WebLessons Writers

  Alan Sills

Florida, USA

Alan Sills is a career educator with over 20 years of both urban and suburban classroom and supervisory experience teaching chemistry and Earth science. Mr. Sills holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth and Atmospheric Science and a Masters Degree in Instruction and Curriculum. He is a certified Science teacher in the state of New Jersey and holds a Supervisors Certificate, also issued by the state of New Jersey.

He has contributed to several innovative curricular and instructional projects including the Earthview Project, a GIS based tool developed at Columbia Universities Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory and Global Systems Science, developed at Lawrence Hall of Science. He has presented at local, state, and national conferences on a number of topics addressing the effective infusion of technology into the secondary science classroom.

In addition to a number of smaller writing projects, Mr. Sills has authored two books. Earth Science the Easy Way, published by Barrons Educational and HSPA Science (test prep book), published by Instructivision, Inc.

Amy George

Massachusetts, USA

Amy earned her undergraduate degree in History and Government from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME in 1995. She continued with graduate school, earning a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Tufts University in Medford, MA. Amy began her career teaching 7th grade in a small suburb outside of Boston, MA. She taught for nearly 8 years at two middle schools, developing and implementing curriculum in Ancient World History, 20 th century US History, Geography, Political Science, Economics, and other social sciences. Currently, she works as a curriculum developer, writing for companies like Teachers' Curriculum Institute in Palo Alto, CA and The Boston Globe Newspapers in Education program. She is a member of the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) and the Global Assocation for Teachers of Economics (GATE), and serves on the executive board of the New England History Teachers Assocation (NEHTA) as the membership coordinator.

Andrea Annas

North Carolina, USA

Andrea Annas lives with her husband and daughter in North Carolina. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Social Science Education from Elon College (now Elon University). She also holds a M.Ed. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andrea taught U.S. and World History for seven years and is currently taking some time off to raise her daughter.

Angela Karam

Texas, USA

Angela Karam has artfully combined education and technology together throughout her career. She has a Master of Arts in Modern European History from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her professional life incorporates Instructional Design, online educational development for both school and professional settings, and a myriad of other creative outputs. Her writing experiences include compiling a book about the Japanese Fisheries of the Mariana Archepelago for the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, a subsidiary of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, devoloping and writing curriculm for college courses she taught, developing and maintaining several Web sites, including the official site of the Southern Federation of Syrian Lebanese American Clubs, and writing for WebLessons. She currently works for Learners Online managing the Product Development Team, editing the product content, collaborating with writers, and leading the professional development training for clients.

Rebecca Kinyo

Pennsylvania, USA

Rebecca Kinyo graduated magna cum laude from Bowling Green State University in 1992 with a B.S. in Elementary Education. For the next seven years, she taught at the primary level, incorporating technology throughout the curriculum. This motivation toward technology integration led her to leave the elementary classroom in pusuit of a master's degree in Instructional Technology from Kent State University. During her time as a Teaching Fellow and Graduate Assistant at Kent, she taught courses and led workshops relating to the use of computers in education to undergraduates and faculty alike. Armed with her M.Ed., Rebecca began writing for the Learners Online eJournal in 2002 and has created material for WebLessons since its inception. Currently, in addition to her writing work, Rebecca works full time as a seventh and eighth grade Reading and Language Arts teacher in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Courtney Kincaid

Texas, USA

Courtney Kincaid has been writing for Learners Online Monthly eJournal for five years, primarily in the elementary area. She has also written history WebLessons for middle school and high school students. Courtney received a B.A. in psychology and a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a former public school teacher and taught grade level and remedial reading at the middle school level.

David Hill

Colorado, USA

David J. Hill is a freelance science writer/editor, instructor, and course developer. He did his undergraduate work at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and his graduate work at the University of Illinois in chemistry. He is currently an adjunct instructor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs where he teaches biochemistry. Additionally, he teaches biology, physical science and mathematics courses in the adult studies program at Colorado Christian University where he is also developing courses for distance learniing in microbiology, pathophysiology and anatomy & physiology. He and his wife, Angel, have 2-year old twins and just had another son.

