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CCSD Equity Team Members Attend Smithsonian STEM Education Summit

CCSD Equity Team Members Attend Smithsonian STEM Education Summit

Through a competitive process, members of the Clarkstown Central School District were invited to participate in the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s annual STEM Education Summit February 20-27, 2021. This year’s theme “Building a Coalition for Attracting and Retaining a Diverse STEM Teaching Workforce” focused on confronting the underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teaching and leadership. During the virtual summit, our team of educators created a plan for attracting or retaining a diverse STEM teaching workforce in the District.

 “As educators it is our responsibility to provide windows, mirrors, and sliding doors in our classrooms. The windows and sliding glass doors are found in our curriculum as we provide students with access to materials from other viewpoints and perspectives. When students see themselves in the text and in the curriculum, windows and sliding doors  become mirrors that reflect back to us our own lives and give dimension to the human experience,” commented Clarkstown High School North Assistant Principal Kiesha Tillman.  “Similar to this practice in the classroom, diversifying our teaching workforce provides mirrors for our students of color and windows and sliding doors to other perspectives that will benefit our student body as a whole.”

Twenty teams of educators from diverse regions across the nation embraced their roles as change agents to create plans for attracting and retaining STEM teachers from underrepresented populations in their schools or districts. The team members from Clarkstown CSD including Angie Watt (Assistant Principal, CHSN), Liana Gertzer (Science teacher, CHSN), Kiesha Tillman (Assistant Principal, CHSN), Jessica Flanagan (Science Department Chair, CHSN), and Starla Ciarelli (CCSD Coordinator of K-12 Math, Data, and Testing) were matched with a mentor who was carefully selected to fit their unique composition and needs. 

About the Smithsonian Science Education Center

The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) is transforming K–12 Education Through Science in collaboration with communities across the globe. SSEC promotes authentic, interactive, inquiry-based K–12 STEM teaching and learning; ensures diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in K–12 STEM education; advances STEM education for sustainable development; and transforms the research and collections of the Smithsonian into meaningful content for youth. SSEC achieves its goals by developing exemplary curriculum materials and digital resources, supporting the professional growth of K–12 teachers and school leaders and conducting outreach programs through LASER (Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform) to help schools, school districts, state education agencies and ministries of education throughout the world implement inquiry-based science education programs. The SSEC is nationally and internationally recognized for the quality of its programs and its impact on K–12 STEM education.

Thank to your our Clarkstown CSD Equity Committee leaders for your dedication to diversity and equity in our district: 

Kiesha Tillman, Assistant Principal, CHSN

Jessica Mondesir, School Psychologist, CHSS

Erin Ginsberg, Supervisor of Pupil Services

Adam Weinstock, Coordinator of K-12 ELA & Social Studies

Shaina Dunn, Art Teacher, CHSN

Thomas Jeffery, Assistant Principal, CHSS

Beau Thompson, Advisor Black Culture Club, CHSN

Shawna Blain-Taylor, Advisor, Minority Student Club, CHSS