Instructors

Matt Rascher

Matt Rascher

Matt Rascher is currently a high school English teacher, adviser for the school newspaper, the Lincoln Lion Tales, and helps to lead the Mock Trial Club. Outside of school, Matt loves playing with his three dogs at home, and spending quality time with the love of his life, his new 75′ t.v. He’s also been married for five years to his first wife, Valerie.

Melissa Hero

Melissa Hero is a biology teacher, technology coordinator, and online/distance learning coach at Carlmont High School, in Belmont, CA.  She graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Avian Sciences, and volunteers at Golden Gate Raptor Observatory and Sequoia Audubon Society.  She incorporates her passion for birds into her biology class whenever she can.  Melsisa has a Masters Degree in Cross-cultural Education, Leading Edge Certifications (Digital Educator, Online & Blended Teaching, Professional Learning Leader), and is a Google for Education Certified Innovator and Trainer and loves to integrate technology into the classroom to enrich lessons.  Melissa is the VP of SVCUE, a CUE Lead Learner, and on the Fall CUE Planning Committee and was the Carlmont High School Teacher of the Year in 2020.

http://www.melissahero.com/

Twitter: @mdhero

Paul Gordon

Paul Gordon

Paul is a middle school computer science educator originally from Upstate New York. He moved to sunny Southern California in 2014 with his wife and has not looked back since. He has taught 5th and 6th grade prior to becoming a computer science educator. Within this time Paul has been able to refine his teaching beliefs to students are the controller of their own learning and the teacher is the facilitator. His teaching practices reflect this style and can be seen from the way his students become independent thinkers and learners.

Esports and video games have been a lifelong passion for Paul. He has actively participated in esports for the previous four years. Within this time he has set up multiple opportunities for his students to partake in esports and video games throughout their educational career. Paul has independently set up an afterschool gaming club where students could come and play different video games including Playstation, Switch, PC and Virtual Reality. He has also established one of the only a few in the country, a Middle School League of Legends esports team. Currently Paul is teaching a middle school elective class called, “Video Game Design and Theory” which covers topics, but not limited to, storyboarding, gender demographics and target audience, game strategy and ethics, but also streaming production and shoutcasting.

Twitter Handle: @TeachtheTech

Rachel Freed

Rachel Freed is a co-founder and the President of the Institute for Student Astronomical Research (InStAR), as well as a seminar instructor, with a mission to incorporate true scientific research into secondary and undergraduate education. She is a co-author on over 20 published papers with students and educators from around the United States. Rachel helps to coordinate international conferences around the use of telescopes in education and is currently working on a PhD in astronomy education. She is also a faculty lecturer in the School of Education at Sonoma State University. She has a B.S. degree in Biology from UC Davis and an M.S. in Neuroscience from Northwestern University, where she studied neural transmission using confocal microscopy and electrophysiology.

Rachel taught high school chemistry and astronomy for 10 years, and has conducted research on chemistry education, helping to design, build and evaluate an online formative assessment system for high school chemistry. She is involved in curriculum design and implementation and trains educators in the use of technology and remote telescopes for research. She has been an amateur astronomer for over 20 years and is involved in public outreach. Rachel is a public speaker with a focus on bringing telescopes to students around the globe as well as promoting changes in education that build on a student’s intrinsic motivations and interests.

Rushton Hurley

Rushton Hurley has worked and studied on three continents as a Japanese language teacher, school principal, teacher trainer, and inspirational speaker. He founded and directs the educational nonprofit Next Vista for Learning, which houses a free library of creative educational videos at NextVista.org, and holds masters degrees in Education and East Asian Studies from Stanford University.

The author of three books, Rushton’s fun and thoughtful talks center on inspiration and creativity, technology and leadership, avenues for engaging learning, the power of digital media and tools for collaboration, and personal and professional perspectives in a technology-infused, ever-changing world.

Rushton loves to travel, makes occasionally successful attempts to take a good picture, cleans up after his cats, and considers himself to have married up.

sabrina mcDaniel

Sabrina McDaniel

Sabrina McDaniel is currently a sixth grade teacher in a self-contained elementary school classroom. She has several years of experience in a Title 1 school. She has also been trained in SELD, PBIS, and educational equity. At KCI, she has served as an Adjunct Faculty Instructor as well as a co-lead for KCI’s EMPowered program. She has planned and facilitated engaging, hands-on mathematics professional development in multiple states. This year (2021), she will be co-directing the Math Best Practices program with Cristina Bustamante.

Sheena Vaidyanathan

Sheena Vaidyanathan teaches computer science to 11-13 year olds and is the Computer Science Integration Specialist for the Los Altos School District, where she has designed computer science curricula, conducted professional development for the STEM program, and taught pre-algebra, digital design, and visual art. She is also the program director for the computer science professional development programs at Krause Center for Innovation, Foothill College where she teaches teachers to code in Python, Scratch and other languages. Over the years, hundreds of students and teachers have learned to code in her classes. She shares her 9 years of experience teaching coding by writing articles, presenting at conferences, and providing best practices and student work on her personal website, computersforcreativity.com. She is the author of Creative Coding in Python, http://bit.ly/CreativeCodingPython, a unique book that uses creative projects and illustrations to teach programming concepts. Prior to her work in education, Sheena has worked as a computer scientist and technology entrepreneur. Sheena holds an undergraduate and graduate degrees in Computer Science and a Certificate in Studio Art, and a Single Subject California Credential in Math.
Twitter  @sheena1010
Steven Sharp

Stephen Sharp

Stephen Sharp is a Nationally Certified School Suicide Prevention Specialist, and continues to work with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to pilot an electronic behavioral health screening for schools. He works tirelessly across the state to provide education and training on mental health, substance abuse, inequality, and a world changed by technology.

Stephen frequently presents on technology, emerging career skills, mental health and race in education. Stephen was named the 2017 Pennsylvania Middle School Counselor of the Year.

Sumithira Sukumar

Dedicated and student-focused educational professional with over 11 years of teaching experience in post-secondary classrooms. Committed to consistently refining pedagogy and teaching tools that reflect cultural sensitivity and an integrated learning approach that is appropriate for students being served. Proficient at utilizing technology, manipulatives, and laboratories to supplement traditional learning and support student-centered instruction. Talent for empowering students to achieve their educational goals and to support training and resources needed for students to thrive. Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills to maintain strong relationships with students and faculty.

  • Extensive experience teaching post-secondary students Engineering, Mathematics and tool based courses. Skilled at teaching traditional, online, blended, flipped, and emporium style classrooms.
  • Built curriculums that provided professional development programs for middle and high school teachers. Developed framework and timelines for blended learning. Served on both the blended and traditional learning faculty teams to establish fidelity and quality control.

Zac Hansel

I believe that each student is a unique individual who requires a secure, supportive, and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, and socially. As an educator, I encourage the student’s ability to realize their fullest potential in these areas by providing an environment that is safe, supports creativity, inspires intellectual development, and helps the student to use critical thinking. Some of the elements that I believe are essential for establishing this environment are: teacher as guide, allowing the student’s natural curiosity to direct their learning and promoting respect for fellow students and teachers.
Twitter:  @zaccy