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Jeffrey Charbonneau, NYLF MED Alumni, STEM Champion and 2013 National Teacher of the Year
Jeff Charbonneau is a chemistry, physics and engineering teacher at Zillah High School in Zillah, Washington. Jeff received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Central Washington University, making him the first person in his family to graduate from college. He originally aspired to become a medical doctor, but found that his true calling was in education. After receiving a Master of Education from Central Washington University, Jeff returned to Zillah High School, his alma mater, to teach.
Jeff has made it his personal mission to overturn the perception of chemistry, physics, and engineering as “difficult” subjects, and has created unique interactive learning experiences to bring these subjects to life and help students build confidence in their abilities.
In 2013 Jeff was named National Teacher of the Year by President Obama. Read on to see why!
Over his 15-year career as a National Board Certified teacher, Jeff has been instrumental in creating a series of demanding STEM offerings, including the Zillah Robot Challenge. This STEM competition program provides expertise and a free robot kits to schools across the state of Washington. To date, the ZHS Robot Challenge has served over 850 students from 43 school districts.
Jeff has served as STEM coordinator for the 25 public school districts in his state, and a member of the Washington Student Achievement Council. From 2004 to 2012, Jeff served as online instructor for Central Washington University’s Continuing Education Department. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Center of Strengthening the Teaching Profession, and for the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. In 2013 he was appointed by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee to be a citizen member of the Washington Student Achievement Council.
In addition to teaching at ZHS, Jeff is a yearbook advisor, drama assistant director, science club advisor, and the 9th grade class advisor. He also is an adjunct faculty member at three Washington colleges and universities, which allows his students to earn 24 college credits for successfully completing his courses.
James Giordano PhD is Professor of Neurology and Chief of the Neuroethics Studies Program of the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, and Co-director of the O’Neill- Pellegrino Program for Brain Science and Global Health Law and Policy, at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA. He is also Visiting Professor of Brain Sciences and Ethics in the Program of Integrative Health Promotions at the Coburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Coburg, Germany and was formerly JW Fulbright Foundation Visiting Professor of Neuroscience and Neuroethics at the Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich.
Prof. Giordano currently serves an appointed member of the Neuroethics, Legal and Social Issues (NELSI) Advisory Panel of the Defense Advanced Research Projects’ Agency (DARPA), engaging neuroethical aspects of advanced deep brain stimulation program, and is Senior Science Advisory Fellow (for neuro-cognitive sciences) to the Joint Staff of the Pentagon.
The author of over 200 publications in neuroscience and ethics, his ongoing research addresses the biological bases of neuropsychiatric disorders; and neuroethical issues arising in and from the development, use and misuse of neuroscientific techniques and neurotechnologies in medicine, public life, and global health and security applications.
He received a Bachelor of Science (cum laude) in physiological psychology from St. Peter’s College, MA in neuropsychology from Norwich University, VT; and received an MPhil in philosophy of psychology and was awarded a PhD (with distinction) in biological psychology from the City University of New York. Prof. Giordano completed a post-doctoral fellowship in neurotoxicology and neuropathology at the Johns Hopkins University, MD, an APA visiting fellowship in neuroimaging at the Martinos Center of Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital, MA, and advanced post-graduate training in bioethics and health policy at the Neiswanger Institute of Loyola University, IL. He was named a Presidential Point of Light by President George H. W. Bush for recognition of his contribution to science and humanity, and was elected to the European Academy of Sciences and Art. An avid athlete, he is a competitive weightlifter, second-degree black belt in judo, and is a commercially rated, former airshow pilot who holds four Aviation World Records.
Joseph Olchefske is the Chief Executive Officer of Flex Academies, a Washington DC based company which manages afterschool enrichment activities for K-12 schools. Mr. Olchefske has been a leader in the educational community for over twenty years, holding significant executive positions in for-profit, non-profit and public sector educational institutions. He serves as an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education and he recently completed a two-year term as Board President of the Education Industry Association, a national association representing the interests of K-12 education entrepreneurs. Prior to Flex Academies he served as President of three different companies in the K-12 learning marketplace and as Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools from 1998 to 2003; as SPS Superintendent, he served as the chief executive officer of a public school system with 47,000 students and 100 schools. Mr. Olchefske began his career at the investment firm Piper Jaffray, where he spent 12 years as an investment banker in the firm's public finance department. He holds a BA degree from the University of Chicago and a Master’s degree from Harvard University.
Ranjit was appointed President & CEO of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) in May of 2015. He has a long history of service to NCCEP and its primary constituency, GEAR UP, having served on NCCEP’s Board of Directors, and years prior as a member of the staff executive team. His career has been consistently anchored in creating opportunities for students from low-income families, and in leading organizations to enhance social impact and growth.
Prior to assuming this role, Ranjit served as senior vice president for strategy and new product development at the College Board. There he was responsible for the development and integration of the organization’s comprehensive strategy, working across the organization to determine how all current and future work can achieve significant and positive social impact. Ranjit also directed new product development, including career and technical education work, and higher education product strategy and offerings.
Ranjit’s previous roles include serving as senior vice president for strategic initiatives at ACT, where he played a significant role in developing the education division’s strategic plan and future product development efforts. He led ACT’s national efforts focused on policy development, advocacy, and partnerships in the education and workforce development arenas. Ranjit also served as executive vice president at NCCEP, and as executive vice president & COO at the National Association of Partners in Education. Early in his career he was a high school social studies teacher in the Washington, D.C. and Prince George’s County, Md., public school districts.
Ranjit holds a master’s degree in education from George Washington University, a master’s degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Mary Washington.