Click on names below for a brief bio:
AMTA Executive Board
- Past President: Fran Poodry (2013-2014)Fran Poodry earned a BA in physics from Swarthmore College and an MSEd in Science Education from Temple University. She has 20 years of experience teaching high school physics, 16 of them using Modeling Instruction, mostly in Pennsylvania. Fran recently left PA and the classroom to join Vernier Software and Technology as a Physics Educational Technology Specialist. She now lives in Oregon. While no longer a classroom teacher, Fran continues to be an advocate and supporter of Modeling Instruction and the teachers who use it.
- President: Earl Legleiter (2013-2014)Earl Legleiter is a teacher and an independent science consultant with experience teaching traditional and online science course from middle school to high school. He has held leadership positions in the Northwest Kansas Alliance for Science, the Kansas Association of Teachers of Science, and the Arkansas-Oklahoma-Kansas Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers. As a consultant, Legleiter provided a variety of presentations and training, resource dissemination, group facilitation, building client capacity, and technical assistance to schools and districts. He was trained in modeling instruction at ASU in 1995, and has led Modeling workshop in physics, chemistry, and physical science in several states for nearly fifteen years.
- President-Elect: Angela Gard (2013-2014)I believe AMTA is on the cusp of becoming a strong national organization. Since my attendance at the AAPT meeting in Omaha last summer I recognize the need to strengthen the use of modeling in all content areas. I have held National Board Certification since 1999 and a lifetime membership in AMTA since 2009. Although initially trained in Modeling Physics, I have worked on refining and expanding the Modeling Biology curriculum, originating from ShadySide Academy, for use with the NC Modeling Biology workshops that I lead. As a high school science teacher for 17 years I used modeling pedagogy in my physics, AP physics, biology and AP Biology classes. Three years ago I left the classroom to work as a Modeling Science Instructional Coach and since then have supported teachers of physics, chemistry, physical science and biology with their implementation of modeling pedagogy. I hold a MEd. in curriculum and instruction and have worked at the state and local levels in both Washington and North Carolina.
- Vice President: Kathy Malone (2013-2014)Kathy Malone has been practicing Modeling Instruction in Physics since 1995 when she attended her first Modeling Instruction workshop at Arizona State University. She was hooked on the pedagogy especially after she discovered the improved performance of her students on the FCI. She has promoted the pedagogy by doing summer workshops and conference presentations ever since. Kathy’s desire to learn ‘why” her students demonstrated such improved performance on the FCI led her to enter and complete a PhD in Cognition and Instruction in Physics education from Carnegie Mellon in 2006. During this time she also started a Modeling Teachers Institute at her school, Shady Side Academy, which offered one week introductory modeling instruction courses. Kathy was also instrumental in helping her school switch to a physics first course sequence which stressed modeling instruction in all introductory science courses. Kathy is currently serving on the AMTA board as secretary. During her time as secretary she instituted the AMTA newsletter, The Whiteboard, and constructed the application packet for NSTA affiliate status (which will be considered by the NSTA board this summer). Kathy would like to continue to help the AMTA grow as a grassroots organization and continue to work on the NSTA affiliate status project. After we are awarded affiliate status with the NSTA the AMTA will be responsible for AMTA sessions at all NSTA conferences. Since Kathy is currently serving as an Einstein Fellow at the National Science Foundation through July 2014 she is well situated to help make this connection with the NSTA happen. Kathy Malone is very excited to work with the executive board as a member of the president cycle to make the most of these opportunities and create additional ones as the country and AMTA meet the new challenges of the NGSS.
- Secretary: Eric Brewe (2013-2015)I joined the Arizona State University Physics Education Research Group in 1998. Since that time I have been active using Modeling Instruction in my physics classes, developing curriculum for University Modeling Instruction, and carrying out research on Modeling Instruction. My career has included time at Hawaii Pacific University and Florida International University. At FIU I have been able to advocate for Modeling Instruction, both as an approach to university physics and for Modeling Workshops as a professional development program for high school teachers. Among my accomplishments have been to get Modeling Instruction and Modeling Workshops integrated into the pre-service physics teacher education program at FIU. The Science and Math Teacher Imperative recognized Modeling Instruction as a promising practice for science teacher education.
My reason for joining the AMTA board is to strengthen the organization through research and pursuit of external funding. Modeling Instruction has been a central professional development activity for such a large number of teachers, yet it remains under described in the education research literature. Developing published evidence of the successes of Modeling Instruction will help support the mission of the AMTA and the Modeling project broadly.
