Socratic-Circle-Sherie(forsidebar)

The instructors complemented each other in style of teaching and personality. They worked collaboratively and were an example of "team teaching" at it's best."

Ruth Purdie-Dyer
WCAIS Magnet School, Danbury, CT

We are confirming our 2019 Summer Institute field expert presenters. Check back this month for updates!

2019 Keynote Speakers


James Yap

James Yap was appointed the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for Warwick Valley in 2014.  Since that time, Warwick Valley has won a Green Ribbon for each school in the district.  In 2011, he was named one of the nation’s top Education Innovators by Converge Magazine. 



Lynne Cherry

Producer/director Young Voices for the Planet film series. Author, illustrator, lecturer on climate change messaging and environmental education. Author/illustrator of 30 award-winning children’s books including best-sellers The Great Kapok Tree and A River Ran Wild. Lynne received her BA from Tyler School of Art; a Masters in History at Yale University. She has had artist-in-residencies at Princeton University, the Smithsonian Institution and Cornell University and science-writing fellowships from the Marine Biological Lab and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She was a winner of a Metcalf Fellowship and the Brandwein Prize. Her academic writings include a chapter in “Written in Water” published by National Geographic Books, a chapter “Kids Can Save Forests” in “Treetops At Risk” edited by Dr. Margaret Lowman (Springer) and a chapter “Teaching Climate Change With Hope and Solutions: Lessons from a Film Project” in the book “Education in Times of Environmental Crisis.” (Routledge, 2016)

2019 Presenters

Lisa Davidson

In 2013, Lisa began 3 years of Leadership training through the BSCS/NABT AP Biology Leadership Academy, along with HHMI.  For the next few summers, she facilitated Regional Biology Teacher Academies. When the NYSSLs were drafted, her district created the position of Instructional Specialist for Science K-12. Since accepting that position, she has spent the last 3 years immersing herself in all things NGSS/NYSSLS. She now facilitates Professional Development for her district and teachers locally in WNY.  



Robin Farrell

Robin teaches STEAM (K-4) at Hillside Elementary School in Hastings-on-Hudson. Previously she had been an elementary classroom teacher. She has her M.A.T. in Childhood Education and her Ms. Ed. in Literacy and Special Education. When she is not in school, she enjoys spending time with her family and foster dogs. 




Joy Rifkin

Joy Rifkin graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a dual degree in Biology and Environmental Studies.  After, she spent three years teaching middle school science in Chicago Public Schools.  Now, she is proud to be working for the Department of Education, Office of Sustainability on the Zero Waste Schools Program.