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Election 2023

Current NCSLA members can submit a ballot online between February 20 and March ?.  Descriptions of all the candidates are belw.

Del Ruff -Nominee for President-Elect

Del L. Ruff is the inaugural Executive Diversity and Inclusion Officer at North Carolina A&T State University. He is an accomplished future-forward thought leader with more than 20 years of experience advocating for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the education and workforce sector. Del has held roles in K-12 education as a science and math teacher, principal, and superintendent. Additionally, he has held leadership roles at the Southwestern Community College, Fayetteville State University, NC Department of Public Instruction, and the Public School Forum of North Carolina.

Before coming to N.C. A&T, Del was the senior director of workforce and EDI strategies with the American Institute of Architects in Washington, D.C. In that role, he led a team focused on the national and international practices of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging in architecture with emphasis on increasing exposure to historically underrepresented students in K-12, supporting the 21st-century pathway to the profession for students studying architecture in higher education institutions, especially HBCUs, and fostering a more inclusive architecture profession for architects and designers.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Fayetteville State University and a Master’s degree in Leadership from Central Michigan University.


Erica Bower – Nominee for Director

Erica is currently in her 18th year in education.  She is the Secondary Math and Science Curriculum Coordinator for Alamance-Burlington School System, where she supports all 6-12 math and science teachers.  She coordinates coaching and professional development for teachers and school leaders, provides training on district supported resources and conducts the District Professional Learning Community for teachers.

Erica served most of her teaching career in middle school.  She was a teacher at Southern Alamance Middle School and Eastern Guilford Middle School where she taught 8th grade math and science. In between those two schools.  She taught science at Walter M. Williams High School for four years in Biology, Earth/Environmental, and AP Biology. Erica received her Masters degree in 2011 in science curriculum and instruction. Her Bachelor's degree was awarded in 2004 in middle school education with concentrations in science and social studies. In 2009, she was named Eastern Guilford Middle School’s Teacher of the year and was a nominee for Guilford County Schools Teacher of the Year.  As a Science Olympiad, Science Bowl, Ocean Bowl, and Enviro-thon coach, many of her teams and individual students have qualified for the state and national tournaments.


Covey Denton – Nominee for Director

Covey is a science educator who has been in the classroom since 2012.  She obtained her BS and MS in Biomedical Engineering from UNC Chapel Hill.  In 2018, she received a M.Ed. and NASA STEM Certification through the Endeavor program.  Covey is STEM Certified through EverFi,  and a National Geographic Certified Educator and teacher trainer.  She was a 2018-2020 NCSLA Fellow. 

Other leadership roles include being on the inaugural board of Infiniscope in 2018, serving on the National Mid-Level Science Teachers Association board since 2018, and participating as a teacher ambassador for Exploravision since 2020.  Ms. Denton enjoys public speaking and has the opportunity to present at the NSTA national conference annually since 2017.  She was the Science Olympiad Director for her region of the state and hosted the tournament.  She has also partnered with the Department of Defense and the Oak Ridge Institute to lead several grant-writing workshops since 2020. 


Mark Case - Nominee for Director

Mark received his Bachelor of Science Degree at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1986 in Forest Resource Management and his Master of Science from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale 1988 in Forest Product Economics

Mark worked as a Camp Director and Environmental Educator, 1988 to 2006. Directing camp programs and teaching environmental education programs to private, public and home education groups. He also worked with Woodmen of the World camps and the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches.

He has been a public-school science teacher from January 2007 to present in Guilford County Schools. Mark specializes in the Earth/Environmental Sciences.  He has also been a trainer for the American Meteorological Society DataStream online program from 2007 to present.

Mark served as President of the North Carolina Science Teachers Association in 2014.  He has also been on the NCSLA Fellows Committee from 2015 until 2022.  He just finished serving as the Region C Director for the National Science Education Leadership Association (2019-2022).  Mark has received many awards for his work in science education from NCSTA as well as environmental and civic organizations.  




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NCSLA provides opportunities for science educators to exchange ideas and information, promote the cause of quality science instruction, and influence the creation of policies and legislation.



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