AstroSchool Cohort Spring 2020


Hi Everyone
My name is Maria Romero and I am located in Miami, Florida
I am in my 19th year of teaching Secondary Mathematics. I have my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in secondary Math education.
I teach at an all-girl private school. I currently teach Algebra II honors and Precalculus
I am passionate about learning new things, traveling, and animals.


My name is Aaron Bokelmann and I am located in Bradenton Florida. I am currently a teacher at Manatee High School and have been teaching for 19 years. Currently I am teaching Biology, but I love teaching Astronomy, Zoology, and Earth Space Science. I love space, the outdoors, paleontology, and am looking forward to learning about this technology. I have been a Honeywell Space Educator both regular and advanced and during my summers, I take teachers to the Badlands of Nebraska to search for fossils and teach them about the flora and fauna of the Badlands of America. I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and instagram 59%20AM


Great to have a math teacher in our cohort! Welcome, Maria!


Welcome, Aaron! Searching for fossils sounds fascinating!


Hi everyone! My name is Linda Frantz (lfrantz) from Oklahoma City. I am a former Industrial Engineer turned Elementary STEM teacher in the Putnam City School District, a Title One school district in Oklahoma City. Currently I teach at Northridge Elementary, and I have 750 K-5 students in my classroom each week. I am passionate about sharing Space Education with my students, and outside of school I participate in the Space Educator Expedition Crew at Space Center Houston and the Smithsonian’s 2019 Teacher Innovator Institute cohort. You can find me on Facebook by looking for Linda Rush Frantz, and also on Linked In.
I am looking forward to this opportunity to learn more about this technology and and very hopeful that this equipment is something I can share with my classes.


Great to have you here, Linda! Space Center Houston is one of my most favorite places to visit!


Hi, I am Tina Miller-Way and I work at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, the marine research and education facility for the state of Alabama. Dauphin Island is a barrier island on Alabama’s south coast, named after the French explorer and not the animal (smile)

I have had a roundabout path, but have been to grad school in oceanography (and finished), worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers, taught in academia for 10 years and now enjoy working with teachers and others who are passionate about ocean education.

I teach a variety of things in a variety of settings to teachers (and occasionally K-16 students), but they all relate to ocean literacy. Don’t we all need to be ocean literate? (If you don’t think so, tell me why – I am always curious as to how others feel about the living space on 95% of our planet). For the ocean - marine tech is the future and so I am excited about learning more to integrate into our STEM work!

I am passionate about ocean literacy – and being around water. I grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan and have lived on all 4 ‘coasts’ (yes, 4). My mom thought she could keep me home if she had enough salt to make the lake an ocean.

I don’t do much fb’ing, but I am on linked -

Here’s a pic of me in my favorite habitat…


So cool! I can’t wait to learn more about what you do. Welcome, Tina!


Hi! My name is Maria Marsicano, and I am coming from Fairmont, WV.
I am a math teacher at a residential facility for troubled youth, so we have a lot of challenges!
I have BS degrees in Math, Computer Science, and Chemistry and a Masters Degree in Education.
I am passionate right now about robots and electronics. At home, I like to sew and read, but I am not above taking one of my robots home to play with! I have a soon-to-be 27-year-old daughter, so I am feeling quite old lately!

My social media handle is pretty much mom0sarah for everything!

I am really looking forward to learning with all of you!


Great to have you be a part of this cohort, @mom0sarah!


My name is Michael Hellmund, I come from Colorado but live in Orlando, Florida
Teaching is my second career - I used to be an educational toy product manager for companies such as Estes Industries, Learning Resources and the former Wild Goose Company. I helped develop kits for Steve Spangler and Be Amazing Toys. I have now been teaching for 18 years - currently teach Aerospace Engineering and Honors Astronomy at Freedom High School here in Orlando. I also sponsor the STEM Club at our school.
I am passionate about astronomy outreach (my wife and I do frequent Star Parties for our schools and community and between us we own eight telescopes) My hobbies include astronomy, model rocketry, quadcopters and astrophotography. I was fortunate to be chosen to do experiments aboard a Zero G aircraft (aka Vomit Comet) and fly with the Shell aerobatic team (AT-6 Texans). I also witnessed up close (5 miles away) the first launch of the Falcon Heavy on Feb 6th, 2018 (thanks to my wife)

I am on Facebook under my name, and Twitter under Astrohellmund


Awesome to have you here, Michael! I’ll need to make it to one of your Star Parties!

What is your name where are you located? Ginny Switt, Gainesville, FL,
What is your background? Master's Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Florida
What, where, and who do you teach?  I teach at Oak Hall School in Gainesville, FL, which is a non-denominational independent school
What are you passionate about? Science, my students, paleontology


Meghan Turner,Thousand Oaks, CA

I was born and raised in Ohio and earned a BS in Mass Communication and a minor in theater. My career path > director of children’s theater (Michigan based) > production coordinator for television specials (backlot Universal) > Marketing Manager for enterprise tech (So Cal based) > Marketing Director PR firm (Silicon Valley based) > MOM (BEST job) > School Volunteer > MakerSpace Specialist (elementary school K - 5)

I instruct approximately 670 students, with amazing collaboration from their classroom teachers, grades kindergarten through 5th grade in our MakerSpace at Lang Ranch Elementary School.

I am passionate about my family! I enjoy art, any kind of DIY project, photography and being around kids. (woefully out of date)


We look forward to having you be a part of this!


What an interesting career path, Meghan! Thanks for joining us!


Hello team, my name is Javier Montiel in Freeport Texas. I am very honored to serve and to participate in this community. I am a teacher in Freeport Texas, I studied computer sciences in Mexico and I have a Masters degree in Instructional Design and Technology.

My main job is with kindergarten students but I outreach out to college students with international STEM initiatives. I am also a CoSpaces ambassador and a WGBH-NASA teacher advisor.

My passion is to empower the talent through education and opportunities.

These are my media accounts.


What is your name where are you located? Melissa Weber in Salt Lake City, UT
What is your background? I started off in Physics & Astronomy and have a masters in Astronomy. When my would be PhD thesis blew up on launch, I switched to Computer Science grad school. It ended up being a really good move for me, less so for the satellites. :wink:
What, where, and who do you teach? At night I teach Physics, Computer Science, Astronomy, and Math as an adjunct professor at Neumont College of Computer Science in SLC, UT. By day I’m a software architect and Java developer.
What are you passionate about? I am an avid reader (fiction and for nonfiction I read physics / math / science / software). I belong to two monthly book clubs one is contemporary fiction and the other is software architecture. Being more newly diagnosed as Celiac, I’m really into gluten-free vegetarian cooking. And, this week I begin my six month yoga teacher training program!
Do you have social media account(s)? I stopped doing social media a few years ago. If this cohort inspires me to re-activate I’ll post my handles at that time. I haven’t logged on in years.
Upload a picture of yourself. Me at Greenwich


Hi Aaron. I’ve been to your school before! Now I’m trying to remember why as it’s been a few decades. I graduated from Chamberlain High School in Tampa. I’m pretty sure I went to Manatee HS for a Mu Alpha Theta (aka Mathlete) competition. Also I think I went there to watch your school beat mine up in the state football playoffs. I’m no longer in Florida. I’m in Utah… a great place for fossils and paleontology. I knew ND and SD have badlands but didn’t realize Nebraska has them too. Fascinating.


Awesome to have you here, Javier!