NISE Board of Directors
Mike Thomas, EdDPresident (South Cook County Representative: 2021-2023)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.
Dina SbarraVice-President (DuPage: 2022-2024)Dina Sbarra has taught middle school science in Glen Ellyn District 41 for 28 years. She has been the science department chair at Hadley Jr High for 8 years and is the Camp Invention director for the district. Dina has a bachelor degree in Biology and a master degree in Curriculum and Instruction, as well as one in Administration.
Deanna MazanekSecretary (Lake County Representative: 2021-2023)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.
Christopher BakerTreasurer (At Large Representative #1: 2021-2023)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.
Carol K. Baker, EdDDirector (At Large Representative #2: 2022-2024)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.
Missy BrosiusDirector (Kane County Representative: 2021-2023)Missy Brosius has been teaching middle school science for 3 years in Kane County. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. She has always had a passion for youth and returned to school to earn a M.A. in Middle Level Science Education to begin her dream of becoming a teacher. She is passionate about equity for underrepresented groups in STEM fields.
Lauren Rentfro, EdDDirector (Will County Representative: 2022-2024)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 12 years ago. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Three Rivers Educational Partnership of the Three Rivers Manufacturers Association for the past 10 years.
Melanie ZenisekDirector (North Cook County Representative: 2022-2024)Since graduating from University of Illinois with a BS in Geology, Melanie has gone on to complete her MS in Curriculum & Instruction in Science Education and a MS in Educational Leadership. Melanie has taught high school science and had the opportunity to travel around the world attending and presenting at conferences and workshops. Currently, she is the Science & Social Studies Coordinator for Arlington Heights School District 25.