Executive Director, WVPEC
Donna Peduto currently serves as Director of the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative. WVPEC is composed of various educators from West Virginia and the national arena that have come together to champion public education from early childhood to post-secondary levels at a time when it faces significant challenges but remains critically important to the nation's future.
Ms. Peduto recently served as Director of Operations for the West Virginia Board of Education. She was a key liaison to the WVBE members and executive leadership, the Governor’s Office, chairs of the legislative education committees, as well as other leaders and organizations around the state.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Peduto also served as director of the Learning Lab Network Sites for the Stupski Foundation and as the director of K-12 Initiatives at the EdVenture Group.
Ms. Peduto is a member of the National Association of State Boards of Education Executives serving as President of the National School in 2016, a board member of the Regional Education Lab, a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and was inducted into the June Harless Hall of Fame in May 2016.
Ms. Peduto is a graduate of West Virginia University with both a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts in Reading.
Program Manager, WVDE/WVU STEAM TAC
Jennifer Schwertfeger is a former life science educator and has served as Science Coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education, Office of Teaching and Learning, Middle and Secondary Services. Schwertfeger earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from West Liberty University and a Master of Arts degree in Science Education from West Virginia University. Through her STEAM-based lesson approach, she promotes the importance for students to recognize their connection to learning starting on a personal level and broadening their scope of understanding to their community and world. Schwertfeger served as the 2020 West Virginia Teacher of the Year.
STEAM TAC WVU Liaison, STEMCARE Director, Associate Professor
Dr. Jen Robertson-Honecker is an associate professor and STEM Specialist for WVU Extension Service’s 4-H Youth Development program. Jen’s work brings science programming to youth and educators in rural communities through camp programs, events, in-school, and out-of-school time activities across the state. With a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry and a background in both collegiate and public-school teaching, Jen uses her real-world knowledge to create relatable, effective curricula for youth. In 2018 and 2019, she led the WVU Extension team that worked with National 4-H and Google to write the National Youth Science Day challenges, Code Your World and Game Changers which reached more than 500,000 youth across the country.
Melissa Bane taught in West Virginia public schools for eleven years. Melissa developed and implemented STEAM and STEM instruction for grades 5-8 and gained grant funds to design, stock and run a vibrant, functioning Makerspace. Melissa is a Project Lead the Way certified teacher. She has trained and partnered with numerous agencies to expand hands-on experiences for students. Melissa began her career teaching kindergarten and served on teams to support developmentally appropriate teaching practices. She is a graduate of West Liberty University, with a BA in Elementary Education and certification in Mathematics, grades 5-9.
Angela McDaniel is a former West Virginia classroom teacher of 27 years in science and Project Lead the Way. She is National Board Certified-Renewed and the winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. She is a nationally certified STEM educator, a certified mentor for both the WVDE and Kagan and a certified instructional coach. As an advisor, she has had over 50 students place in the state eCybermission competition. She is certified through Google and National Geographic. Angela graduated with her Bachelors in Secondary Science Education from Alderson Broaddus and her Masters in STEM Education from American College of Education.
Cliff Sullivan has 14 years of teaching experience in West Virginia public schools and New York City. Cliff is a Technology Integration Specialist for West Virginia where he has served on multiple leadership and STEAM/STEM committees for instruction development and implementation. He is certified in Vex Robotics, Minecraft Education and various Computer Science programs and is one of three Code.Org Computer Science Fundamentals facilitators for West Virginia. He has designed and created a Makerspace that serves as a career exploration lab where students become problem solvers through engineering and exploration. Cliff holds a BFA in Computer Animation and an MST in Early Childhood Education with an Administration Certificate.
Anna Tucker has nine years of experience teaching mathematics in West Virginia public schools. She is a graduate of West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and a Master of Arts degree in Secondary Education. Her passion for STEAM learning inspired her to develop STEAM projects and lessons that seamlessly integrated into her 9-12th grade mathematics classroom. In addition, Anna designed 8th-grade STEAM curriculum for the West Virginia Governor's School of Math and Science that incorporated computer science programming languages and music.