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Center for Instructional Support

STEM Ambassador Program

The STEM Ambassador partnership between the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the STEM Education Center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) supported Massachusetts Math and Science educators to develop high-quality standards aligned tasks.

Math and Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) Ambassadors were selected representing a diverse spectrum of backgrounds, experiences, and regions from across the Commonwealth to provide leadership in their districts to create and pilot high quality standards aligned tasks that fit within the scope and sequence of a curriculum. Ambassadors attended Ambassador Academy meetings between April 2018 and June 2019 that prepared them to support the task development process in their district. They presented selected tasks and their task development process at the STEM Institute .

STEM Ambassador Program Goals

  • Provide leadership and collaboration opportunities within districts and across the state

  • Increase understanding of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Mathematics and the Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework across the state through:

    • Support for alignment of curriculum and instruction
    • High quality professional development
    • Development of high-quality tasks to illustrate shifts in standards connected to curriculum

  • Provide educators, schools, and districts with high quality, standards aligned tasks

STEM Ambassador Products

Ambassadors recruited educators from within their district to be part of a task development team. Each team developed and piloted tasks (grades 4th–8th for math and grades 6th–12th for STE) and were supported through a series of professional learning sessions. Tasks and resources created during this program are linked to below.


The STEM Ambassadors worked with teams of educators from their home districts to develop and pilot high-quality Mathematics and STE tasks.

Math Tasks grades 4–8
STE Tasks grades 6–12


STEM Ambassadors 2018-19

STE Ambassadors

  • Karen Ares, Dudley-Charlton Regional

  • Betsey Clifford, Braintree Public Schools

  • Scott Farrell, Silver Lake Regional

  • Nicole Finneran, Lawrence Public Schools

  • Shawn Fortin, Belchertown Public Schools

  • Kevin Higginbottom, Haverhill Public Schools

  • David Kujawski, Walpole Public Schools

  • Eric Levine, Holyoke Public Schools

  • Bonnie Nieves, Millbury Public Schools

  • Jane Perkoski, Bourne Public Schools

  • Jeanne Powers, North Brookfield Public Schools

  • Alison Riordan, Plymouth Public Schools

  • Holly Rosa, Boston Public Schools

  • Karen Rose, Dighton-Rehoboth Regional

  • Jennifer Saunders, Fall River Public Schools

Math Ambassadors

  • Cathy Anusauskas, Hopkinton Public Schools

  • Karen Cross, Boston Public Schools

  • Maggie Driscoll, Lawrence Public Schools

  • Kerri Frattaruolo, Fall River Public Schools

  • MaryEllen Haczynski. Lawrence Public Schools

  • Ondrea Johnston, Boston Public Schools

  • Kim Kelly, Leominster Public Schools

  • Melissa McCann, Shrewsbury Public Schools

  • Kristin McCoy, Hampden-Wilbraham Regional

  • Amy McKay, Milton Public Schools

  • Victoria Miles, Middleborough Public Schools

  • Shelly Moran, Hopkinton Public Schools

  • Jonathon Newman, Amherst Regional

  • Stephanie Niedziela, Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional

  • Meghan Papalardo, Swampscott Public Schools

  • Brian Selig, Whitman-Hanson Regional

  • Christopher Starczewski, Dudley-Charlton Regional

  • Tamisha Thompson, Waltham Public Schools

  • Ann Zito, East Longmeadow Public Schools

Support Team

The Support team worked with the Ambassadors and their Task Development Teams on the development of the tasks.

Terri Gerhardt, Support Team Manager, former middle school science teacher and science consultant

Math Support Liaisons

  • Christine Robbins, STEM Math Teacher Auburn Public Schools
  • Vanessa Mahoney, Math Teacher Auburn Public Schools
  • Connie Varaoudakis, Math Consultant

Science Support Liaisons

  • Lesley Kennedy, Manager, Teacher Professional Development, Boston Museum of Science
  • Laura Smith, STEM Educator and consultant

Last Updated: October 15, 2020

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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