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APSI Instructor Bios

 
Bob Baker
U.S. Government
Todd Ryan Todd Ryan
Biology
Dennis Donovan
Calculus
Patricia Fox
English Language
Susan Biggs
Chemistry
Mike Hamilton
Psychology
Anna Keegan
US History
Claudia Michael
Art & Design
Brian Palm
Environmental Science
Susan Pedone
English Literature
Lourdes Rodriguez-Von Vogt
Spanish Language
Lenore Schneider
World History
Jiang Yu
Physics 1
   

Bob Baker

US Government and Politics

Bob Baker has taught almost every course offered in the social studies curriculum over the last 40 years, and US Government and Politics is his favorite. Retired from Needham High School in Needham, Massachusetts, he is an AP Reader and consultant, as well as a self-confessed recovering political junkie. He has led teacher workshops across the US, and has compiled a wide repertoire of approaches to this dynamic course.. During the past two years he authored a test bank and a supplemental reader of landmark Supreme Court Cases to align with the new frameworks.

He teaches U.S. Government and Politics at Fitchburg State University, Western Kentucky University and Saint Joseph’s College of Maine.

Todd Ryan

Biology

Todd Ryan earned his undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and Biology from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.  After working for the Bureau of Land Management mapping raptor nests in Utah, he began a research project for Texas A&M University monitoring Bald Eagle nests in housing developments in Texas.  It was at this time that he earned his Master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction from TAMU.  He has since taught a variety of science courses including biology, chemistry, physics in multiple states and school districts.

He then took a hiatus from public school teaching to earn a degree in Chiropractic and Human Anatomy and taught radiology courses and physical diagnosis courses for Logan University.

In 1998 he returned to public school teaching.  In 2003 he began teaching Advanced Placement Biology courses for Westborough Public Schools in Westborough, MA.  He became a Reader for the AP program in 2006 and recently became a consultant for the AP Program. He and his wife reside in Hudson, MA when they are not traveling the world.

 

Portrait of Dennis Donovan

Dennis Donovan

Calculus

Dennis Donovan has been teaching AP Calculus AB and BC since 1997 and AP Statistics since 2002 at Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, MA. He is a College Board consultant for AP Calculus and has presented at numerous one-day and two-day workshops and AP Summer Institutes. Dennis has been an AP Calculus reader from 2005-2014, his roles have included: table leader and question leader. He became a co-author on the Barron’s AP Calculus Review Book beginning with the 13th edition. He has presented at many Saturday study sessions for student review in both AP Calculus and AP Statistics for NMSI and the Massachusetts Math Science Initiative. Dennis is also a T3 Regional Instructor concentrating on the TI-Nspire. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Masters of Mathematics for Educators from WPI.

Portrait of Patricia Fox

Patrica Fox

English Language and Composition

Patricia Fox has taught high school students for over 39 years. Her M.A.is in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on American and New England history and culture. For the last 11 years, she has served as a Reader and Table Leader for the Educational Testing Service. She also presented at the annual AP Conference, NCTE and for its local affiliate MCELA. In addition, she served as a consultant and mentor for all AP instructors in the Fryeburg, Maine school district.

Susan Biggs

Chemistry

Susan Biggs has been teaching chemistry since 1981, currently teaching at Westborough High School, in Westborough MA, where she teaches AP and Honors chemistry. Susan became a reader for the first time in 2012, and has enjoyed going ever since. Since 2013, Susan has been teaching both one and two day workshops for the College Board, and various summer institutes. Currently Susan is the chemistry consultant for Mass Insight. Susan was awarded the 2009 Grinspoon Excellence in Teaching Award, and in 2012 she and was selected as the Mass Math Science Initiative Science Teacher of the Year and the Connecticut Valley Section of ACS High School Teacher of the Year. Susan holds a B.A. in Chemistry from the College of the Holy Cross, and a Masters in Chemistry from the University of Saint Josephs.

Portrait of Mike Hamilton

Mike Hamilton

Psychology

Mike Hamilton has taught high school psychology for the past 19 years. He began his teaching career in Iowa before moving to Massachusetts where he currently resides and has taught at Hopkinton High School since 2006. Mike is currently the Co-chair of the AP Psychology Test Development Committee and has served on that committee since 2014.  He has also been involved in the AP Psychology Reading since 2011; starting first as a reader, progressing to a table leader and now currently serving as a Question Leader. Mike was hired as an AP Psychology College Board consultant in 2014 and has presented at various regional and national workshops on the teaching of high school psychology. 

