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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Teacher Advisory Council
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Teacher Advisory Council Members
Margo Murphy1 Margo Murphy (Chair), Science Teacher, Camden Hills Regional High School, Rockport, ME

Murphy (Chair) is a teacher at Camden Hills Regional High School (CHRHS), Rockport, ME. She currently teaches freshman integrated science and a junior level botany class at Camden Hills Regional HS, where she also serves as a technology integration team leader. CHRHS serves 660 students from 5 communities. Prior to coming to Camden Hills Regional, She taught science for 22 years at Georges Valley HS where she served as department chair, K-12 science team facilitator, HS-MLTI teacher leader, NCLB teacher quality PD coordinator, and Eisenhower/Title II coordinator. Murphy has served on numerous local and state committees, and was a member of the Board on Science Education in the Center for Education at the National Academies from 2004 – 2006 where she was involved with the development of Taking Science to School and Ready, Set, SCIENCE! She has been an associate member of the Academies Teacher Advisory Council since 2002. In 2003, she became a national board certified teacher in earth science, and she received the presidential award for excellence in mathematics and science teaching in 1994. Margo received her B.S. in forest management in 1985, and her M.Ed. in secondary science education in 1992, both from the University of Maine, Orono.
Kenneth Huff Picture 
Kenneth Huff (Vice-Chair), Mill Middle School, Williamsville, NY
Huff is a national board certified teacher in early adolescence science and is currently a grade 6 teacher at Mill Middle School in Williamsville, NY. He founded and continues to lead a young astronaut council for the students in grades 5-8 students. Kenneth serves his district as a member of its staff development council. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Kenneth enjoys involvement in various synergistic activities including serving as president of the Association of Presidential Awardees in Science Teaching, a member of the writing team for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and is a NASA Solar System Education Program and Heliophysics educator. Kenneth is also a contributing member of the space systems technical committee for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and serves the Science Teachers Association of New York State as a subject area representative. He was a member of the committee on middle level science teaching for the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and served as chair of the NSTA Aerospace Programs Advisory Board. Kenneth remains committed to promoting the National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the subsequent NGSS based upon the Framework. Kenneth earned his master of science in education and bachelor of science in education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo.
Sarah Bax Sarah Bax, Math Teacher, Hardy Middle School, Washington, DC

Bax began her teaching career as a Teach for America fellow in 1994. She has taught math (and one year of science) in Washington, D.C. since then and is now in her 14th year teaching at Hardy Middle School. She has served as math department chair for ten years and eighth grade team leader for eight years. Ms. Bax has done extensive work with new teacher development through the New Teacher Project (DCPTP Middle Level Mathematics Seminar leader) and the Carnegie Institute (CASE Summer Mathematics Institute Mentor teacher, curriculum developer, STEM consultant), both in Washington, D.C. She also serves as a master teacher with the Math for America program and has been recognized for her work with the DC Public Schools Teaching Award, the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, and the Milken Family Educator Award. She earned her B.A. degree, with a concentration in urban studies and education, from Furman University in SC, and her M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from National-Louis University, in Washington, D.C. She is certified in secondary mathematics.
Winnie Gilbert Winnie Gilbert, Math Teacher, Los Altos High School, Hacienda
Heights, CA

Gilbert currently teaches several levels of algebra, geometry, and calculus and serves as math department head at Los Altos High School in Hacienda Heights, CA. Los Altos High School, one of five high schools in the district, serves a diverse population of 2000+ students in grades 9-12. Winnie is the co facilitator for her school for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Mathematics and, since January has served part time as a lesson writer for Common Core, Inc. in Reston, VA where she is a member of the grade eight team that is responsible for writing online lessons for the state of New York according to the CCSS for math. She has worked as a lesson reviewer for the Education Trust.. As part of a two person team, she reviewed footage of classroom lessons and graded the lessons as part of a research program to determine what makes a “good” math teacher. Since 2004, Ms. Gilbert has worked as a lead assistant in the Mathematics Professional Development Institutes in Berkeley, California. She received a M.A. in education, math emphasis from Claremont Graduate University.
Michael Kennedy Michael Kennedy, Research Professor of Neuroscience and Director, Science in Society, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Kennedy is the founding director of Science in Society, the university’s research center for science education and public engagement. The center partners with urban K-12 teachers, administrators, and youth development agencies to create high-quality, long-term, impactful science learning opportunities for underserved youth.

Early in his academic career, Kennedy championed efforts to more deeply connect Northwestern's research and education mission with the community, including training university scientists in public communication and community engagement.

In 2008, Kennedy partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago and teachers in Chicago Public Schools to develop Science Club, a mentor-based afterschool program. Science Club brings Northwestern science graduate students together with underrepresented middle school youth throughout the academic year. Together, they tackle inquiry-based, curriculum-aligned projects in small groups, bridging in-school and out-of-school learning. Rigorous evaluation has revealed dramatic increases in youth science skills and an unprecedented rate of long-term STEM career selection among program alumni. The Afterschool Alliance and Noyce Foundation honored Science Club with the 2013 STEM Impact Award, one of only two programs in the country to be recognized for excellence in afterschool education.

