Meet the EduChange Team
President & Founder
Catherine Saldutti has over 24 years of experience in secondary education, and has served as a teacher, administrator, professional development provider, program evaluator, and instructional designer. She founded EduChange in 2000 to fundamentally change the way teaching and learning happens in classrooms. Her team of senior consultants built relationships with over 350 schools in New York City, several school districts across the USA, and now in Sao Paulo, Kuala Lumpur, and Tokyo. Catherine holds a patent for the Concept Construxions product line, a pattern-recognition system that helps learners construct concepts and acquire academic or technical language in social, collaborative ways. Polytechnic schools in Singapore and New Zealand, as well as hundreds of teachers in the USA, have been trained with these methods. In 2010 she began forging relationships with education professionals and ministry officials in Brazil, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand and the UK. After a 10-year implementation period in 4 global cities, alongside 3 rounds of academic scientific review, The Integrated Science Program is now a sustainable open educational resource (SOER) that removes disciplinary siloes, is digitally deployed internationally using 4 different models, and may be customized to local and national requirements. Catherine earned degrees from Stanford University, where her independent study on International Technology Education contributed to J. Myron Atkin’s work on TIMSS development, and The Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she served as Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Committee. She speaks regularly to international audiences of educational thought leaders, the EdTech community, administrators, teachers and parents. Download Catherine's professional CV here.
Integrated Science, Concept Construxions
Mark Chesterton has worked in education and youth development for over 20 years. During that time he's served as a counselor, conservationist, teacher, extended day coordinator, department chair, grade team leader and bicycle educator. His work with schools has focused on math and science curriculum design and implementation for grades 6-12. Additionally, he specializes in urban public education with experience in San Francisco (CA), Rochester and Brooklyn (NY), and Newport (RI). He was an early adopter of Concept Construxions and participated in the first implementation phase of The Integrated Science Program. He holds a B.A. in Biology from The College of the Holy Cross and a M.A. in Secondary Education/Cultural and Language Development from San Francisco State University. Mark is currrently teaching middle school in Brooklyn and tests protocols & reviews materials for Integrated Science and Concept Construxions.
Beverly Ann Chin, Ph.D.
Integrated Science, Concept Construxions, PD
Dr. Beverly Ann Chin is Professor of English, Director of the English Teaching Program, former Director of the Montana Writing Project, and former Director of Composition at the University of Montana in Missoula. Her national leadership roles have included: Common Core State Standards Faculty Reviewer, President of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Board Member of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and Senior Project Consultant for the 2011 Writing Framework of NAEP. Beverly is the recipient of the prestigious 2012 NCTE Distinguished Service Award. She is the author, consultant and/or editor of several texts and instructional videos on the teaching of writing, grammar, reading, and literature. Beverly has more than 35 years of teaching experience and particular expertise in the areas of multicultural education, young adult literature, literacy across the curriculum, and performance assessment. Beverly was a lead developer of Literature Concepts and Grammar Concepts of the Concept Construxions system.
Amancio Friaca, Ph.D.
Head Scientific Advisor, Latin America
Amancio Friaca, Ph.D. is an astronomer and researcher at the Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences (IAG), University of São Paulo, and works in the areas of astrobiology, cosmology, evolution of the complexity of the Universe, interdisciplinary studies, science teaching, and relationships between science and society. He organized several meetings on astrobiology and interdisciplinary disciplinary dialogues. As one example, his students (working in São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Pará) introduced the discussions on Anthropocene within the frame of habitability, which is one research axis in astrobiology. He is the coordinator of the Graduate Program in Teaching of Astronomy at IAG and has been responsible for several science education research projects throughout Brazil. The PTA aims at creating educational tools integrating the natural science disciplines (physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, and environmental sciences) to humanities (philosophy, history and geography). The students of PTA are mainly teachers in fundamental and secondary school but we also include museum and planetarium personnel. Twelve Master's Degrees were conferred in 2017 alone. We are thrilled that Dr. Friaca is serving as EduChange's Head Scientific Advisor for Latin America, connecting us with researchers as well as educational initiatives!
Jim Handel has taught in New York City public schools for over 20 years as a chemistry, calculus, but mostly physics teacher. He currently teaches at Millennium High School in lower Manhattan. He graduated from The University of Michigan with a BS in Physics where he also conducted undergraduate research in high-energy cosmic ray physics at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy. Jim completed a MS in science education at Queens College. He joined the Teach for America Corps in1993 and has remained in the New York City schools ever since. He has consulted for 10 years as a physics curriculum developer as well as presenting workshops for physics teachers focusing on student misconceptions. Recently Jim has joined the Math for America program as a Master-Teacher corps member. Jim is a teacher protocol tester for Integrated Science.
