ISP welcomes 3 new hires

Washington University’s Institute for School Partnership continues to grow with the addition of three new members to its team.

Instructional Specialist

Victoria Engel credits having great science teachers for igniting her love of science.  Specifically, she remembers a sixth-grade teacher who got her involved in a science fair.

“I really enjoyed conducting my own research and formulating original ideas,” she said. “I naturally fell into the sciences.”

Engel grew up in a military family in Belleville, Illinois. She taught science for five years, most recently in O’Fallon, Illinois. And while, she loved being in the classroom she felt the position at ISP allowed her to be more impactful, especially helping teachers transition to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

“I’ve been involved with the NGSS at the state level, and I think it’s a great way to teach kids,” she said. “Being able to write quality curriculum for teachers is something I’m really excited about. Supporting teachers is awesome!”

Engel joins a busy curriculum development team that has worked tirelessly to expand many ISP initiatives, including taking MySci from a K-5 to a K-8 science curriculum program, and delivering professional development to hundreds of St. Louis area teachers.

You can follow and welcome Tori on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TTaylor314

Instructional Specialist

Following college and a stint with AmeriCorps, Jaime Gilligan was looking for a job. Her former high school – Ursuline Academy, an all-girls private school – was looking to hire a theology teacher. That’s how Gilligan ended up teaching at her alma mater for 12 years. She says it was “cool” but definitely “a little weird” working with her former teachers.

“I felt a little pressure during teacher meetings, when we talked about our graduates and graduate profile, because that’s me,” she says. “But it was fun getting to know my teachers on that personal level and getting to transition from authority figures to being my colleagues.”

During her seventh year, Gilligan took a personal interest in computer programming. She took classes for adults who want to learn programming. Eventually, she realized the material she learned was something she wanted to share with her students. With her principal’s backing, she created an after-school girls who code club. That morphed into an intro to coding class during the semester. She eventually taught an AP computer science course.

“I remember vividly the first time I helped a student create a computer program. It was a simple calculator program, not very complex. When she got the result she was like, ‘This is so cool!'” Gilligan says with a laugh.”You don’t get that a lot when you teach theology.”

Gilligan is passionate about getting more females into STEM. In her position at the ISP, she will serve as a lead coordinator of the MySci Do program, collaborate with the rest of the team to add new technology extensions to MySci, and help with general technology needs.

You can follow and welcome Jaime on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JMGilligan

WAREHOUSE ASSISTANT

As a part of the warehouse team, Michael Mason builds, manages and delivers MySci kits and materials to schools throughout the St. Louis region. He loves working with his hands, so the job is a perfect fit.

“It’s a great group of guys,” he said. “We’re on the move a lot making delivers. I enjoy being on the move, in and out of the warehouse.”

For the past five years, Mason’s wife has worked in the psychiatry department at the Washington University School of Medicine. He’s thrilled to be part of WUSTL and the great benefits it offers. Mason loves spending time with his wife and they are looking forward to starting a family of their own. When Mason’s not a work, he’s immersed in sports, especially baseball.

“I love sports! I go to a lot of Cardinals games,” he said.

August 2017 | by, Myra Lopez

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