Beginning in 2015, Kennedy’s team is working with Chicago Public Schools to test a new, practicum-based, NGSS-aligned training program for third grade teachers. Science Club Summer Camp uses an immersive, deeply-supported, long-term approach to science teaching and learning. Led by master teachers from CPS and Northwestern scientists, elementary teachers build understanding of the nature of science and confidence in using NGSS-aligned instructional strategies by co-teaching youth in a summer camp setting.

Science Club and Science Club Summer Camp are two of thirteen current initiatives developed under Kennedy’s direction. All of them build long-term partnerships with community organizations and educators to collaboratively deliver inquiry-based science engagement for communities in need. In 2016, his center received a Phi Beta Kappa Society award for innovative efforts to build community connections through the natural sciences.

His previous positions at Northwestern include associate chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, director of education and outreach for the Center for Genetic Medicine, and, most recently, chief of staff in Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Kennedy has a BS in chemistry from St. John's University and a PhD in biochemistry from the Mayo Clinic.
Renae Pullen K. Renee Pullen, Science Teacher, Riverside Elementary School,
Shreveport, LA

Pullen is a current member of the National Academies Teacher Advisory Council. She has been an educator in Caddo Parish Public Schools for over 17 years. Currently, she is the K-6 Science Curriculum Instructional Specialist for Caddo Parish. She previously taught both third and fourth grades at Herndon Magnet and Riverside Elementary in Shreveport, and she has been an adjunct professor for Louisiana Technical University (teacher leadership) and LSU-Shreveport (elementary science methods). Pullen has received numerous awards and honors including Walmart Local Teacher of the Year, Caddo Parish Elementary Teacher of the Year, a Fund for Teachers fellowship to study in Spain, a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to study the American skyscraper in Chicago, IL, numerous grants to support STEM instruction, and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching in 2008. Ms. Pullen is dedicated to professional service. She has served on several local, state, and national committees and presented at numerous district, state, and national workshops and conferences. In 2011, she participated in the White House Champions of Change Event: Women & Girls in STEM. Ms. Pullen has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Northwestern State University, a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Louisiana State University in Shreveport, and she is certified as a Teacher Leader by the State of Louisiana.
Steve Robinson Steve Robinson, Science Teacher, Democracy Prep Charter High School, New York City

Robinson is in his first year at Democracy Prep Charter High School in New York City, NY where he teaches physics, honors physics, and senior science seminar. Democracy Prep started as a middle school in Harlem and graduated their first high school class of 42 students in 2013. With a focus of college acceptance for all, each student graduates with an honors regent’s diploma. Prior to Democracy Prep, Dr. Robinson taught in Oregon at both the high school and the college levels, and at the University of Massachusetts where he was an assistant professor of biology from 1984-1991. Most recently, he served as a special assistant, White House Domestic Policy Council, Executive Office of the President in Washington, DC from September 2009 - July 2013. His duties related primarily to education issues. For example, he prepared documents to communicate and amplify the education priorities for the Obama Administration as well as coordinating educational policy development and program implementation across offices within the White House and the U. S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, and other Federal agencies. While in Washington, Dr. Robinson also served as special advisor in the Office of the Secretary, U. S. Department of Education, and he worked as a legislative assistant in the Office of Senator Barack Obama where he had previously served as an Albert Einstein distinguished education fellow. He has a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Sheikisha Thomas Picture 

Sheikisha Thomas, AP Biology Teacher, Oxon Hill High School, Greenbelt, MD


Thomas is a biology teacher at Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, MD. She began her career in 2000 teaching middle level science, before moving to Bowie High School in Bowie, MD, where she taught AP biology and served as the biology team leader for six years. She is currently redesigning the advanced placement biology course and the research practicum program at Oxon Hill High School, one of three schools in the Prince George’s County Public School System to offer the Science & Technology Program, a magnet program with a highly selective admissions process. She continues to serve her school community by organizing events and programs to raise awareness of science careers, increase parental involvement, and strengthen partnerships with local businesses and universities. As teacher leader at the district level, she has been a member of several science curriculum writing teams and a professional development facilitator.

In 2010-11, Thomas served as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow in the Office of Congressman Michael Honda in Washington, DC. During that time, she organized a Hill briefing to educate staffers on policy recommendations of the National Research Council report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. In the summer of 2009, she was an environmental science education teacher research fellow at the Chesapeake Biological Research Lab. She travelled to Matura, Trinidad the summer of 2011 to research leatherback sea turtles. Recently, she was selected to work in a research lab at the University of Maryland, as an ExPERT participant.
Thomas has been recognized on several occasions with awards for excellence in teaching and in 2009 she became a National Board Certified Teacher in science. Mrs. Thomas received her B.A. in biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and an M.A. in teaching from Bowie State University. She participated in a post-baccalaureate program in the College of Life Science at the University of Maryland, and she received a post master’s certificate in professional teaching standards from the George Washington University.
Mike Town 

