Fall 2014 Membership Meeting and Professional Development Institute

Science for All: Equipping and Empowering through Advocacy and Partnerships

Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Marriott Winston Salem
425 North Cherry Street
Winston Salem, NC 27101

To meet the grand challenges in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education within the public schools of North Carolina, partnerships and advocacy are essential. Questions that arise in the field of science education are:

      • What does STEM for all really mean?
      • What must one do to support students and educators in the classroom, school, district, and state?
      • What system of accountability will ensure meaningful integration and preparation in and out of the classroom?
      • What models are scalable?
      • What role does partnership and advocacy play in developing, sustaining, and disseminating effective approaches within The Tar Heel State and beyond?

NCSLA members gathered on Wednesday, November 5th at the Marriott-Winston Salem from 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm to

        • Discuss with leaders in a panel discussion lessons learned and challenges experienced making STEM education accessible to all in North Carolina
        • Participate in interactive workshops on case-based learning and teaching, interdisciplinary, multi-modal learning for ESL students, and advocacy strategies and
        • Discover at our dinner meeting global approaches used to close the achievement gap and transform STEM education!


Professional Development Institute Schedule

1:00 – 2:15 pm      Panel Discussion
2:15 – 2:30 pm Business Meeting
2:30 – 2:45 pm Break
2:45 – 4:00 pm Workshop Rotation 1
4:05 – 5:20 pm Workshop Rotation 2
5:30 – 6:30 pm Reception
6:30 pm Dinner
7:15 pm Keynote Address

Featured Panelists: 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm

Mr. William Steven Hill,
Executive Director, STEM East

wshillSteve Hill is the Executive Director of STEM East, a private-public workforce education initiative. Prior to working with the STEM initiative, Mr. Hill built his career in an entrepreneur business, and within the North Carolina government and education system.   He advanced within the education system, serving as a teacher, principal and eventually as the Lenoir County Secondary Education Director. Mr. Hill holds degrees in business administration, education administration and is currently an EdD Candidate at East Carolina University. Recent accolades include being named as a U.S. Delegate for the international science competition in Beijing, China and receiving an international leadership award for economic and community engagement at this year’s STEM Summit in Washington D.C.

Mr. Del Ruff
Director, NC Center for Afterschool Programs

delruffDel Ruff is the Director of the NC Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP). He leads a network of afterschool stakeholders representing over 6,000 afterschool programs that provide services to more than 150,000 children and youth. His efforts at the Center’s support and maintain high quality afterschool and expanded learning programs in the State of North Carolina

Del Ruff previously served as the NC Race to the Top Program Manager for Virtual STEM. He brings extensive experience as a science teacher, principal and administrator in the public schools, middle college director, community college administrator, and GEAR Up Program Director. He has also served as administrator of a charter school. His strengths are in building educational partnerships and using networks to involve communities to become involved with positive educational outcomes for their students. He is a graduate of the Forum’s Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) in the 2008-09 class and therefore is no stranger to the Forum. Del received his B.S. Degree in Biology from Fayetteville State University and his Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Central Michigan University.

lfetzerMs. Leslie Fetzer
Policy Director, North Carolina Virtual Public Schools

Fetzer is a member of Governor Pat McCrory’s Teacher Advisory Committee and the 2012 North Carolina Virtual Public School Online Teacher of the Year and the 2012 National Online Teacher of the Year. Fetzer is the North Carolina virtual public school policy director and teacher induction coordinator. She is a graduate of Alfred University and St. Bonaventure University. Read more...

Featured Workshop Presenters: 2:45 – 5:20 pm

Case-Based Teaching & Learning: Using Real-Life Scenarios to Engage Underrepresented Students in STEM