K. A. Keener
Concept Construxions, PD
K. A. Keener has fourteen years of experience as an English educator. She graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Philosophy, Indiana University with an Master’s of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing and Columbia University’s Teachers College with a Master’s Degree in English Education. As one of the founding teachers of Bronx Community High School, she developed curriculum and served as a Lead Teacher at both the school and network level. In addition to secondary schools in New York City, she has taught in international schools in Zimbabwe and China as well as at the university level. K. Keener specializes in action research, developing teaching strategies across multiple disciplines to increase literacy, the use of technology in the classroom and teaching for social, emotional-growth with at-risk students. In conjunction with Columbia University’s Neuroscience Outreach Team, she has facilitated workshops in mind, brain and education in New York City schools and at the American Museum of Natural History. K. leads educators through the development of routines using Concept Construxions to engage students in academic discourse around their emerging ideas. Videos of her in action are available on this website.
Ann Kindfield, Ph.D.
Dr. Ann Kindfield is an experienced university instructor, research scientist, assessment developer and evaluator. She has taught biology, genetics and various science education courses, including work with pre-service secondary science teachers, at UC Berkeley, Montclair State University and Vanderbilt University. She also has extensive experience in K-16 science assessment R&D in academic settings and at the Educational Testing Service, has conducted research on elementary science and secondary biology teaching and learning, and has served on advisory panels and as the evaluator for a number of science education research projects. Ann holds a BS in Biology from the Pennsylvania State University, a MS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UC Santa Barbara, and a PhD in Science Education from UC Berkeley.
Candace King has taught High School Biology to tracked (non-Honors and Honors), untracked and AP students for 5 years. She began her teacher career at a private therapeutic boarding school in Connecticut before moving to her current position at Woodgrove High School in Purcellville, VA. She draws from her experience across different developmental students to shape a passion for inquiry-based, hands-on instruction. She has worked on curriculum development and implementation of student-directed learning models. Candace received her B.S. in Biology and Biology Education from Purdue University. She tests activities and lab protocols in the classroom for EduChange.
Aaron Joseph Kleinmann
Aaron Joseph Kleinmann’s has taught most high school science and math courses as well as college courses in physics and mathematics. Joseph’s teaching certifications (NY) include chemistry, physics, and general science. Notable accomplishments in Joseph’s three careers include: teaching: his team’s inner-city students had a graduation rate of 85% vs. the school norm of 30%; research: a computer model he built successfully predicted the economic impacts of a radical (at the time) new health technology (PTCA: percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty); and industry: products he innovated were critical to survival of premature babies, oncology research, and cardiology. For Joseph, teaching, research, and industry are closely intertwined; his professional and personal work is rooted in theory, reality, and the diffusion and adoption of new technologies and approaches in teaching and learning. Joseph graduated from MIT on several occasions: with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, an MS Engineering, and a MS of Management. He also earned a MSEd. In Supervision & Administration from Fordham University, and is currently completing his dissertation for a Doctor of Professional Studies in Computer Applications to Education at Pace University. Joseph participated in the first implementation phase of The Integrated Science Program as a teacher. Currently, he works with EduChange to support the program’s ongoing evolution.
Integrated Science, Art & Design
We discovered Jenny Palmer's talents when she was still in high school and contributed illustrations to our Integrated Science Program as a student artist. Some of them are displayed throughout the website. While in high school in the Greater Auckland area, Jenny received the NZ-wide NZQA/NCEA Top Scholar scholarship in Painting (2013). She went on to attend Auckland University of Technology (AUT) where she earned a Bachelor of Visual Arts majoring in sculpture, graduating in 2016. Jenny wants to extend her jewelry and cutlery-making skills, as well as her illustration skills. She is also the resident EduChange artist!
Concept Construxions, PD
Joshua Paris earned a BA in mathematics Middlebury College and an Ed.M. from Harvard Graduate School of Education. He taught bilingual math and science at Chelsea High School in Chelsea, MA for seven years before moving on to his current position as Department Chair and mathematics teacher at Brookline High School in MA, where he has been since 2000. Facile with every level and subject of high school math, Joshua has been involved in numerous curriculum development initiatives including the Lesson Study and Lenses on Learning projects at EDC in Newton, MA. As a consultant to EduChange, Joshua has helped develop our approach to differentiated instruction for the math classroom and has served as a lead developer for the Algebraic Concepts, Geometric Concepts and Probability & Statistics Concepts of the patented Concept Construxions system.
Donna Poniatowski, Ed.D.
Integrated Science, Concept Construxions, PD
Dr. Donna Poniatowski is an accomplished educator with over 30 years of teaching experience in public education, urban and rural, ranging from AP and Gifted to at-risk students in an alternative setting. She was Teacher of the Year 2012, NATIONAL SECME Director of the Year in 2008-09, and is a founding member of the National Center for Simulation’s Education Board. As such, she has facilitated student participation in industry-oriented conventions such as the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC). Donna has been a part of several committees and advisory panels for the State of Florida including assessment writing, standards writing, and the Office of Mathematics and Science. She was a lead curriculum writer for a 4-year Bioengineering program for a District Engineering Magnet School, a 3-year Biotechnology program for middle school, and a 4-year Science Research Program. She has served as a consultant for a multi-district Modeling and Simulation curriculum. Donna has taught Animal Physiology at the University of Central Florida, Molecular Biology at Seminole State College and Elementary and Secondary Science Education at both UCF and the University of New Orleans. She earned her Doctorate of Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida and holds multiple certifications in Science and Exceptional Student Education.
