Convention

OUR PROVIDERS

Professional learning opportunities are developed, led, and facilitated by subject-area experts to bring you the best possible experience. 

All curricula, sessions, and providers are vetted and selected based on results of the needs assessment administered to member districts and abide by research-backed best practices in professional learning.

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Eric Allatta

Academy for Software Engineering

Eric Allatta is a teacher at the Academy for Software Engineering, where he has taught since it opened in 2021. Eric is designing a 9th and 10th grade computer science sequence utilizing the Bootstrap platform; he is also a regional ambassador for Bootstrap.

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Ria Galanos

Yext, Inc.

Ria Galanos is a software engineer for Yext who spent 16 years in the classroom teaching AP Computer Science A and the old AB. Ria is passionate about introducing young people to the field of computer science, teaching them how to program, showing them how to create something from nothing, and making them thirsty to learn more. She enjoys collaborating with and mentoring other teachers in order to improve student achievement and retention in computer science.  

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Dr. Fran Trees

Rutgers University

Dr. Trees is a teaching professor and director of introductory instruction at the Rutgers University department of computer science. She regularly collaborates with Rutgers CESP on the development and implementation of practitioner -relevant professional learning focusing on equity and rigor in computer science education.

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Paige Besthoff

Spotswood School District

Teacher of Computer Science in elementary, middle and high school for over 20 years. Elementari.io Teacher Ambassador, CodeMonkey Ambassador, Tynker Distinguished Blue Ribbon Educator, Sphero Hero, and Code.org CS Fundamentals Facilitator. Currently teach grades 2 - 5 Digital "Techknowledgy” and Gifted & Talented. Prior to becoming a teacher, worked in the nonprofit sector tracking employment trends. Area of expertise is preparing students for career readiness. Mission is to provide all students with access to computer science and STEAM. Motto is “If You Can Dream it You Can Make it”. 

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Regina Nadbielny

Scholars Academy, Orange Public Schools

Gifted & Talented STEAM Teacher K-5. Regina was the NJAGC Teacher of the Year in 2019. She was part of a small team that revised the K-12 CS standards for the NJ DOE. She worked as a computer programmer on Wall Street for 11 years before starting a second career as a teacher. Regina is passionate about providing real-world CS activities starting in kindergarten. In addition to coding and robotics Regina arranges virtual field trips and brings in role models and experts that look like her students. Regina earned a National Geographic Educator Certification and taught her students to code and fly drones as part of a research project. She is an active member of the NJ CSTA,  a trustee in the NJ Association for Gifted Children and part of the Apple Community Education Initiative.

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Dr. Robert Zywicki

Rutgers University

Dr. Robert R. Zywicki is a professional development coordinator at the Rutgers University Center for Effective School Practices, where he aligns the design and delivery of research-based professional development programs. Dr. Zywicki is an accomplished superintendent of schools, experienced consultant to school leadership teams, and an innovative graduate school professor.