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LEAD STEM Launches the Second Year of a World-Class Leadership Development Program for STEM Education



LEGO® Education joins as a lead sponsor of this year’s program

 (Las Vegas – September 6, 2018) – Building on its first year of success as a leadership development program for education partners, LEAD STEM today announced it has accepted 20 new fellows into its 2018-19 cohort. Adding to the program’s strength, LEAD STEM also announced that LEGO® Education is joining as a lead sponsor  to support fellows as they ignite a passion for learning science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in students.

In 2018, 21 LEAD STEM participants launched projects to meet local community STEM learning needs. These fellows are now implementing successful projects across the country.

LEAD STEM is an initiative of the STEM Learning Ecosystem Community of Practice, a collaborative movement of 68 STEM Learning Ecosystems made up of hundreds of after-school STEM organizations, thousands of school districts serving millions of students, hundreds of businesses and industries and dozens of community colleges and universities.

“We are thrilled to sponsor this year’s LEAD STEM program to help bring together and develop passionate and dedicated education leaders across the nation,” said Silver McDonald, Head of LEGO Education North America. “Sponsoring this year’s LEAD STEM program is a natural fit for LEGO Education as we share a similar vision to support leaders in schools who want to increase student engagement and who are inspiring students to imagine their futures in new ways.”

Developed and led by Angela Baber, LEAD STEM supports the STEM Learning Ecosystem Community of Practice by training innovators who can then play leadership roles in the Ecosystems. Previously, Baber developed the statewide STEM Learning Ecosystem for Colorado and was a senior policy analyst at the National Governors Association where she supported governors to implement statewide STEM plans.

Gerald Solomon, executive director of the Samueli Foundation and co-founder of the STEM Learning Ecosystem Community of Practice, explained the value of the program. “LEAD STEM is bringing together leaders with varied backgrounds who can shine a light on different aspects of education and design learning experiences and systems that equip our youth to solve the immense global challenges of today and tomorrow.”

Jan Morrison, president of the Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM and a founder of the STEM Learning Ecosystem Community of Practice, explained that the training that LEAD STEM fellows receive is unique. “LEAD STEM is carefully identifying leaders, engaging them in a national network of like-minded individuals who are actively working to successfully connect STEM education with the workforce needs in our country, and arming them with tools and support to make a significant impact this year,” she said.

2018-19 LEAD STEM Fellows

Following is a list of the fellows. Learn more about each here.

First Last Organization Ecosystem
Rick Beal Terra Science and Education East Syracuse Minoa Central School District STEM Learning Ecosystem
Gyla Bell TGR Foundation Orange County STEM Initiative
Lisa Blank Watertown City School District North Country STEM Network
Kareen Borders West Sound STEM Network Washington STEM Network
Laylah Bulman LEGO Education NA
Kim Case Research & Development Council of New Jersey New Jersey
Melissa Coleman Putnam County Public Schools Northeast Florida Regional STEM2 Hub
Andrew Garner North Museum of Nature and Science Lancaster County STEM Alliance
Katie Grootegoed Breakthrough Schools Northeast Ohio STEM Learning Ecosystem
Lee Lambert Washington STEM Washington STEM
Kalman Mannis Rural Activation and Innovation Network Arizona SciTech Ecosystem
Willonda McCloud Bright Side Opportunities Center Lancaster County STEM Alliance
Kari McGann Delran Township Schools Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance
Raul (Rudy) Reyna SA-Bexar STEM/STEAM Ecosystem SA-Bexar STEM/STEAM Ecosystem
Leyla Riley OC STEM Orange County STEM Initiative
Demetrius Roberts Chester County Intermediate Unit PA STEM Experiences for Equity and Diversity (SEED) Ecosystem
Tina Rolewicz Discovery Cube Orange County STEM Initiative
Holly Steele Orange County Department of Education Orange County STEM Initiative
Joel Walker Industrial Resolution Lancaster County STEM Alliance
Nancy Watson STEM2Hub.org Northeast Florida Regional STEM2 Hub


About STEM Learning Ecosystems

The STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative cultivates and supports 68 local Ecosystems working to improve access to high-quality STEM learning for all students. The Initiative empowers communities to bring together unlikely local partners and create systemic change to ensure more students, particularly underserved and underrepresented students, develop the STEM knowledge and skills they need to learn and thrive in today’s workplace.

Learn more at stemecosystems.org. Join online conversations on Twitter @STEMecosystems and #STEMEcosystems, on Facebook and LinkedIn.