Concept Construxions, PD
Ken Simon has over 22 years of experience in urban schools. He has served as a social studies classroom teacher, curriculum/instruction leader in the humanities, district administrator and professional development provider across all content areas. He is a published curriculum writer and also teaches an Education Policy course to graduate students at Hamline University. Formerly, Ken served as a School Designer and professional development provider for Expeditionary Learning, conducting workshops and presentations on pedagogy, literacy and Social Studies content across the nation to K-12 public school teachers. He also served as a part of an ELL Workgroup designed to support English language learners and the 6-12 Social Studies mapping project. Ken was a leader in the citywide Middle Grades Project in Minneapolis Public Schools and currently serves as a Board Member of the Minnesota ASCD chapter. Ken is helping to develop a Global Competency framework at World Savvy and Teachers College, Columbia University. He holds an M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction, International Development Education and a B.S. in Secondary Education from the University of Minnesota, as well as a B.A. in History and Political & Government from Ripon College.
Sandy Simon, Ph.D.
Head Scientific Advisor, USA & Canada
Dr. Sandy Simon is the Head of the Laboratory of Cellular Biophysics and Professor of The Rockefeller University. Dr. Simon has been examining everything from single molecules moving in a cell, to single viruses as they assemble, to single cells as they metastasize through the body. His work has emphasized the importance of study single events, whether single proteins, single cells or single students as a way of gaining insight to the behavior of more complicated systems such as cells, an organ, an individual or a school system. His recent imaging work with HIV was named one of the "Top 100 Science Stories of 2008" by Discover Magazine. Dr. Simon also made remarkable contributions to the Nobel-Prize winning work of Günter Blobel, also a Rockefeller Lab Head. Dr. Simon has been active in science education since the '70s. In 2006 he was recognized for his outstanding teaching at Rockefeller and was recognized for his contributions to science education at Bard College in 2007. For EduChange, he has organized other Rockefeller University students and scientists in the development of The Integrated Science Program, advises the EduChange team and has hosted several PD events at Rockefeller University.
Todd Smeltz taught general science and mathematics at William Penn High School in the York City School District before heading to Upper Dauphin Area High School, a small rural school district. He has taught chemistry and mathematics classes since 1988. Todd has been involved in several educational initiatives over the years, including Advancing Science, where he was paired with researchers at the university level for two years to determine the sodium level in the moon's atmosphere. He participated in a field study with McREL in an effort to integrate nanoscale materials and their properties into the high school chemistry curriculum. Todd also led a professional development effort for the Science in Motion program to introduce teachers in several Pennsylvania counties to nanotechnology lab activities that can be performed in high school science laboratory. Todd has held the position of science chairperson at his high school for several years, and is currently the president of his local teachers' association and an elected state delegate to the National Education Association's Representative Assembly. Todd earned a B.S in Mathematics and Chemistry Education from Mansfield University, and a M.S. in Science Education with a Concentration in Literacy from Dominican University. Todd also holds a Certificate in Online Learning from Lesley University. He tests protocols in the classroom and reviews resources for Integrated Science.
Jennifer Sweny, Ph.D.
Dr. Jennifer Sweny has been a tertiary teaching assistant in Canada and New Zealand since 2002. She has a wide variety of teaching and research experience and his been involved in undergraduate teaching of biology, chemistry, physics and sports science. She has a PhD in biomedicine from the University of Auckland, an MSc in Biophysics and a BSc in Biochemistry both from the University of Waterloo in Canada. She holds a Certificate in University Teaching and has served in the following capacities: a biology tutor at Auckland University; biochemistry and cell biology instructor at Massey University; and Sports Science lecturer at the Universal College of Learning--all in New Zealand. Her past research projects include studying the metabolism of a diabetes drug; measuring the forces that act between cells in cell aggregates; investigating molecular mechanisms of cell replication in yeast; developing vaccines against a parasite in chickens; and investigating inflammation mechanisms in arteriosclerosis.
Kristine Varney has taught physics at a variety of levels for almost a decade. She taught in Brooklyn for six years before moving to her current position as physics teacher and science department chair in Houston at the Emery/Weiner School. Kristine also advises The Shalheveth Freier International Physics Tournament Team at her school, a safe-cracking engineering design program run by the Weizmann Institute of Science of Rehovot, Israel. Her experiences in different schools and programs have supported her development of a student-centered, inquiry-based approach to teaching. Kristine received her B.A. in Physics with honors from Middlebury College and her M.A. in Teaching from Duke University, where she continues to serve as a Mentor Teacher for the Duke Noyce Teaching Fellows program. Interested in the intersection of music and physics, she has taught several summer courses on the science of music. Kristine tests protocols and reviews materials for the Integrated Science program. She recently developed a special Satellite Pollution Case Study for Level II!