Teachers and Schools
Judy Barcelon – Piner High School, Santa Rosa, Biology
With Ms. Frizzle as my hero, I have embraced Science Education and hope that during my 28 years as a Biology teacher at Piner High that I have imparted that love for learning all things about nature to my students. CAMEOS is a perfect fit for me and I welcome any inquiry into my classroom. I am curious by design and always like to do projects with my students such as raising silkworms, using soda bottles to make habitats and of course scouting for insects .This picture comes for our second trip to Denali park in Alaska where we shared the stream with the bears and caught ( and released) this beautiful trout.
Bernard Gregoris – Tomales High School, Tomales, Biology, Environmental Science
My teaching career began after receiving my undergraduate degree and earning a teaching credential through Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. My first teaching position was as an agricultural science teacher at a small high school located in the town of Denair in the central valley of California. During my tenure at Denair High School I learned to appreciate a small school setting and the opportunity to really get to know the students and their families. I was fortunate to be hired to teach agriculture at Tomales High School in 1990, a small high school located in a beautiful part of the state. After teaching agriculture for eight years I switched my focus to teaching Biology and Physical Science classes.
Teaching at a small school you can have a student multiple years as they take different classes necessary for graduation. Fortunately, this gives me the opportunity to understand the learning styles and abilities of my students on an individual basis. I am not only their teacher, but academic coach, helping them make individual gains with in their education. The CAMEOS program fits perfectly with what I am trying to achieve with my classes; exploring science using real world experiences. The beginning of the year students are apprehensive about developing an experiment and giving a presentation at a symposium. CAMEOS Fellows assist students by sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm of science, guide them with their experiments, and make sure they are prepared to present. Success! The once apprehensive student now beams with pride of their accomplishment.
Debbie Grima-Lowe – Willowside Middle School, Santa Rosa, Ecology, Life Science
I grew up in Sydney, Australia and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of new South Wales with an emphasis in Marine Science. I then worked as a technician at the Fisheries Research Institute in Sydney for about four years. It was then time to travel and as life would have it with its twists and turns, I have found myself living and teaching in Sonoma County. My husband, son and I live in a sunny community in Guerneville. The bulk of my teaching career has been at Willowside Middle School in Santa Rosa, I have just completed my ninth year as the seventh grade science teacher.
I have developed a program that emphasizes ocean literacy and community partnerships. For example I do a kayaking trip on the Jenner Estuary with Watertreks Ecotours, tide pool with the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods and use the Signals of Spring/ACES satellite monitoring program.
I have had an informal partnership with instructors at the Bodega Marine Lab for a couple of years before the development of the CAMEOS program. CAMEOS has enhanced the partnership and targets many more of my students across a wider range of academic abilities and demographics. The students appreciate the scientist in the classroom and are eager to learn, implement and develop their scientific investigation. For me, CAMEOS provides a consultant and a teacher partner to help reflect on the delivery of a lesson, the logistics of a practicum and another perspective in monitoring and discussing student progress.
Mark Mantoani – Piner High School, Santa Rosa, Biology
I began my teaching career teaching pre-school for a couple of years in Rohnert Park, Ca. Since then I have taught 2 years of Middle School in San Diego and 17 more at my current position in Santa Rosa, Ca. at Piner High School. I currently teach AP Biology, Academic Biology and a Health Science & Biotechnology elective course. I am Science Department Chair and work with a fantastic group of professional science educators.
My pride and joy is my family. I live in Petaluma, Ca. with my wife Dionne and my three children Emma, 15; Patrick, 12; and Camille, 10. I love all of the chaos that goes with family life as well: the soccer games, gymnastics meets and singing lessons. I try to savor all of it. I’m also a huge sports junkie, taking in all of the Warriors, Niners and Giants games I can get. I also enjoy hiking, lots of music and a book once in a while.
I am really excited about CAMEOS. This will be my first year participating. After having attended the summer workshop and meeting my fellow Casey, along with other very impressive participants, I am really looking forward to getting started. I came into science education in the early nineties when “Project-Based” learning was encouraged. Over time, the pendulum has been swinging the other direction. Recently however, I have been highly involved in planning and practicing the pedagogy I believe is heading us back the right direction. Having an opportunity to attend workshops in “Modeling” science, and the new Inquiry based changes to the AP Biology curriculum where the focus is on student understanding, problem solving and exploring misconceptions, has me excited about where science education is going. Students learn best by doing, and this opportunity to participate in authentic science experimentation in the CAMEOS program will be a valuable experience for my students.
Tina Righetti – Tomales High School, Tomales, Chemistry, Physics
I grew up on a dairy three miles down the road from the school where I currently teach. I attended the schools in Tomales from kindergarden through high school. Still, if you had told me 30 years ago that I’d be teaching at THS today, I would have laughed. I loved growing up surrounded by green hills and fresh air but I had thirst for adventure. I studied education and chemistry at Northwestern University in Illinois. I journeyed around the country and traveled to Europe. Graduating from NU, I decided it was time to come back to California but I was still looking for the next adventure. I enjoyed living in cities and I was determined to leave my mark on the world, but teaching jobs were hard to find. I spent the summer driving back and forth between LA and San Francisco searching for an opening. At the insistence of my grandma, I applied for an opening at THS, and here I am, 25 years later, happy I followed Grandma’s advice.
The CAMEOS program fits perfectly with my goals as an educator. I believe it is important to help students build communication skills and develop an appreciation for the real-world relevance of a subject. In addition, I am excited we have been able to incorporate the ocean into our chemistry and physics curriculum. Annaliese Hettinger and Dale Trockel, the graduate students assigned to my class, are rock stars. Super intelligent and current in their fields, they infuse meaning into our classroom that goes way beyond the ocean study projects. Both worked many hours to creatively help our students take ideas from the stage of a brainstorm, to an experiment, to a thoughtful conclusion, and finally a symposium presentation. With their guidance, my students have produced projects ranging from the affects of UV radiation on plankton, to the affects of oil on seaweed, to the affect of fluid density on the pitch of sounds.