THIS DAY IN SCIENCE: Last of the commercial supersonics in 2003

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STAO’s Management Team

Amy Gorecki

Amy Gorecki

Executive Director

Amy brings a passion for creating high-quality resources and professional development opportunities for Ontario educators to STAO. She has over seven years’ experience in the non-profit sector and her most recent role was as Vice President of the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario. In this role, she led a bilingual project financed by the Ontario Ministry of Education, LD@school/TA@l’école, which provides resources to Ontario K-12 educators working with students with learning disabilities.

Amy holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a Chemistry major and a minor in French Language Studies from the University of Guelph, a Bachelor of Education degree at the intermediate/senior level from the University of Ottawa, Teacher/Trainer of Adults certification from Humber College and is an Ontario Certified Teacher and Project Management Professional. Amy believes that a solid STEM education is vital for the future success of all of Ontario’s students and looks forward to expanding STAO’s reach in Ontario’s school boards in her role as STAO’s Executive Director.

Chuck Cohen

Chuck Cohen

Director of Events

Chuck has been a volunteer for close to 40 years with STAO/APSO. In that time, he has been blessed to be President of the Association, a Life Member, Recipient of the Provincial Service Award, Chair to conferences and a member of many committees. In his new role as Director of Events he will be helping committees to plan and execute STAO events. This will include expanding STAO event offerings to membership with diverse needs in all corners of the province.

Cindy Cosentino

Cindy Cosentino

Director of School Board Relations

Cindy recently retired after 32 years as an educator. She has taught in both the elementary panel (in HWDSB) and the secondary panel (in HDSB). She has had the role of science department head, centrally assigned program leader, and an education officer at the Ministry of Education leading the Science and Innovation portfolio. As a new teacher she  was on the conference committee for STAO (about a million years ago), and also worked with the safety committee at that time. She served as branch president for OSSTF D20 and chair of Science Coordinator and Consultants of Ontario. She will be teaching preservice teachers at Brock University in September. She has recently moved into a home that is being renovated and has not had a stove for 2 months. She knows all the good take-out spots in Burlington though!
Her picture shows her at Queens Park last fall with her father, who has joined her on every picket line since 1988.
Malisa Mezenberg

Malisa Mezenberg

Director of Professional Learning

Malisa Mezenberg enjoyed teaching high school sciences, math and cooperative education with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board for over 20 years. She took an active role in the Ministry of Education’s Science curriculum review and developed resources to support science teachers.

Developing a keen interest in the professional learning of teachers, Malisa created and coordinated a variety of professional learning programs for teachers in her position in the Professional Development Department at the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) and as Project Manager of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation Professional Learning Project. She has had the opportunity to work with international teacher education programs in the Caribbean and Africa. Malisa is currently working at the OECTA Provincial Office in the Counselling and Member Services Department. In addition to general counselling and advice to members on employment-related matters, she is coordinates OECTA’s Leadership Training Program.

Malisa cannot remember when she was not a member of STAO. She has served in a number of roles within the organization, including President in 19941995 and Chair of the joint STAO-NSTA Conference in 1996. In her current role of Director of Professional Learning she coordinates the professional learning activities of the association. Malisa was the proud recipient of the STAO/APSO Life Member Award in 2014.

Sheila Rhodes

Sheila Rhodes

Director of Elementary Resource Development

Sheila is the Director of Elementary Resource Development for STAO. She was Co-Chair of STAO 2015, which celebrated 125 years since the founding of STAO and was the Partnership Coordinator on STAO’s Executive Committee. Sheila has a passion in the delivery of quality professional learning to meet the needs of Science and Technology Instructors.

Another interest of Sheila’s is Environmental issues, and she organizes the Enviro Ed Conference at UOIT Faculty of Ed. Sheila was instrumental in acquiring the NSERC grant to support Promo Science for 3 years for Science Encounters for STAO. Sheila is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Faculty of Education, Ontario Tech University. She teaches STEM, Environmental Education, Coding and Communication.

Kathryn Wheeldon

Kathryn Wheeldon

Director of Volunteer Engagement

Kathryn has been volunteering with STAO since 2012 when she joined the Secondary Curriculum Committee (SCC). She served on the SCC both as a member and as the Chair of the committee before moving into the Communications Coordinator role on the Executive Committee. Kathryn graduated from Trent University with a degree in Environment and Resource Studies, then went on to Queen’s University where she completed her teaching degree. In the past 14 years, Kathryn has taught high school courses in science, biology, geography, physical education, special education, with her favourite, by far, being environmental science.

She is a self-described “Professional Earth Geek” and loves to share her love of the natural world with her students, friends and family. Kathryn has taught for the last 14 years in the Halton District School Board. She currently works at Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School in Burlington, where she also lives with her husband and two young sons. When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time outside, swimming, camping, hiking, catching frogs, coaching rugby, reading and working on various crafts. Kathryn’s favourite part about volunteering with STAO is working with other teachers to provide the best possible learning experience for young people both in and out of the classroom.   

Laura Wodlinger

Laura Wodlinger

Director of Secondary Resource Development

Laura Wodlinger has been a STAO member since 2008 and has previously been the Secondary Curriculum Committee Chair (2016-2019) and the Professional Learning Team Chair for STAO2020 (2019-2020).   Laura is passionate about helping teachers deliver curriculum through relevant and innovative resources.   She has presented multiple times at STAO, OTF, BIT, and YRDSB conferences and is a strong believer in Professional Development.   Laura has created multiple resources for STAO/APSO (including the Tech Tools Collection) and written several articles for OSCA Magazine.   Laura is currently Assistant Head of Science in the YRDSB and describes herself as a citizen scientist, amateur tap dancer, karaoke enthusiast, and full time nerd.  

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