Design Thinking Ambassadors

2021 Team

Sheena Nichols

I can remember it like it was yesterday. My favorite teacher Mrs.Moody gave the class a cell project. I took  so much pride in my final product, I would never forget. It was that year when Biology took over my sole academic interest. Six years later, I received my bachelor degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry following with my master degree in Biology from North Carolina Central University. At that moment teaching as a career was nowhere in sight, not even a thought. Fast forward 2 years later, my first day of work at Aldine 9th Grade school was my first day ever giving instruction. Since then I’ve had 5 years of experience. By my 3rd year, I became the Honors/GT Teacher. As the Science Fair Sponsor, my students won 1st place in the Science Bowl and two projects placed 2nd and 3rd in their category, moving on to regionals. The 2018-2019 school year, I was honored to receive the Teacher of the Year award. During that same school year I was chosen to be a “Jason Learning Argonaut” participating in an expedition in Costa Rica which studied pollinators. I love what I do! I am fortunate to say I accidently found my passion and am so grateful. I would not change any part of my journey and I hope I can influence others in their journey to do great things.

Casey O’Hare

Casey O’Hare is from Porter, Texas. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. She has been teaching Science and Math in Aldine for 6 years, and has taught a combination of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes. Currently, she is teaching 7th Grade Science at Lewis Middle School. She has co-coached Lewis Middle School’s Academic Pentathlon team for 4 years and has helped them bring home 3 district trophies. After completing the Design Thinking Ambassador program, Casey looks forward to implementing the knowledge and skills she has gained from this experience in her classroom for years to come.

Saaher Kazmi

Hey ya’ll, my name is Saaher Kazmi and I am originally from Queens, New York. I have moved around quite a bit, from New York to Pennsylvania to Pakistan and finally Texas. I have also learned to live in poverty as well as out of it. I was not a very enthusiastic individual about education when in high school and soon after graduation I got married due to cultural expectations. Once married, I was encouraged to attend college and complete my Bachelors which ultimately will get me into medical school. Working hard and graduating from the University of Houston at the age of 24 with three beautiful children by my side was a very big accomplishment. I tried many times to get into the medical field but I guess my calling was to become a leader. After some time of tutoring high school kids I decided to pursue a career as a teacher. I love inspiring and trying to make kids understand the reality and importance of education. I do wish to continue teaching as well as going back to school and learning more and eventually stand in politics. 

Sean Doyle

I started using the JASON Learning platform after I went to a workshop and got to interact with the Monster Storms curriculum. In 2018 I was honored to be chosen as an Argonaut on a mission to assist with the sea turtle population in the Bahamas. I’m mainly focused on developing an interactive curriculum to help students understand scientific concepts. I’ve been a curriculum writer for the Aldine ISD school district for the last 6 years. This year, I was a part of the Texas SBOE Teks Review Group D that recommended updates to the Aquatic Science and Environmental Systems courses. Finally, for the 2020-2021 school year I was recognized as MacArthur HS’s teacher of the year.

Debra Dunham

My name is Debra Dunham and I am a Galvestionian born and raised on the island of Galveston, Texas. I am a 37 year educator, having begun my teaching career in 1984.

I received my formal education in the Galveston Independent School District graduating from Galveston Ball High School in 1979. I received my Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas in 1983 and my Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas in 1994.

I began my teaching career in 1984  in the now defunct North Forest ISD located in Houston, Texas, where I taught elementary school grades 1-5 for 13 years. I was then afforded the golden opportunity of becoming a part of the renown Aldine ISD. I began at Stehlik Intermediate School where I taught reading and math in grades 5th and 6th for 20 years and am presently teaching 6th grade math at Stovall Middle School under the fine leadership of Mrs. Elsa Wright.

My career has afforded me numerous accolades and awards including but limited to Teacher of the Year at Tidwell Elementary as well as HAASBE (Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators) Teacher of the Year. In Aldine ISD, I was also recognized as the HAASBE teacher of the Year,  Top 10 in Student Growth as well as State Assessments recognitions with passing percentages of 85% or greater.

My mantra is “A career is what you paid for but a calling is what you’re made for”.

John R. Armstrong

Science Composite Certifications: 6-12, 4-8.  

Royal Middle School: 8th Grade Science (1 year)

Opal Hamilton Middle School: 8th Grade Science, IPC (4 years)

Hempstead High School: IPC, Chemistry (1 year)

Eisenhower 9 Grade Campus: IPC, Biology (15 years)

Eisenhower Senior High: Physics (1 year split with Eisenhower 9 Grade Campus)

21 years teaching the sciences

Alaye Cotterell

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JASON Learning – Design Thinking Ambassadors are: 

 

• Innovative Designers: Ambassadors use a variety of technologies within a design process that requires students to identify a design thinking challenge their students can solve by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions. (ISTE 4a)

• Knowledge Constructors:  Ambassadors develop a design thinking challenge that builds students’ knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, develop ideas and theories and pursue answers and solutions. (ISTE 1a)

• Computational Thinkers:  Ambassadors develop a design thinking challenge that requires students to collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem solving and decision making. (ISTE 5b)

• Global Collaborators:   Ambassadors use a variety of technologies within a design process that requires students to explore local and global issues and use collaborative technologies to work with others to investigate solutions. (ISTE 7d)

• Creative Communicators:   Ambassadors use a variety of technologies within a design process that requires students to publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audience  (ISTE 6d)

• Digital Citizens:    Ambassadors use a variety of technologies within a design process that requires students to demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the rights and obligations of using and sharing intellectual property (ISTE 2c)

• Empowered Learner:  Ambassadors leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences. (ISTE 1c)