Case-based teaching & learning is based upon a widely held cultural tradition of underrepresented students, i.e. storytelling. Storytelling is a vital form of oral communication steeped in the cultural traditions of underrepresented students and case-based teaching/learning activities have a strong link to this tradition. Case-based teaching/learning in STEM is centered upon real-life STEM infused stories or scenarios that share some semblance to or relevance in the lives of the intended audience.  Developing real-life STEM focused case-studies will help to guide students in the development of 21st Century skills such as analytical & critical thinking, problem-solving, data analysis as well as reflective judgment. In this workshop, attendees will discuss the importance of engaging underrepresented students in STEM and why employing effective strategies really matter. Next, attendees will engage in a hands-on STEM focused case-based teaching/learning activity. In addition, attendees will be shown how to develop as well as implement STEM focused case-based teaching/learning material and will engage in the beginning stages of developing their own STEM centered case study. Finally, attendees will engage in an interactive discourse on how to develop “budget friendly” STEM based laboratory components that can be linked to case-based teaching/learning activities

Workshop Presenter

sallenSherrice V. Allen is the CEO and Owner of SVA1 Consulting, LLC. Her consulting firm provides STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) centered educational consulting services that include college preparation, career mentoring, STEM professional development, curriculum development, and grant writing. In addition, Dr. Allen serves as the STEM Partnership Coordinator for the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs at the Public School Forum of North Carolina. Prior to starting her consulting firm, Dr. Allen was a Tenured Associate Professor of Biology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Fayetteville State University.

Allen received a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology from East Carolina University (1988), a Master of Science degree in Biology at Fayetteville State University (FSU; 1995) and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Microbiology from North Carolina State University (1999). That same year, she joined the faculty at FSU as a lecturer until summer 2000. Patricia Gray, Visiting Professor and Director of BioMusic at UNCG

BioMusic STEM: How the 'science of music' engages interdisciplinary, multi-modal learning for ESL tweens and broadens community engagement


STEM learning is usually taught using reading and writing. But there are other ways of knowing the world and communicating effectively with others. UBEATS after school STEM project, funded by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, uses BioMusic curriculum to engage ESL tweens in learning activities in biology, physics, zoology, neuroscience, environmental sciences, ethology, and communication sciences in order to grasp human music-making, animal communication, and soundscapes as behavioral indicators. This experiential approach employs multi-modal techniques for conceptual learning while developing new competencies in technology.  It also presents innovative ways to engage with multiple layers of the community including other STEM and arts networks.

Workshop Presenters:

pgrayDr. Patricia Gray, Visiting Professor and Director of BioMusic at UNCG, is a research scientist and a concert pianist. She is on the cutting edge of research about the role of musical behaviors in life and leads a global network of scientists and musicians engaged in basic research using music's building blocks as tools for understanding animal behaviors and cognition -- including humans. She is the lead author of BioMusic articles in the journal, Science, and her Biomusic research has been covered by the NYTimes, BBC, Discovery Channel, NPR's Science Friday, Smithsonian Magazine, among others. Dr. Gray was Co-PI on the $3 million award from the National Science Foundation for the BioMusic science exhibition: Wild Music: Sounds & Songs of Life, and PI for the NSF funded BioMusic Curriculum, UBEATS. Her researches focuses on musical behaviors in bonobo apes, humpback whales, and animals at the Meso-American reef in Mexico's Yucatan. 



LizzieBiddleMs. Lizzie Biddle, Community Centers Program Coordinator, Center for New North Carolinians, UNCG
As a graduate from Guilford College in 2009 with a BS in Sociology and Peace and Conflict Studies, Lizzie Biddle has been with UNCG Center for New North Carolinians (CNNC) for four and half years.  She started as an AmeriCorps ACCESS Member coordinating volunteers coming to it's three community based sites.  The last two and half years, Lizzie has become the Community Centers Program Coordinator.  The CNNC provides a variety of services to immigrants and refugees and facilities research within the newcomer population.


pic for bioMr. William Jarrett, ESL faculty, McNair Elementary School, Guilford County Schools, Governor’s Teacher Network
Bill Jarrett is an English as a second language teacher at Ronald McNair Elementary School in the Guilford County Schools. He has National Board certification for teaching  English language learners and has taught in bilingual and ESL programs in five states.



Martha RegesterMs. Martha Regester, Director of Education, Greensboro Science Center
Martha has been at the Greensboro Science Center for 8 years and oversees education programs on a campus that includes a zoo, aquarium and science museum. Previously she was up to her hip-waders in marine education at the National Aquarium in Baltimore and has spent her career in informal education working with students from pre-K through college.