Gabriella Starita

Washington, DC, USA

Gabriella is beginning her 11th year of teaching social studies, currently in high school after spending 8 years teaching middle school. Her specialty areas are US History and AP Psychology, but has also taugh World History and Sociology. She has her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University and a Masters of Science in Educational Administration and Teacher Leadership from Trinity College in Washington DC. She has written school system curriculum for both 6th and 8th grade, in addition to designing a county website for Social Studies. In her spare time Gabriella loves to travel, visiting her friends and family as often as possible.

Jan Goldberg

Illinois, USA

Jan Goldberg, a full-time freelance writer, editor, and certified educator, is the author of 65 educational books and over 1,000 articles. She has written and edited hi-low books, textbooks, and educational trade books in the areas of social studies, language arts, science, and math at elementary, high school, and advanced levels. Several of her books have received honors: inclusion in the New York Library’s List of the Best Books, VOYA distinctions, and Parent Choice Awards. Proficient in working with state standards to create both student and teacher editions of curriculum and assessment materials, Jan has worked with dozens of top educational publishers. Further, her teaching experience includes elementary, high school and adult levels. Jan also created and taught her own writing courses for elementary students, teens, and for the University of Chicago; in addition to serving on staff at a number of other teaching venues.

Jessica Martin

Colorado, USA

Jessica has a strong background in history, especially American history. Her academic interests include the Cold War, the history of corporate America, the Vietnam War, and the civil rights movement. She earned her PhD in American Foreign Relations from the University of Colorado, Boulder in May 2006.

Jo Lines

Texas, USA

Jo Lines has eight years experience as a science teacher; the majority of her work taking place in Garland, Texas. Her favorite course to teach is AP Biology. She is currently on hiatus from full time science teaching, helping her Physics teacher husband raise two beautiful daughters. Jo’s undergraduate degree in Science Education is from the University of Oklahoma and her Masters was completed at the Unversity of Texas at Dallas with the help of scholarships from the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. Her love of science stems from watching Kilauea erupt during a Hawaiian vacation. Jo looks forward to returning to the classroom in a couple of years; hopefully her district will use WebLessons so she can see her lessons in action!

Katharine Duderstadt

Massachusetts, USA

Growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Katharine developed a strong commitment toward academia, teaching, and learning. Although always interested in the physical sciences, she chose to study in English and American Literature at Harvard-Radcliffe. What a unique opportunity to read and write in the same libraries and lecture halls as T. S. Eliot, John Ashbery, E. E. Cummings, Adrienne Rich, and Gertrude Stein! It was surprising to discover how similar scientists are to poets.

Following graduation, Katharine continued to pursue her love for the English language and joined the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers to travel beyond the Iron Curtain. She taught English to secondary school students in northeastern Hungary, daughters and sons of workers in one of the largest chemical factories in Europe. Throughout the political, economic, and social excitement in Central Europe during the early 1990s, her most memorable experiences involved the impact of industry on the environment and health of the local community.

Upon returning to the United States, Katharine enrolled in a Ph. D. program in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences at the University of Michigan. There she learned not only about local and regional air pollution but also about the threat of global climate change.

Katharine currently lives with her husband and two young children (all poets and scientists) in Boston, Massachusetts.

Keisha Daley

New Jersey, USA

Keisha Daley was born on the island of Jamaica and she immigrated to the United States at the age of nine. Ms. Daley spent most of her years living in the city of Newark, NJ and she attended high school in South Orange, NJ. Upon graduating in 1999 from the University of Rochester, Ms. Daley earned her BA in History as well as a teaching certification in secondary Social Studies in the state of New York. Ms. Daley moved back to NJ after graduation and continued to pursue professional enrichment and development in the field of education. She obtained her certification to teach secondary Social Studies in NJ in 2001 and earned a Masters degree in Education at Seton Hall University in 2003.

Ms. Daley taught middle school students for three years from 2000-2003 at St. Anthony R.C. School in Paterson, NJ. She currently teaches U.S. and World History to sixth and seventh graders at Greater Newark Charter School (GNCS) in Newark, NJ. Ms. Daley is dedicated to the idea that as a teacher she is responsible for encouraging and preparing students to become emotionally stable, intellectually stimulated and morally strong individuals. As such she has continued her professional development by participating for the past two years in the Discovery History Fellowship which is sponsored by the American Institute for History. She has also written a lesson for the Fellowship’s publication. In addition to being a writer for WebLessons, Keisha also serves in various capacities at GNCS. She is the newspaper editor as well as the yearbook coordinator. All of these things and her desire to see her students excel keep Ms. Daley motivated and excited about her career in education.