- Treasurer: Carmela Minaya (2012-2014)Paradigms shift. Modeling Instruction can be described as teachers, who are the “crazy ones,” coming into a classroom, stirring up the status quo, and changing students’ lives forever. My first modeling workshop did that for me. Since then, I have served as the Founding Secretary of the AMTA, led MI workshops/presentations all over the country, and procured an MNS in physics from ASU. See e-portfolio at http://tinyurl.com/7wjqgw6. In my humble opinion, the next challenge on the horizon is preserving the “High Touch” in our communities as our world becomes increasingly more “High Tech.” That led me to serve on a team creating MyOnlineFair, an online project display venue beginning in science. As the Treasurer, my purpose would be to ensure AMTA’s financial stability and to pursue growth avenues aggressively because supporting and sustaining the work of MI through excellent classroom teachers is priority number one.
- Member at Large: Larry Dukerich (2011-2014)Larry Dukerich received his B.S. in Chemistry from Michigan State University and his Masters of Natural Science from Arizona State University. He taught high school chemistry and physics, including regular, honors and AP courses, in Michigan and Arizona for 34 years. He is currently a Faculty Associate at Arizona State. Since 1995, he has conducted numerous Modeling Instruction summer workshops for physics and chemistry teachers at ASU, and later at sites in Pennsylvania, N. Carolina and Tennessee. He has also conducted chemistry workshops for the Ministry of Education in Singapore. He was a Woodrow Wilson Dreyfus Fellow in Chemistry in 1986 and a Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Science Teaching in 2000.
- Member-at-Large: Fernand Brunschwig (2012-2015)I was a faculty founder of SUNY Empire State College, now Emeritus after 40 years, edited and re-published Karplus’ Introductory Physics: A Modeling Approach in 2003, and am working on a free Web/E-Book version (at fernwig.org – Use “guest” as login and password). I am also interested in technology and have published physics simulations at <demonstrations.wolfram.com> (search on my name). I have been active in the NYC schools, and always wanted to do something to help physics teachers. In the spring of 2011, a group of physics teachers (most of them modelers) and I founded PhysicsTeachersNYC, which has organized popular weekend teacher-led workshops and summer Modeling Instruction Workshops at Columbia Teachers College. We now have over 190 members and are affiliated with the AMTA. As Member-at-Large and Chairman of PhysicsTeachersNYC, I pledge to do everything I can to strengthen and promote AMTA, to expand and upgrade teacher professional development, and to help modeling play the central role it deserves in the national effort to improve our schools.
- Member-at-Large: Carlos Montero (2013-2016)My career as a teacher began in 2004 and after two ineffective years, I was blessed to encounter modeling. As a chemical engineer, I could recognize effective scientific thinking but did not know how to impart it to others. My first workshop at Florida International University in 2006 revealed to me how exquisite teaching could be. I was amazed at the pedagogical genius of modeling and adopted it wholeheartedly. Modeling saved my career as a teacher and has yielded exceptional results for students in my honors and AP chemistry classes.
I have no doubt that modeling should be at the forefront of science education reform in this country. That is why the role of AMTA is so precious. The change can only happen through those teachers who have not only embraced modeling but have reached a high level of proficiency in it. I wish to be part of the AMTA board for two main reasons. First, I have incredible gratitude to what modeling has done for my career and the lives of my students; therefore, I wish to share the gift of modeling with everyone in the community. Second, I am optimistic about the future of science education and wish to be a part of its development. As a member of the AMTA board I will contribute my time and zeal for modeling to help support and expand our community. I am sure that our efforts will ultimately lead to the overall improvement of science literacy of our nation.
- Executive Officer: Colleen Megowan-Romanowicz PhDColleen is a long time high school physics and mathematics teacher and Modeler from Sacramento, California who moved to Phoenix in 2001 to study Physics Education Research at ASU under the direction of David Hestenes. She completed her PhD in 2007 and after a one year post-doc with ASU’s Arts, Media and Engineering program in embodied and mediated learning, she accepted an appointment as assistant professor of science education. She landed an NSF grant in 2009 to create a middle school STEM Modeling MNS degree program modeled on ASU’s program for HS physics teachers. In 2011 she moved to a half-time research scientist position at ASU in order to take on the role of AMTA’s Executive Officer.
- Web Weaver: Lee Trampleasure
- David Hestenes, Arizona State University
- Jane Jackson, Arizona State University
- All past presidents of AMTA serve on our Advisory Council