Personal Genetics Education Project

Teacher Advisory Council

Fabienne Mondesir

Biology Teacher, Boston Latin Academy, Boston, MA

Fabienne Mondesir is a veteran teacher, currently in her 13th year with Boston Public Schools, and in her 10th year as a biology teacher at Boston Latin Academy. Fabienne earned her BA in Psychobiology/animal behavior from Wheaton College and a Masters in the Art of Teaching Science (M.A.T) from Tufts University. Fabienne has been very passionate about incorporating race science including the biology of skin, Eugenics, and pseudo-scientific practices that have influenced and shaped policies and practices from the 14th century to the present, into her curriculum. Fabienne strongly believes that “it is the birth right of every student to see themselves in the content they learn each and everyday” (Fenway High school teacher, Lissette Castillo). Fabienne is also 2012 Fund for Teachers Fellow, having been awarded a grant to visit Haiti and the Dominican Republic to research scientific and historical practices of colonization that lead up to the current practice of apátrida, or citizenship denial of Dominican citizens of Haitian decent in the Dominican Republic. Fabienne is very excited to continue working and sharing with the pgEd family.

Patreka J. Wood-Blain

New Teacher Developer, Boston Public Schools, Boston, MA

Patreka J. Wood-Blain began teaching in 1996 to inspire young women to pursue careers in STEM.  A product of the Boston Public Schools, she taught biology for ten years at her alma mater, Boston Latin School. Patreka joined the Boston Public Schools’ New Teacher Development Program in 2007.  She believes that all students have a right to quality instruction and strives to support early career teachers to be highly effective educators.  Most recently, Patreka has completed a C.A.G.S. in Educational Leadership from Simmons College.  She holds a B.S. in Biology from Boston College and a M.Ed. in Science Education 9-12 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Rebecca Pinheiro-Schmitt

Science Department Head, Woonsocket High School, Woonsocket, RI

Rebecca Pinheiro-Schmitt has been a science teacher at Woonsocket High School in Rhode Island for 16 years. She teaches Biology, Forensic Science, and Integrated Science and is the Science Department Head as well as the Girls Volleyball head coach. Rebecca has a B.S. in Biology from Pfeiffer University and a M.S. in Criminal Justice from Boston University.

Terry Maksymowych

Biology Teacher, Academy of Notre Dame de Namur, Villanova, PA

Terry Maksymowych has been incorporating bioethical case studies into her science curriculum at the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur in Villanova, PA since 1985. Fourteen years ago, she designed and implemented a full-year bioethics course for seniors and it is one of the most popular electives at the school. Terry also teaches clinical ethics at Villanova University, but her first love is teaching high schoolers. After using the pgEd lesson plans in her classes, she was hooked–the students adore the topics and find them timely and practical. Her AP Biology students earn “pgEd time” after completing their regular coursework each month! Terry uses pgEd lessons as examples of exciting and informative case studies when she speaks to audiences of science, health, and religious studies educators.

Tammy Darling

Psychology Teacher, Lexington High School, Lexington, MA

Tammy Darling earned a BA in History and a MA in Clinical Psychology and began teaching at the high school level 18 years ago. She currently leads the Advanced Placement/Child Psychology courses at Lexington High School in Lexington, MA. In conjunction with her classes, she led an Instructional Strategies Seminar, as an adjunct faculty, at Stonehill College for five years. Recently, she created and shared a multimedia presentation entitled, Classroom Conversations in the Digital Age at the American Psychological Association’s Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools. Her expertise focuses on the connection between curriculum planning and reflective instructional practices that engages a variety learners. Outside the classroom, she enjoys marathon running and keeping up with her adventuresome 6 year-old daughter and 4 year-old son.

Julie Boehm

Biology Teacher, Wellesley High School, Wellesley, MA

Julie Boehm is currently in her 9th year at Wellesley High School as a biology teacher.  Julie graduated from Bowdoin College with a B.A. in Neuroscience, and she also holds an M.Ed. from Harvard University. Her pedagogical goal is to close the gap between high school biology and current laboratory research. To this end, she has spent two summers doing microbiology and genetics research at Northeastern University sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Julie has served as the educational liaison to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, helped to create their summer internship program for high school students, and has incorporated the DNA sequencing project from that program into her classes at the high school. In late 2013, Julie was one of eight Massachusetts science teachers selected to create a lesson for MIT BLOSSOMS. The video lesson on recent human evolution is now accessible to teachers worldwide and was designed to incorporate features of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).