Why STEM Marin?
The United States has become a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers and innovators. Yet today, that position is threatened as comparatively few American students pursue expertise in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)—and by an inadequate pipeline of teachers skilled in those subjects.
STEM education is a sequence of courses or program of study that prepares students, including underrepresented groups for:
successful employment, post-secondary education, or both that might require different and more technically sophisticated knowledge, including the application of mathematics and science skills and concepts.
life as competent, capable citizens in today’s technology-dependent, democratic society.
Our Core Beliefs
At STEM Marin, we believe students should develop:
Learning and Innovation skills—including critical thinking and problem-solving; creativity and innovation; and communication and collaboration
Digital Literacy skills—including information literacy, media literacy, and information and communication technologies
Career and Life skills—including flexibility and adaptability; initiative and self-direction; social and cross-cultural interaction; productivity and accountability; and leadership and responsibility
STEM Marin develops these skills through:
Authentic learning—learning from real-world problems and questions
Model building—using physical and virtual models to refine understanding
Internal motivation—identifying and employing positive emotional connections in learning
Multi-modal learning—applying multiple learning methods for diverse learning styles
Social learning—using the power of social interaction to improve learning impact
International learning—using the global world around us to inform and enhance teaching and learning skills
Mr. Williams earned his bachelor of science in evolution and ecology, his teaching credential in science, and his masters of education from University of California, Davis. He was selected as the 2014 Bay Area Educator of the Year by the California League of High Schools. In 2015, Mr. Williams was named a Milken Educator for California which is described as the “Oscars of Teaching.”
Mr. Williams currently lives with his family, including his wife, three kids, and dog, in Novato. In his spare time, Nick enjoys playing with his kids, running, hiking, reading The New Yorker, playing ultimate frisbee, going to the beach, building things, and working in the yard.
Dr. LB received her bachelor of science in biology at Humboldt State University, her Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology at SUNY Stonybrook and her single-subject teaching credentials at Sonoma State University. She is also received a Masters in Educational Leadership at San Francisco State University.
Dr. LB is a 24-year resident of Novato and lives with her husband of 33 years and their chocolate lab, Misha. Dr. LB’s son graduated from Novato High in 2010. When she’s not busy teaching, Dr. LB likes to spend time outdoors hiking, backpacking, kayaking and camping. She also enjoys reading, cooking, making cheese and jams as well as gardening.
Ms. Mathews earned her bachelor’s degree, teaching credential, and masters of education from Boston College. At Boston College, she was active in leadership, teaching English as a second language and service trips to Appalachia and Vietnam as well as serving as a member of the BC Division 1 rowing team.
Ms. Mathews is a native of Marin. She loves all the outdoor activities that she was able to enjoy growing up in Marin. She spends her time traveling, hiking, running, swimming, or boating out on the Bay when she is not teaching, lesson planning, grading, or coaching.
Mrs. Vogl earned her bachelor of science in biology from Sacramento State and her teaching credential in science from Sonoma State University. She was selected as the 2015 Bay Area Educator of the Year by the California League of High Schools, giving the San Marin science department and STEM Marin consecutive Bay Area Educators of the Year. She was selected as San Marin’s Golden Bell Teacher of the Year in 2017.
Mrs. Vogl is a Novato native who attended Novato High School. She lives in Novato with her family, including her husband and two children. In her spare time, Mrs. Vogl enjoys running and spending time with her kids.
Mr. Tronconi is originally from Italy and earned his bachelor of science in environmental science from the University of Florence, Italy. He earned his masters of science in environmental management from the University of San Francisco and his masters of arts in teaching and his teaching credential from the University of San Francisco.
Mr. Tronconi lives in Napa with his wife. In his spare time, he enjoys running or hiking. He loves snorkeling, tinkering with technology, programming, reading/researching non-fiction (science, nature, tech, history) and anything sci-fi. He’s also fascinated with archaeology and, like any good teacher, he loves coffee.
Mrs. Carlomagno is a San Marin Alumni who received her bachelors degree in biological sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She earned her teaching credential in life sciences at Dominican University.
Mrs. Carlomagno currently lives in Petaluma with her husband and two girls. She enjoys being active; whether it is running, hiking, biking or skiing, she just loves being outdoors. Traveling and reading are also some of her passions.
Mr. Blok received his associate degree from Butte College and Los Madanos College. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Physical Chemistry from University of California, Santa Barbara and his teaching credential from University of California, Berkeley.
Mr. Blok lives in Novato with his wife and two children. When he’s not teaching, he can be found outdoors swimming, surfing, and mountain biking.
Ms. Havel earned her Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolution at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She was employed in a variety of occupations, including studying steelhead salmon for Fish and Wildlife and working as a dive master in the Caribbean, before returning to school at Dominican University to obtain a teaching credential.
Melissa lives in Novato with her husband, Curtis and son Declan, who attends San Ramon Elementary School. In her free time she loves to be outside, whether sailing on San Francisco Bay or hiking the local trails.
Ms. Patel grew up in Novato and attended Novato High School (I’ve converted to a Mustang – Boo Hornets!). After high school, she moved down to Los Angeles to study kinesiology at USC. She is a huge Trojan fan and got the opportunity to cheer them on at all sporting events as a Spirit Leader. After graduating, she took some time off school and then decided to pursue her Master’s Degree in teaching at USC.
On her free time, Ms. Patel loves biking (has a bike crew with other SMHS teachers), hiking, baking French macarons and reading. When possible, she travels as much as she can. Specifically, she enjoys visiting her family in Austria and India.
In 2011, Mrs. Boyd moved to Marin and followed her passion for fitness by working as a Head Strength and Conditioning Coach and Massage Therapist at CrossFit Novato for 10 years. Mrs. Boyd is passionate about Anatomy and Physiology and Human Health and is excited to bring this expertise into the science classroom. After the birth of her two children, Mrs. Boyd decided to make her way into the classroom and, in 2022, she earned her Teaching Credential in Science from Sonoma State University.
Mrs. Boyd lives in Novato with her husband, two kids (Hopper and Dottie), and two dogs. When she is not in the Classroom, Mrs. Boyd enjoys spending her time outside hiking, biking, paddle boarding, and playing Volleyball. She is passionate about weightlifting and hopes to qualify as a master’s athlete in Olympic Weightlifting in the next couple of years. She also enjoys quiet time reading, doing puzzles, or just relaxing with her family.
She obtained her bachelor’s degree at UC Davis in Animal Science and Behavior. After UCD she decided to stick around and study primate behavior at the UC Davis primate center where there are currently 6000 Rhesus macaques housed!
After getting enough of the non-human primate species, she went to Sonoma State to get her Masters in Biology and Animal behavior. She did her research project at Safari West in Santa Rosa studying the effects of novel rearing strategies on captive African Ungulates.
A fun fact about Mrs. Lopez is that her husband who graduated from SMHS in 2006 had Mrs. Carlomagno and Mrs. Lowrie as teachers!
As the STEM Coordinator, Katie is responsible for many aspects of STEM Marin including marketing, community outreach and internal operations. She oversees many of the day to day operations that keep the program running at a top-notch pace.
Katie currently lives in Novato with her husband, 3 children and 1 very busy puppy. She loves watching sports, especially Notre Dame athletics (Go Irish) and spends as much of her free time as possible at her family’s lake house in Minnesota.