Secondary Academic Innovation & Leadership Finalists

Awarded to a woman working in the secondary academic setting who has created and fostered STEM programs in curriculum development, student research, and/or teacher-student collaborations and consistently demonstrates STEM leadership and innovation.

KAREN AMAKER

Secondary Academic Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
Founding Director
Organization
P-TECH Norwalk
Hometown
Hamden, CT
Passion
Karen is passionate about replicating P-TECH throughout Connecticut’s urban districts resulting in equitable access to STEM education and employment.
Bio
Karen is the founding director of P-TECH Norwalk, Connecticut’s first 9-14 high school. In her 25 years as an educator, Karen has served as a school counselor, department chair, and middle and high school administrator. As a transformational school leader, Karen purposefully disrupts fixed systems to provide equitable access to STEM education and employment. Karen is a former Urban School Leaders Fellow and Relay Graduate School of Education Fellow.
Download poster (.pdf)
Request a printed poster for your school at woi@ccat.us.

SUSAN DOUGHERTY

Secondary Academic Innovation & Leadership Winner (Tie)

Occupation
STEM and Special Education Teacher
Organization
Stamford High School
Hometown
Greenwich, CT
Passion
Susan’s work is to broaden STEM pathways by engaging all students in the process of science and to provide opportunities that realize their potential in the STEM community.
Bio
Susan has taught for 28 years and instructs students in various levels of chemistry, physics, and Earth and Space science while serving as Student Spaceflight Experiments Program Director for Missions 12 and 14. Dedicated to the growth of young women and students from underserved communities in science competitions, Susan has facilitated students in sending experiments to the ISS and earning recognition at GLOBE Regional Science Symposia. She holds a BA in Economics from Iona College and a Master of Science from City College, CUNY.
Read Susan’s feature on the Connecticut Technology Council blog

BETH FURNARI

Secondary Academic Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
Acting Principal
Organization
Information Technology and Software Engineering High School, Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Magnet Campus
Hometown
Trumbull, CT
Passion
Beth is passionate about providing students with a relevant, STEM-based education that will allow them the opportunity to live prosperous and successful lives.
Bio
Beth, a life-long educator and leader for Bridgeport Public Schools, has served the city in multiple capacities, eventually leading to her current position as the Principal of The Information Technology Magnet High School. There, Beth leads the shift in the Instructional Core from a “traditional” philosophy to a STEM-based, career-aligned ideology and continues to focus her attention on promoting STEM to better prepare her students for college and career.
Download poster (.pdf)
Request a printed poster for your school at woi@ccat.us.

DIANE PINTAVALLE

Secondary Academic Innovation & Leadership Winner (Tie)

Occupation
Science Teacher
Organization
Glastonbury High School
Hometown
Amston, CT
Passion
Diane is passionate about developing future researchers as a science teacher at Glastonbury High School.
Bio
Diane is a force in the development of our nation’s future scientists. Teaching AP Biology and Advanced Research Mentorship at Glastonbury High School, Diane developed an extensive network of mentors from universities and industries. Diane is a 2017 Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. She is a 2020 CT Teacher of the Year Semi-Finalist and has recently received CSTA’s Excellence in High School Science Teaching award.

CATHERINE PISCITELLI

Secondary Academic Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
Science Research Program Director
Organization
Amity Regional High School
Hometown
Cheshire, CT
Passion
Catherine is passionate about developing high school students’ passion for STEM through the Science Research Program.
Bio
Catherine is in her 19th year of teaching at Amity High School where she is the Science Research Program Director. She majored in Biology at ECSU and continued on to earn her teaching certification, MS, and 6th year at SCSU so that she could spread her love and enthusiasm for STEM to students. She enjoys swimming, boating, reading, cooking, and vacationing with her husband and two sons.

ROSEMARY RIBER

Secondary Academic Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
Transition Coordinator
Organization
Joel Barlow High School
Hometown
Monroe, CT
Passion
Rosemary is passionate about helping students develop skills for careers that do not yet exist.
Bio
Rosemary works with secondary students to prepare them with skills they’ll need to succeed in the future. She feels strongly that outcomes are improved with support and collaboration. She strives to provide opportunities for students to explore innovative technologies, solve problems in creative ways and simply, make this a better place. Rosemary is married and the proud mother of Amy, Paul and Emily. She believes that encouragement is magic.
Download poster (.pdf)
Request a printed poster for your school at woi@ccat.us.