Lesli Evans

Florida, USA

Lesli Evans is a freelance writer based in Orlando, Florida. She has been an educator for more than 25 years. Lesli enjoys writing, teaching, and learning and has spent time as a Music Therapist, Teacher, Project Manager, Writer, and Editor at different times in her career. Lesli enjoys exploring and writing across a broad range of contexts and spends most days, hanging out with her dog, Boomer, doing just that!

MaryLynne Fillmon

Arizona, USA

Weblessons contributor MaryLynne Fillmon is currently a World History teacher in the Phoenix metropolitian area. MaryLynne has earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and International Studies from the University of Notre Dame, her Masters in International Management from Thunderbird, the Garvin School of International Management, and her Masters in Education from Vanderbilt University. Prior to teaching, MaryLynne worked for several multinational corporations in various capacities ranging from communications management to logistics.

Michael M. Yell

Wisconsin, USA

Michael M. Yell is a seventh grade social studies teacher at the Hudson Middle School in Hudson Wisconsin. He has been a social studies and history educator for nearly 35 years and has taught every social science discipline in every secondary grade as well as history, English, and interdisciplinary courses. He has received a number of honors in education including the the National Council for the Social Studies’ (NCSS) 1998 National Social Studies Teacher of the Year (Middle Level) and National Board Certification from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards in 2003 (he now mentors teachers seeking their National Board certification). In 2003, Mike also received the US-Eurasia Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Councils for International Education and spent three weeks in Russia (predominately St. Petersburg) being immersed in the culture and speaking with many teacher and student groups.

Michael’s more recent publications include From Multiple Choice to Multiple Rubrics: One Teacher’s Journey in Assessment for the NCSS journal Social Education, and Putting Gel Pen to Paper for ASCD’s Educational Leadership (reading and writing across the curriculum theme issue). His first book A Link to the Past: Engaging Students in the Study of History was published in the summer of 2004 by NCSS (co-author Geoff Scheurman). Mike conducts national educational seminars and workshops including "Strengthening Social Studies Instruction Using Practical, Engaging, Thoughtful Teaching Strategies," and "Teaching Strategies for Reading, Writing and Discussion across the Curriculum." In the past few years he has worked as a consultant/trainer/educational writer for the Bureau of Education and Research (BER), the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), McDougall-Littell, The Northwest Educational Association, WGBH, The Educational Development Center (EDC) of Boston, The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, C-SPAN, PBS, Gareth Stevens, Inc., Learners Online, Inc., and numerous school districts.

Mike continues to teach history to approximately 130 12 and 13 year olds a day in Hudson, writes, and gives educational workshops. He lives in Hudson Wisconsin with his wife Ann. Their children have graduated from college and begun their professional lives.

Natalie Clarkson

Texas, USA

Natalie Stephens Clarkson decided to embark on a career in education in 1995, after earning her B.A. in English from The University of Texas at Austin. From there she moved to southern California, where she earned a M.Ed. at Pepperdine University with an emphasis in second language acquisition. Natalie brings a worldly perspective to her status as a writer-educator, having been exposed in her adult life to a broad cultural continuum ranging from rural Scotland to urban inner-city Los Angeles. Her teaching experiences have ranged from a high school ESL classroom to a middle school talented and gifted program. In 1998, Natalie began writing Super Site reviews for Learners Online. Natalie contributes monthly to Learners Online Monthly eJournal as well as WebLessons.

Recently, Natalie's classroom focus has shifted to after-school writing programs, funded by various non-profit organizations in Dallas, which encourage creative writing and prepare students for the TAKS writing exam. She also spends a lot of time reading about early childhood education now that she has two young boys, and even more time reading fabulous children’s books with them!

