, and master’s degrees from Columbia University and Northeastern Illinois University.
Jodi Peterson is the Assistant Executive Director of Legislative and Public Affairs for the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). She is responsible for monitoring and identifying policy and legislation affecting science and STEM education on Capitol Hill, outreach activities to Congress, and the association’s advocacy initiatives. She also directs all media relations activities for the NSTA. Jodi also co-chairs the STEM Education Coalition, a group representing all sectors of the STEM education and workforce communities that advocates for policies to improve STEM education at every level.
Dr. Missi Zender-Sakach commenced her career in education in 1989. For the last nineteen years, she has been employed with the Summit Educational Service Center (SESC) as a Science Consultant. She received her doctorate from The University of Akron in 2002. Dr. Zender-Sakach is committed to improving science education at the local, state and national levels. She has been a Science Coach for the Ohio Department of Education/Stanford University Performance Assessment Project, was a member of the Ohio Science Standards Writing Committee, and is currently serving on ODE’s STEM Innovation Working Group. She is currently an elected Board Member and Conference Committee Chair for the Science Education Council of Ohio (SECO). She has served as the Past-President of the Akron Council of Engineering and Scientific Societies (ACESS), was awarded the 2013 ACESS Award and is currently serving as Secretary. In 2015, she received the Akron Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Hall of Honor Award recognizing service and support of the plastics industry. Most recently, she was elected President-Elect for the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA).
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Underwritten by the National Science Education Leadership Association and the National Science Teachers Association