NISE Board of Directors
Christopher BakerPresident (At Large Representative #1: 2019-2021)Christopher Baker has worked as a science educator and traveled internationally lecturing on computer and networking technologies during his tenure at Argonne National Laboratory's Division of Educational Programs. For the past 17 years, Christopher has been the owner and senior consultant for NetSpec Inc., an IT consulting company working with school districts and businesses in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
Tanya KatovichVice-President (North Cook County Representative: 2018-2020)Tanya Katovich has two passions: chemistry and teaching. Over the past twenty years, she has taught high school chemistry and enriched her knowledge by participating in a variety of partnerships offered at the university level including at Duke and Northwestern. She has worked as Teacher Fellow for Northwestern, co-taught workshops for high school teachers, and helps coordinate the annual GEMS conference (STEM conference for 5th/6th grade girls). She currently teaches in a 1:1 classroom and incorporates flipped learning.
Deanna MazanekSecretary (Lake County Representative: 2019-2021)Deanna Mazanek has taught science since 1998, moving from Indiana to Oregon before returning to Illinois. After seven yrs. of teaching in D127, she took on the role of Dept. Chair of Science, Career & Tech. Ed. at Grayslake Central HS. She is a founding member of the Lake County Sci. Supv. group and a member of the Lake County Area Vocational Schools Advisory Council. She is working to create partnerships between the community and classroom, as well as collaborating with others regarding opportunities for girls in STEM.
Carol K. Baker, EdDDirector (DuPage County Representative: 2018-2020)Dr. Carol Baker taught Physics for a public, suburban high school for 17 years before becoming an district level administrator were she served 10 years as the department chair for science and music curriculum. She is currently the Asst. Superintendent of Hinsdale District 86. She has experience as an officer on a state-wide non profit, science organization as well as serving as a director or advisor on several state and national organizations. Dr. Baker was a member of the NGSS Writing Team.
Elizabeth MartinezDirector (Kane County Representative: 2019-2021)Elizabeth Martinez taught middle school science for 29 years, mainly in the Chicago suburban area. She has been a department chair and curriculum leader at the local level, has helped and continues to develop NSF supported curricula, and presents professional development workshops at local, state, and national forums. Currently she is lead curriculum specialist for IMSA Fusion.
Lauren Rentfro, EdDDirector (Will County Representative: 2018-2020)Dr. Rentfro was a public high school science teacher for 12 years and a public elementary school administrator for 9 years, before becoming a university professor 4 years ago. He has served as the Director of Children's Ministries at his church for the past 4 years and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Three Rivers Educational Partnership of the Three Rivers Manufacturers Association for the past 2 years.
Patrick SchlinderDirector (At Large Representative #2: 2018-2020)Patrick Schlinder has been in business for over forty years serving the science educators of Illinois from kindergarten through college level as the Founder and President of The Scope Shoppe, Inc. and formerly as the Midwest Territory Manager for Flinn Scientific, Inc. Pat served as a regional director for the Illinois Science Teachers Association from 2007 through 2009 and he also sat on the board of directors for The Friends of Atwood, Rockford, Illinois.
Mike Thomas, EdDDirector (South Cook County Representative: 2019-2021)Dr. Mike Thomas has been working as a secondary science educator for the past 15 years. During this time he has taught a variety of subjects at levels from co-taught to AP. He has also developed curriculum, worked on grant funding projects, and attended a wide variety of workshops to continuously stay up to date on what is new in science education. Most recently Mike is the department chair for Science and PE at Evergreen Park CHSD 231.