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Dr. Jason Crean


Dr. Crean is a degreed biologist and educator, specializing in incorporating real world scientific data into classroom activities.  He has taught for 24 years, currently teaching biology courses at Lyons Township High School and both biology and preservice science teaching courses at Saint Xavier University, Chicago.  Dr. Crean has been awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching by President Obama, the High School Science Teacher of the Year by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as awards from the National Science Teachers Association, National Association of Biology Teachers, Illinois Science Teachers Association, Golden Apple Foundation, among others.  He is the President of the Illinois Science Teachers Association and Illinois Association of Biology Teachers, HHMI Teacher Ambassador, and sits on the College Board’s National Science Advisory Panel.  He also co-chairs the Pre-AP Science Curriculum Development Committee for the College Board and has extensive experience with teacher professional learning in both formal and informal settings, like that of the Education Department at the Chicago Zoological Society.  Through his leadership in many of these organizations, he began the NGSS Biology Storylining Working Group that has collaboratively created a full biology course curricular replacement with six coherent storyline units that are now used across the country and internationally.

Dr. Jason Crean

Michael Fumagalli, MA, MAT


Michael Fumagalli has involved in education for over a decade, spending ten years as a biology teacher at Leyden High School District 212 and then as a Dean at Glenbard East High School in Lombard, IL.  He currently serves as Principal at Glen Westlake Middle School, also in Lombard, IL.  Michael is a 2015 recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the most distinguished teaching award in the United States, and was honored at the White House in September of 2016. Michael’s passion for utilizing phenomena to elicit student questions that drive learning through the use of science and engineering practices transformed the experience of his students.


From 2010-2014, Michael worked on Project READi (Reading, Evidence, and Argumentation in Disciplinary Instruction) writing curriculum and evaluating students' ability to obtain evidence from text and engage in argumentation. In 2014, Michael was selected as one of 16 high school teachers in Illinois to develop middle and high school units aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Michael was also named the 2014 Exxon/Mobil Illinois Science Teacher of the Year.  Michael was a contributing author to the EQuIP (Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products) Rubric Facilitator’s Guide, has spoken at more than 20 local, state, and national conferences on instructional shifts toward the NGSS, is the former Vice President of the Illinois Science Teachers Association, is a peer-reviewed journal published author, and continues to guide K-12 science educators nationwide through various professional learning endeavors.  Michael has a Bachelor’s in Athletic Training and a M.A.T. in Secondary Science Education from the University of Iowa as well as a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Concordia University.

Michael Fumagalli

Michele Koehler, M.Ed.


Koehler, is a graduate of Western Illinois University with a degree in Biology Education. After college, she began her full-time teaching career at Mother Guerin High School in River Grove where she spent one year before returning to her alma mater, Morton West High School in Berwyn, Illinois.  She spent three years at Morton West teaching Intro to Physical Science and Biology to freshmen.  After three years, she was recruited by Riverside-Brookfield High School where she is currently in her 16th year of teaching.  She began her teaching career at RB with Honors Biology and AP biology and she now adds their Anatomy & Physiology course to her repertoire.  She has completed a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction through National Louis University and then continued curriculum work as she became a member of the AP Biology Leadership Academy.  As part of the Academy, she has participated in running one of the first ever Regional Teacher Academies at Michigan State University.  She is also a Teacher Ambassador for HHMI, presenting science curriculum using Biointeractive resources. For the past two years, she has worked as part of the Pre-AP Biology Curriculum Development Committee for the College Board.  In 2017, she was presented with the National Association of Biology Teachers’ Outstanding Biology Teacher Award.

Michele Koehler

Bridina Lemmer, PhD


Dr. Lemmer is an instructional support specialist in the Illinois District and School Improvement (Illinois DSI) program at American Institutes for Research (AIR). She has more than 10 years of experience in science and STEM education, project-based learning and assessment.  She also volunteers as the Director of Assessment for the Illinois Science Teachers Association and serves on the groups Professional Learning Team and Professional Development Steering Committee. In this role, she works with ISTA members to plan, design, develop and deliver high quality professional development that embody the vision of the K-12 Framework for Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards. Topics include foundational understandings of the Framework and Standards; Instructional Shifts; Assessment Literacy and 3-D Assessment for NGSS; Phenomena-based learning; and Administrator Academies with a focus on high quality science instruction aligned to the Danielson Framework and key shifts that should be visible in the NGSS classroom.


She has extensive experience in implementing 3-dimensional science and the Next Generation Science Standards at the state, district, and classroom level, and in particular with the development of 3-dimensional science assessments for both local and large-scale assessments. Previously, Dr. Lemmer was a principal consultant for the Illinois State Board of Education in charge of developing and administering the science portion of the large-scale state assessment system for Illinois, where she oversaw the review, adoption, and subsequent implementation efforts for the state and served as state level expertise in the development of balanced assessment systems, standards cross walking and comparison studies, and development of a new state science assessment blueprint.  Dr. Lemmer holds a PhD in Professional Studies in Education with a focus in science education from Capella University.

