Be Inspired: Meet Allen Distinguished Educators

By Jenny Burns, Community Coordinator for the Allen Distinguished Educators Program
November 2, 2015

In 2014, we welcomed seven educators into the inaugural Allen Distinguished Educators (ADE) Program. These educators were recognized and awarded $25,000 for their distinguished work integrating innovative engineering and/or entrepreneurship curriculum into their classrooms. Four ADEs, Regan Drew, Glenn Corey, Scott Swaaley and Mike Wierusz, remained actively involved in a year-long fellowship program that served as an incubator to strengthen their network and support. During the fellowship, these four ADEs shared stories, innovative projects, and words of advice for like-minded educators to reference and use to build and improve their own projects, programs and practices.

Be inspired by these short videos and brief bios that highlight the amazing and innovative work that Allen Distinguished Educators are doing in their classroom!



Meet Regan Drew, ADE and from Riverpoint Academy in Spokane, WA:

Regan has led the integration of entrepreneurship in the Mead School District’s core STEM curriculum through Trep Studio at Riverpoint Academy. Totaling over 125 students with plans to continue to grow, the program produces “innovators, not just innovations” with a focus on interdisciplinary thinking, incorporating entrepreneurship, STEM fields, creativity and design thinking.



Meet Glenn Corey, ADE from Novato High School in Novato, CA:

A product designer and entrepreneur, Allen Distinguished Educator, Glenn Corey, recently shifted gears into teaching at Novato High School. He has transformed the AP Physics class into a hands-on demonstration of physics — including rocket design and launch competitions — while also starting a separate product design class. His passion is helping his students develop critical thinking and then testing it. In his design class, everything from product concept to CAD design and production is mastered by his students.


Meet Scott Swaaley, ADE from High Tech High in San Diego, CA:

Committed to instilling respect and guidance in building self-directed learners, Scott Swaaley launched a unique engineering and fabrication program called GRITLab at High Tech High that pushes students to their limits, builds their grit and develops their resourcefulness in preparation for a demanding future in STEM fields.



Meet Mike Wierusz, ADE from Inglemoor High in Kenmore, WA:

Mike is leading the charge to develop the next generation of sustainability leaders with an integrated curriculum that focuses on developing students’ skills via real-world projects, hands-on learning and connecting with industry. To launch his sustainable engineering and design program, Team IDEA, Mike drew upon his background as a mechanical engineer, his consulting work in informal education and his extensive global travels.

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