Advocacy for Educators


This summer teachers from across the state gathered in Raleigh for the Advocacy Day workshop.  We will share our experiences and lessons learned as well as simple ways you can get involved and make a difference locally and at the state level.

Workshop Presenters:

Ms. Beth Snoke Harris has been involved in science education in many capacities over the last 20 years from classroom teacher to outreach coordinator.  She currently serves as web master for The Science House, NCSLA, NSELA and other organizations, and as a content reviewer for STEM lesson plans produced by teachers in the Governor's Teacher Network.  This summer she led a 2-day workshop on Advocacy for Science Educators where she learned more than she bargained for.

DeNise2Ms. De Nise Gerst has been a public school educator for nearly 16 years.  She has taught 2nd,4th and 5th grades and currently serves as the Science Facilitator and K-5 lab teacher at Barringer Academic Center. De Nise is an advocate for education. Her goal is to make science and engineering exciting to all of her students.  De Nise currently serves as a science leader at her school, in her district and throughout the state. She is a past Mary Frasier fellow and currently a fellow and seminar coordinator for Charlotte Teacher's Institue and a fellow with the North Carolina Science Leaders Association.  She also provides science professional development in her district for fellow educators.


oliviaMs. Olivia Rice serves as a project manager and education research analyst for RTI International. Her recent areas of focus include career and technical education, STEM education, workforce development training, and business-education partnerships. Ms. Rice is currently managing RTI’s partnership with BEST NC (Business for Educational Success and Transformation in NC).




Dinner Meeting Keynote Speaker: 7:15 – 8:00 pm

Dr. Julia V. Clark
NSF Program Director, Division of Research and Learning in Formal and Informal Settings

Closing the Achievement Gap from an International Perspective: Transforming STEM for Effective Education

clarkDr. Julia V. Clark is Program Director in the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL) in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation (NSF) where she has been for 23 years. As Program Director she recommends the funding of challenging, innovative and competitive research and education proposals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and monitor the projects’ progress and implementation. She also assesses the overall effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity of these funded projects;

During her tenure at NSF, Dr. Clark was granted a detail assignment for four years on Capitol Hill where she served as a Legislative Fellow in both the U.S. House of Representative and in the U.S. Senate serving as an Advisor for Science and Technology Issues to Congressional Members of the Science and Education Committees. Congressional Members included Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) (physicist from Princeton University) and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA)

Prior to going to NSF in 1990, Dr. Clark served as a professor in the academic arena. She served as a tenured Associate Professor of Science Education at Texas A&M University (1984-1990); Assistant Professor of Science and Mathematics Education at Howard University; (1982-1984); Associate Professor of Biology and Science Education at Clark Atlanta University (1972-1982); Assistant Professor of Biology and Botany at Albany State University and Morris Brown College. She has also served as a Visiting Professor of Education at Memorial University in Newfoundland Canada (Summer 1984) and Visiting Professor of Education at the University of Maryland-College Park (1990). She has also been a high school teacher of physics, chemistry, biology, and physical science for eight years mostly in Atlanta, Georgia prior to becoming a college professor.

Clark earned a Bachelor of Science in Natural Science from Fort Valley State University, Masters (Science Education with concentration in the Biological Sciences) from the University of Georgia and Doctorate (Science Education) from Rutgers University. She has completed post- graduate studies in Environmental Science at Yale University; Radiation Biology at the University of California-Berkeley; and Chemistry and Biology at Emory University.

Throughout her career, Dr. Clark has published in both science and education. Her publications and research undertaken include a wide assortment of timely topics in cognitive development, science curriculum, epidemiology, women and minorities in science and leadership development. She has written a book chapter on women leadership published by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and authored two books: (1) “Closing the Achievement Gap from an International Perspective: Transforming STEM for Effective Education” (Springer Publisher) and (2)“Redirecting Science Education: Reform for a Culturally Diverse Classroom” (Corwin Press Publisher). She has traveled extensively national and international as a speaker, and workshop and seminar leader, sharing her expertise and talents across a diverse spectrum of audiences.