Natalie Rompella

Illinois, USA

I have taught fifth and sixth grade for six years. My experience in educational writing for children includes leveled readers, articles, and state assessment test questions. I have two picture books coming out next year. As the curriculum coordinator for the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago, I wrote science curriculum for the Chicago Public Schools. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Education in Science Education. I am a network representative and member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Sarah D. Giese

Washington, DC, USA

Sarah graduated with a Master’s in education in 1997 from the University of Rochester. She has taught Social Studies in New York, Texas, Maryland, DC, and Virginia. Sarah spent five years teaching World Geography in Arlington, Virginia to middle school students (her favorite!). In 2002, Sarah completed her National Board Certification.

After almost 10 years as an educator, Sarah branched into educational writing in 2004, working as a teacher consultant on TCI’s Global Geography Alive! Project. In addition, Sarah has written supplimental activity books on geography for Teacher Created Materials. She joined Learners Online earlier this year, and thoroughly enjoys writing WebLessons.

Shannon Hudson

Indiana, USA

Shannon spent her extraordinary childhood in many states, ending up in Shelbyville, Indiana graduating from Shelbyville High School. Being a die-hard Boilermaker, Purdue University was her next stop on the educational train. She left with an Elementary Education major, reading minor, and science endorsement. Later, she added a gifted endorsement from IUPUI and a master’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University. She began her teaching career with at-risk students in Kokomo, Indiana. After two years of that adventure, she went to Crawfordsville’s Tuttle Middle School to teach science and health and has been there ever since.

She is married, has a 13-year old son, 2 stepdaughters (aged 26 and 22), one son-in-law, and three granddaughters, aged 6, 5 and 1. In her spare time, she quilts, reads, and sits for hours on end at various baseball, football, and basketball venues around the Midwest due to the fact that her husband coaches high school basketball and her son plays all three above listed sports.

Stephanie Tannenbaum

Florida, USA

Master of Arts degree in Education Technology from Pepperdine University and Bachelor of Science degree in Math and Science Education from West Virginia University. I have taught math, science and technology in grades 6 through 9 for nine years. I created and maintain the Web site for Brandon Academy (starting fourth year). I was the lead teacher in a summer marine camp program in conjunction with the Tampa Port Authority and Tampa Preparatory School. I also wrote technology applications for Pinnacle Education Associates in Grapevine, Texas and helped develop the math and science standards for Academy Prep Center, St. Petersburg, Florida.

Theresa Owens

South Carolina, USA

Theresa Owens has been involved in science education for over 12 years. She has taught science to high school students in areas ranging from New York City to rural South Carolina. As a science specialist, Theresa supported several school districts by providing professional development and technical assistance in the area of science. In this role, Theresa developed workshops and courses that helped teachers implement a standards-driven inquiry approach to science education. Theresa also serves as a leader in science education in South Carolina, contributing to various projects including the Statewide Assessments in Science and the State Science Standards. Additionally, Theresa has written science content and assessment items for several textbooks, developed an online course on assessment, and reviewed grants for the Department of Education. Theresa presently teaches high school science online and is an advisor for candidates undergoing teacher certification.

Theresa received her BA in Sociology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and her M.Ed in Educational Technology from the University of Texas at Brownsville. Theresa’s husband of nine years is a technical writer and her three year old son is an aspiring gastroenterologist

Tyler Schumacher

California, USA

Tyler originally hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For his undergraduate studies, he attended Gonzaga University in the state of Washington. His passion for the past influenced him to major in history. As a result, he spent his junior year studying art and history in Florence, Italy. After earning his teaching credential and masters degree from the University of San Diego, Tyler taught middle school English and social studies for ten years. In 2004, he retired from teaching to launch a career as an educational writer. He has written both educational materials and nonfiction works. His recent books include: The Colony of Georgia; Junipero Serra - Explorer and Missionary; Cesar Chavez: Champion of Workers; and Georgia: People and Places.

Ursula Denniston

Texas, USA

Ursula Denniston teaches high school chemistry in Garland TX. She has been teaching for seven years. Ursula graduated with a BS in Chemistry from Angelo State University in 1997. She currently teaches Pre-AP chemistry and is the lead chemistry teacher in her department. Ursula is also involved in writing curriculum for the Garland Independent School District. She began writing for Weblessons in 2006, and had contributed lessons in the areas of Earth and Life Science.