Bridina Lemmer

Kristin Rademaker


Kristin is a high school life science and special education teacher with 18 years of classroom experience.  Kristin has worked with the Next Generation Science Standards since their adoption in 2014 and has worked both locally and nationally in helping districts implement their new state standards.  Kristin serves as a professional development facilitator and instructional coach for the National Science Teachers Foundation and also reviews NGSS aligned curriculum for Achieve's Peer-Review-Panel for Science. She has also received the Robert E Yager Excellence in Teaching Award in 2017 and was named NSTAs Distinguished Teacher in 2018.  She is also the co-founder of the NGSS Biology Storylining Working Group that has led teachers from vastly different backgrounds through the storylining curriculum development process.

Kristin Rademaker

Kathy van Hoeck, MS


Kathy worked for 15 years as Medical Technologist before becoming a teacher.  After getting a Master’s Degree in Biology, she taught Anatomy and Physiology at College of DuPage for 5 years and then high school biology for 24 years.  Most of those years were spent at York High School in Elmhurst, where she taught AP Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Medical Careers and freshman honors biology.  Since retiring a year ago, she keeps busy consulting for the College Board and NMSI, and is an HHMI Teacher Ambassador. Kathy loves to spend time with her 6 grandkids, especially at their cabin in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

Kathy van Hoeck

Nicole Vick, PMA


Nicole Vick has taught science for the past 15 years and has been involved in curriculum development for the past 4 years.  She has worked in curriculum development for Northwestern University, University of Colorado Boulder, and Great Minds.  Ms. Vick has taught all science subjects at the high school level.  Over the course of her career, she has also served in positions for the National Science Teachers Association and Illinois Science Teachers Association.  She is the District XII Director, an NGSS@NSTA Curator and a Professional Learning Facilitator with the National Science Teachers Association.  Nicole is a Region 3 ISTA Director, Earth and Space Science Director for ISTA Professional Learning Team and served as an Area Teacher Leader for the I-STEM MSP Grant.


She has presented on example phenomena, storylines, and assessment and has created tools on why using phenomena to drive three-dimensional learning is important and how to choose them.  In July 2017, Nicole wrote, “Using Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning (CER) Strategy to Improve Student Learning” for NSTA Next Gen Navigator.  After obtaining a B.S. in General Biology from Northern Illinois University in 2002, Nicole obtained a P.M.A. in Environmental Science Education from Bradley University in 2013.  She has served as a Science Teacher at Peoria Public School District 150, Avon CSUD 176, Abingdon-Avon CUSD 276, and Galesburg CUSD 205.

Nicole Vick


Science Contributors & Review Panel

Jean Dubach, PhD


Jean Dubach, PhD oversees the Wildlife Genetics lab at Loyola Medical Center in Chicago, IL and also managed the Molecular Genetics lab for the Chicago Zoological Society.  The lab provides analytical genetic services to zoos, conservation programs and others research projects around the world for population management and taxonomic identification.  Her research projects include investigations of the interactions between levels of genetic variability and health in wild carnivores and phylogenetic analysis of New World primates, and assessing levels of genetic variability in wild and captive penguins, just to name a few.  Dr. Dubach's research uses genetic analysis to understand factors relating to the survival of wildlife populations, including health-related issues, and to determine appropriate management techniques.  Some of her original data has been implemented in curricula such as our Africa Storyline.

Jean Dubach

Caroline Efstathion, PhD


Dr. Caroline Efstathion received her B.S. and M.S. in biology from Florida Atlantic University and her Ph.D in entomology from The University of Florida. She worked as a zookeeper, veterinarian technician and a licensed wildlife rehabilitator before and during attending college. She is currently a microbiology instructor at St. Johns River State College. Her graduate research focused on improving conservation of endangered parrots with the use of a push-pull method to reduce nest site competition with Africanized honeybees. Additionally, she evaluates the impact of other arthropods on nestling bird health and survival.  She has also studied antibiotic resistant bacteria in captive bird populations, and she is interested in the emerging discipline of conservation physiology, which aims to answer conservation questions by physiological approaches, and specifically those focused on stress. Her multidisciplinary background in veterinarian medicine, microbiology and entomology has allowed her to focus on understudied issues facing many endangered birds. Researching these issues allows her to contribute to ongoing conservation projects, assisting in areas that are typically understudied due to lack of time, resources and expertise.

Dr. Caroline Efstathion

Tatiana Tatum-Parker, PhD


Tatiana Tatum Parker, graduated with a PhD from the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana in 2005 with a specialization in Cytogenetics.  She currently serves as the Department Chair for Biological Sciences at Saint Xavier University, Chicago where she has taught classes ranging from Introductory Biology to Genetics, Women in Science, Bio Politics of Water, the Ethics of Teaching Science, and Zombie Biology since 2005.  She has a true passion for the outdoors and learning.  Tatiana loves to spend her free time engaging in environmental education and has a particular interest in improving the quality of instruction in post-secondary institutions.

Tatiana Tatum-Parker
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