With the expansion of many ISP initiatives, including MySci from a K-5 to a K-8 science curriculum program, the ISP has identified curriculum development and educator leadership as two key priority areas in the coming years. Ruggirello, who holds a PhD in Science & Math Education, brings a rich background in teacher leadership development and classroom experience to the table for the many educators that work with the ISP.
In 2009, Ruggirello joined the ISP team, coming from a creative and performing arts school in New Jersey where she taught chemistry, biology and AP psychology. As a curriculum and assessment specialist, Ruggirello spent her time developing curricular programs for both the ISP and the Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center (PARC).
Ruggirello will now oversee all the curricular and professional development initiatives of the ISP, including the MySci K-8 program.
“The best part about my job is working with a fantastic group of people,” Ruggirello said. “It’s so great to be able to lead a team with diverse perspectives and expertise to create something transformative for our region.”
In addition to leading the ISP’s curriculum development team, Ruggirello will also work with a variety of school districts in and around St. Louis.
“This year, I have really enjoyed being able to visit our partner schools and see how our programs are building teacher leaders and inspiring students to learn science at high levels,” Ruggirello said. “I’ve been able to see how our partnerships with schools are helping to create scientifically literate students who will be our future STEM professionals.”
When outside of the office, Ruggirello spends her time with her two children—Simon and Matilda. “One of the greatest things that happened recently is that Simon said when he grew up he wanted to be a scientist like his mom,” Ruggirello said.
To keep herself grounded, Ruggirello regularly practices yoga, and even takes her children to Big Yogi, Little Yogi to help them build their own strength, flexibility and concentration.
“Personally and professionally, Ruggirello brings a strategic and dynamic presence to the team,” said Victoria May, executive director of the ISP. “We are excited for her to take on this leadership position.”
April 2016 | by, Gennafer Barajas