Patricia Amend-Ehn earned her teaching credential from Sonoma State University in 1999 and she is currently teaching part-time as a first grade teacher at Kenwood Elementary School. Patricia spends the other part of her week creating interactive activities for her STEAM classes at Kenwood Elementary School. She has spent the past year engaging in the creation of engineering activities for all of her students and has collaborated with the entire staff to implement whole school engineering challenges. She completed the Maker Certificate Program at Sonoma State University in the spring of 2015.
Melissa Becker, Principal at Meadow Elementary School, received the Petaluma Community Award for Excellence in Education in May 2014 for her charismatic leadership. She created the first K-5 makerspace in the North bay at Meadow and strives to provide a progressive learning environment for all children.
Susan Donner is a middle school math and science teacher with 20 years of experience. As a life-long maker, she is passionate about infusing the math and science curriculum with challenges and projects that encourage students to think creatively. She was a member of the inaugural SSU Maker Educator Certificate Program cohort, at which time she and her colleague Gary Jordan developed and implemented the STEAMaker Enrichment course at Piner-Olivet Charter School. The class is currently in its third year. Susan enjoys working with other people who are interested in Making and the Maker mindset. One of her favorite quotes is by Emily Dickinson, "Dwell in possibility."
Gary Jordan is in his twenty-fourth year teaching math, science, and technology to students in grades 6 through 8 in the Piner-Olivet School District in Santa Rosa. A lifelong Maker at heart, Gary joined colleague Susan Donner in becoming a certified Maker Educator in 2014. Together they continue to develop and co-teach the Maker Enrichment course at their school, while working to incorporate Making and Project Based Learning into core curriculum.
Frances (Kaki) McLachlan
Frances McLachlan has been a teacher at White Hill Middle School in Fairfax for the past three years. She teaches Life Science and enjoys finding ways to bring technology, engineering and math into as many lessons as she can. Last year, she helped kick off the new White Hill STEAM team by bringing in a Digital Media class where students create dynamic multimedia projects and learn to use their digital tools in more sophisticated ways. She also teaches every 6th grader how to best utilize the tech tools available to them on campus while also focusing on digital citizenship techniques.
Kaki received both her MA in Education and her teaching credential at Sonoma State. Last year, she helped create an Local Open Online Course (LOOC) with fellow educators (many you will meet in this class) to help encourage professionals in Marin and Sonoma counties to better understand the issues and best practices of using technology in an educational setting. She was awarded the PBS Digital Innovator Award in 2014 and is excited to continue to create and make and learn!
Carrine J. Paddock
Carinne Paddock teaches fourth grade at Oak Grove Elementary in Sebastopol, California. Carinne is part of the first cohort to complete the Maker Certificate Program at Sonoma State University in April, 2015. She started a classroom Maker Space in September, 2014 and promoted the first annual Cardboard Challenge at Oak Grove. Carinne and her principal, Paige Gardner, were astounded by the interest and participation by so many students in this Maker event. She has mentored members of her faculty and administrative staff in Maker philosophy. Carinne has written and received grants to Sebastopol Rotary Club, OGEP, and Donor's Choose for Maker materials that are available to students and teachers school-wide.
Engaging middle school students has been at the forefront of Julia Walcott's teaching for over 25 years. Although Julia has taught all core content areas, STEAM-related subjects have always been her passion. This year she is teaching seventh grade math as well as a sixth grade Inventor's Lab. Her students work with 3D printers, EV3 robots, circuitry and more in engaging projects that exemplify engineering design concepts. Last year, Julia's students ran a Maker Shop, which served the needs of school staff. Students designed and produced tee-shirts for fundraisers, 3D printed math manipulatives, and created original classroom decals for teachers.
Julia recently completed a masters program at SSU in the Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning program with a focus on educational leadership and educational technology. Last year, she participated in the creation of a Local Open Online Course (LOOC) designed to assist teachers in deepening their understanding of Edtech theory and practice. Julia is looking forward to connecting and creating with other Maker-minded teachers from Sonoma County and beyond.