Mike Godfrey, a 2005 JASON Teacher Argonaut on the Disappearing Wetlands expedition, “retired” in 2014 as an NW Ohio teacher of the gifted and talented. During his career and post-retirement, he’s worked with students in grades K – 12 in all subject areas, built and facilitated a low-ropes adventure course, co-taught an HS marine science class for 31 years with annual field experiences in the Florida Keys, spent six years as a national math presenter for Staff Development for Educators (SDE), and continues to be the PA announcer for his former district’s HS athletic events. Married to a retired educator who loves quilting, Mike enjoys his eight grandchildren, athletics, science, and staying in shape. Equally important, he values and appreciates his involvement with JASON and its impact on student learning and engagement.
Members of the Teacher Advisory Council
Anne Tapp, a Teacher Argonaut from JASON XIII, is a Professor of Teacher Education for the College of Education at Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI, and a Director for the University of Michigan Center for Digital Curricula. She serves on the Board of Directors for the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) and is Chair-elect for the AACTE Advisory Council for State Representatives. Dr. Tapp is the author of several publications including Technology in the Early Classroom, an interactive textbook for pre and in-service teachers, and is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences.
I grew up in Minnesota and I can still remember my first JASON Project experience. My 3rd-grade class attended a live viewing of Dr. Robert Ballard investigating tube worms on the ocean floor. Since then, I was forever inspired and intrigued by science. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Broadfield Science and a Master’s degree in Biology. I am currently teaching high school science in a small district in Wisconsin. Also, I coach track and cross country, teach two college courses and I am JASON ArgonautAlumni. Though 3rd grade was quite a long time ago, through JASON, I have followed my dreams and I continue to explore, inspire and educate.
Marjorie Sparks began her career as a first-grade teacher in 1985. She moved to the middle school and began her connection with the JASON Project in 1993. During her 15 years of using JASON in her classroom, she had four students who became JASON Argonauts. In 2002-2003, Marjorie was selected as a teacher Argonaut for JASON XVI: From Shore to Sea and traveled on expedition to study the California Channel Islands. In 2003-2004, she was selected as a NASA Goddard Remote Sensing Earth Science Teacher Program (RSESTeP) mission teacher where she planned and developed a mission using NASA’s remote sensing technology, in partnership with various state and local organizations, to study the diverse ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay with her middle school students. She was named the 2005-2006 Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Schools Office Teacher of the Year and in 2006 was chosen as the Maryland State Catholic Teacher of the Year by the Knights of Columbus Maryland State Council. Marjorie spent the last 13 years of her career as a dedicated science lab teacher providing weekly hands-on science activities to all of the PreK through 8th-grade students in her school. She retired in August of 2020 after 35 years of teaching.
I am Amanda Bell, a graduate of Old Dominion University with coursework at Hampton University as well. As a Portsmouth Public Schools product, I chose to return and give back to the system that gave me so much and currently teach 8th-grade science at Churchland Middle School. I co-wrote the 6th and 8th-grade science curriculum for Portsmouth Public Schools, am on the Teacher Advisory Council for JASON Learning, and am on the teacher committee for REYES at ODU. I am the proud dog mom to an 8-year-old mini-poodle named Bentley, and a long-time member of Grove Park Baptist Church where I serve as treasurer.
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.
I am a proud science educator of 13 years, teaching mostly 7th and 8th-grade students. I currently serve as a Science Instructional Specialist for Goodson Middle School, in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. I am passionate about, and often nerd out over, teaching students about all the science that is going on around them and finding simple ways of exploring that world. I have the best husband and three amazing children. I am also honored to be a JASON Argonaut alumnus after an incredible trip to Costa Rica to study pollinators during the summer of 2019.