Mike has been involved in various American Psychological Association (APA) initiatives first as a Member at Large for the Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) and then in 2013 he was elected Chair. In 2010, Mike co-led the APA/Clark University workshop for high school teachers funded by the American Psychological Foundation, Clark University and the APA. 

Mike has been recognized for exceptional teaching as the 2019 recipient of the APA’s Society for the Teaching of Psychology Moffett Memorial Teaching Excellence Award. He was also the recipient of the APA TOPSS Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013. Mike has long been dedicated to creating professional development opportunities for high school psychology teachers. One of his proudest accomplishments is founding the New England Teachers of Psychology (NETOP) workshop, which brings teachers together every year in August to share best practices and learn from regional university professors. In addition, Mike is the coauthor of the third edition of AP Psychology, an exam preparation book (D&S Marketing, May, 2011).  Mike lives with his wife and two children outside Boston, Massachusetts.

Portrait of Anna Keegan

Anna Keegan

U.S. History

Anna Keegan has 15 years experience teaching AP US History at Lunenburg High School in Lunenburg Massachusetts. She has presented at various one day and weeklong summer institutes for the College Board and has participated at the AP readings grading US History exams since 2009. Additional teaching roles included CP US History, Modern World History, Psychology as well as introducing the economics elective at LHS. She also served as the Social Studies Department Chair and as such was active in the Midwach Social Studies Directors Community (central Mass) addressing common concerns including MCAS and the adoption of new Social Studies Standards in 2018. As District Curriculum Coordinator, Anna headed the three year curriculum task force, curriculum mapping workshops, and led district wide professional development workshops.

Upon retiring in 2018 from Lunenburg Public Schools. Anna and her husband moved to the Boston area from Lunenburg after raising her family there but she continues working as an educational consultant and a free-lance writer, her work most recently appearing in the online magazine thebucketonline.com. She earned a B.A. in US History from Middlebury College (VT) and an M.Ed. from Fairfield University.

Portrait of Claudia Michael

Claudia Michael

Art & Design

Claudia Michael has worked as a College Board endorsed AP Studio Art Consultant and exam reader for over ten years. In addition to grading portfolio submissions, she has written published commentary for the College Board, providing rationale for the scores students received. Claudia has been an art educator for more than thirty-five years. Her experience includes teaching K-12 in private and public schools. She was also appointed a district mentor for the Manchester School District, serving new and experienced teachers across disciplines. This full time position provided support to secondary teachers new to the profession. She has also taught studio art and teacher preparation classes in several New Hampshire institutions of higher education. Author Pamela Taylor, in a National Art Education Association publication, references original curriculum designed by Claudia in the text Interdisciplinary Approaches to Teaching Art in High School. In recent years, she has focused on using Contemporary Art to inspire K-12 curriculum. Claudia has created two courses that reflect her research for the Institute of Art and Design at New England College, Masters in Art Education degree program, where she is on the faculty. She holds the title of senior lecturer in Studio with Granite State College. She has received two distinguished faculty awards and was Secondary School Teacher of the Year.

An award winning artist and art educator, Claudia is the recipient of three Fulbright fellowships, a Freeman Foundation Grant, two Granite State College Faculty Development Grants and a University of NH Academic Technology Grant. She has painted in several countries including Canada, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, China, Morocco and the U.S. Claudia was recently an artist in residence in Assisi, Italy. She exhibits her work widely in New England and her paintings have won numerous awards. Her work is included in several private and corporate collections.

Visit Claudia's website

Portrait of Brian Palm

Brian Palm

Environmental Science

Brian Palm is the Director of Operations at Catholic Memorial in West Roxbury, MA. In addition to overseeing campus master planning and construction projects on campus, Brian is the Science Department Chair at the grade 7-12 high school where he teaches Biology, Environmental Science, and Science and Theology. Prior to this role, Brian taught AP Environmental Science for 12 years and served as the Director of Environmental Stewardship at Brooks School. He holds an M.S. in Environmental Policy and Management from Oxford University and he was a geography and environmental biology major at Dartmouth College. Beyond his time in the secondary school world, Brian worked in the environmental non-profit arena as an environmental scientist and in the finance sector researching climate change.