Michael Town, Science Teacher, Redmond High School, Duvall, WA


Town is a member of the National Academies Teacher Advisory Council. He has taught Science and Engineering courses for over 30 years in Redmond Washington. In 2010-2011 he served as an Einstein Fellow working on STEM education policy issues for the National Science Board which provides oversight to the National Science Foundation. On his return to Redmond he was instrumental in the formation of Tesla STEM High School, a public lottery based, High School and the development of a 7 million dollar environmental education center. He has served on the Steering Committee on Climate Change Education in Formal Settings, and the STEM Integration in K-12 Education reports. He has also chaired STEM Learning Is Everywhere: Engaging Schools and Empowering Teachers to Integrate Formal, Informal, and After-School Education to Enhance Teaching and Learning in Grades K-8 and the Exploring Opportunities for STEM Teacher Leadership convocations and reports. Mike has been awarded the NEA Foundation Green Prize, Amgen Science Teaching Award, Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators and the Siemens Outstanding Educator Award. Currently he teaches AP Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Design and the University of Washington Science of Climate Change courses. In this free time Mike works on preserving public land and was instrumental in the passage by Congress of the Wild Sky Wilderness Act which preserved over 106,000 acres in Washington State in 2008.

Claudia Walker Picture 

Claudia Walker, Mathematics Teacher, Murphey Traditional Academy in Greensboro, NC


Walker has been a teacher for twenty-two years, in three different Title I schools in Greensboro, North Carolina, and in New Jersey. For the last seven years, she has been teaching mathematics only at Murphey Traditional Academy in Greensboro, a K-5 school of 360 students. From September, 2009 through May, 2011, Claudia participated in the development of a curriculum for elementary school teachers to acquire a math add-on licensure in order to develop math concepts and implement math pedagogy in the elementary classroom. Claudia received her add-on Math Licensure for the state of North Carolina in May 2011. Her goal is to provide dynamic and innovative math instruction in the elementary classroom via collaboration with colleagues. Claudia received National Board Teacher Certification in 2003, and is currently in her first cycle of renewal. She has been trained in Singapore Math, was the grant writer and recipient for the North Carolina Singapore Math Pilot Program in 2011, and is the Singapore Math Coach for her school. Claudia received a Career Award for Science and Mathematics Teachers from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund in 2010, and was selected by her peers as Teacher of the year for Murphey Traditional Academy in 2009. She received her BA degree from Rutgers University and her MA in Education, Curriculum and Technology from the University of Phoenix.

Bruce Alberts Picture Ex Officio: Bruce Alberts, Professor of Biochemistry, University of California, San Francisco, CA

Alberts is past president of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., is a respected biochemist recognized for his work both in biochemistry and molecular biology. He is noted particularly for his extensive study of the protein complexes that allow chromosomes to be replicated, as required for a living cell to divide. He has spent his career making significant contributions to the field of life sciences, serving in different capacities on a number of prestigious advisory and editorial boards, including as chair of the Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council. Until his election as President of the Academy, he was president-elect of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Born in 1938 in Chicago, Illinois, Alberts graduated from Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a degree in biochemical sciences. He earned a doctorate from Harvard University in 1965. He joined the faculty of Princeton University in 1966 and after ten years was appointed professor and vice chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). In 1980, he was awarded the honor of an American Cancer Society Lifetime Research Professorship. In 1985, he was named chair of the UCSF Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Alberts has long been committed to the improvement of science education, dedicating much of his time to educational projects such as City Science, a program seeking to improve science teaching in San Francisco elementary schools.

He has served on the advisory board of the National Science Resources Center -- a joint project of the National Academy of Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution working with teachers, scientists, and school systems to improve teaching of science -- as well as on the National Academy of Sciences' National Committee on Science Education Standards and Assessment. He is one of the original authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, considered the leading textbook of its kind and used widely in U.S. colleges and universities. His most recent text, Essential Cell Biology (1998), is intended to approach this subject matter for a wider audience. For the period 2000 to 2005, Dr. Alberts was the Co-chair of the InterAcademy Council, a new advisory institution in Amsterdam governed by the presidents of 15 science academies from around the world.

Betty Carvellas Picture 

Betty Carvellas, Teacher Leader


Betty Carvellas retired in 2007 after teaching science for 39 years at the middle and high school levels. She was a founding member of the National Academies Teacher Advisory Council (TAC) and currently serves as the Teacher Leader for the TAC. Her interests include interdisciplinary teaching, connecting “school” science to the real world, and bringing the practice of science into the classroom. Throughout her career, she traveled extensively on her own and with students. Her professional service includes work at the local, state and national levels. She served as co-chair of the education committee and was a member of the executive board of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents and is a past president of the National Association of Biology Teachers. Included among her awards are the Outstanding Science Teacher-Vermont (1981), Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (1984), and a Christa McAuliffe fellowship. In 2001, she was selected for an NSF program, Teachers Experiencing Antarctica and the Arctic, and she has since participated in eight research expeditions in the Arctic. In 2008, she was designated a lifetime National Associate of the National Research Council of the National Academies. She received her BA from Colby College, her MS from the State University of New York at Oswego and a Certificate of Advanced Study from the University of Vermont.



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