Portrait of Susan Pedone

Susan Pedone

English Literature

Susan Pedone has a Bachelor of Arts from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA and a Masters degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown Ct. Susan has been a classroom teacher of English for over thirty years and has taught Advanced Placement English Literature for over fifteen years. Susan has served as a faculty consultant for the College Board for many years where she has facilitated numbers of workshops including a long tenure as a presenter at the Advanced Placement Summer Institute at Fitchburg State University. Susan also served as the ELA AP curriculum liaison for five years in connection to a grant funded program for the Worcester Public Schools. Along with her AP expertise, Susan is also a certified College Board Vertical Team trainer and was a reader for the AP English Literature exam for nine years. Susan has stayed current in the Advanced Placement techniques and strategies which enhances her ability to offer solid instructional methodology.

Portrait of Lourdes Rodriguez-Von Vogt

Lourdes Rodriguez-Von Vogt

Spanish Language

Lourdes Rodriguez-Von Vogt was born in Chicago of Puerto Rican parents. As a first-generation Puerto Rican, she grew up immersed in two worlds, linguistically, physically and culturally, that of Chicago and Puerto Rico. Lourdes received her Bachelor's degree in Spanish from the University of Illinois at Chicago (1978), and in 1980 completed her Master's degree in Spanish Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as post-graduate coursework and preliminary exams pursuant to a Doctorate in Romance Linguistics. She studied her junior year in Barcelona, Spain, and subsequently studied in Paris, France (Alliance Française), Perugia, Italy (Università per Stranieri), and Quebec City, Canada (Université Laval). Lourdes has been teaching university and high school courses for 40 years. Since 1990 she has been the World Languages Department Chairperson at Lincoln Academy, teaching all levels of Spanish, including AP Spanish Language and Culture, as well as French and Italian. She developed the department's AP Spanish Language curriculum, as well as directed the World Languages curriculum as a whole. Additionally, she coordinated homestay programs in Puerto Rico, México, Spain, most recently to Salamanca. Prior to Lincoln Academy, she lived and taught in Chicago for 10 years, Spanish at Gordon Technical High School and Italian at the University of Illinois-Chicago. In 2005, Lourdes was a finalist for the Maine Teacher of the Year.

For the past 11 years, Lourdes has been a Reader and Table Leader at the AP Reading overseeing and grading the speaking portion of the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam. Lourdes was a member of the AP Spanish Language and Culture Test Development Committee until 2018 and is an AP Consultant. Furthermore, she is on the AP Annual Conference Steering Committee. Lourdes has presented at several state and regional World Languages conferences, as well as AP national conferences, including APAC in 2018 and 2019, NECTFL, ACTFL, SWCOLT, SCOLT, and FLAME (Foreign Language Association of Maine). Lourdes has given numerous AP Spanish Language and Culture workshops and Summer Institutes. Lourdes lives in South Bristol, Maine with her husband, Carl, and her two cats. She enjoys cycling, canoeing, hiking and playing tennis.

Portrait of Lenore Schneider

Lenore Schneider

World History

Dr. Lenore Schneider earned her undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Duke University and her doctorate from Carnegie Mellon. She has taught AP World History for fifteen years at New Canaan High School, and has served as Reader and Table Leader for the AP Exam essays. She has taught AP workshops and institutes at over twenty sites, including several institutes in Europe, Japan, and China, and has traveled to fifty-three countries. She has also mentored AP teachers and College Board consultants and has served on the College Board Advisory Board. Her specialties include writing skills to help students to succeed on the essays, and student centered activities such as simulations and role play. She also teaches AP European History, served on the Test Development Committee, served on the Score Setting committee, and has trained AP consultants, as well as served as a Table Leader at the exam scoring for APEH.

Portrait of Jiang Yu

Jiang Yu

Physics 1

Jiang Yu, Ph.D., is a professor of physics at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. Jiang’s involvement with the AP Physics programs began in 1997 when she first led a College Board authorized AP Physics Summer Institute for high school teachers at Fitchburg State University. Since then, she has led many AP Physics workshops and institutes in the United States and abroad. Jiang has participated in the AP Physics exam grading since 2000 and has served various leadership roles including the Chief Reader from 2009 to 2013 and a Chief Reader Associate from 2013 to the present. As a CR/CRA, she has worked with the AP Physics Exam Development Committees, set the grading rubric standards, and led the Reading operations. Currently, Jiang also serves as a senior reviewer and curriculum adviser for the AP Physics course audit program.

For more information contact us at:
Center for Professional Studies
Email:
cps@fitchburgstate.edu
Phone: 978.665.3636
Fax: 978.665.3639