Meet Our Board Members
Kathy Renfrew, President of SEPA ,is an experienced elementary teacher/educator/learner who has been privileged to hold many roles in her career. She was a classroom teacher who was hired by the Vermont Agency of Education as the Elementary Science Assessment Coordinator. In that role she was involved with the drafting, adopting and implementing The Next Generation Science Standards in Vermont. She is not only knowledgeable about three-dimensional phenomena based instruction but she is also a leader in this area. Kathy returned to MA as an elementary science coach for a school district. Currently Kathy does work in many areas. Kathy is an education specialist for the Wade Institute for Science Education, a coach for Sibme (Seeing Is Believing Me), a professional learning consultant, a science volunteer in a 2nd grade classroom and much more. Kathy is an active member of NSTA, CSSS, NSELA ,ASE ( Association for Science Education UK), MSTA and other science organizations across the country. She is also a member of Learning Forward, ASCD, NCTE, MassCue, ILA and MRA.
Kathy attended the University of Massachusetts in Amherst for her undergraduate degree in Human Development. She followed that with a M.Ed in Professional Teaching and a MS in K-8 Science Education. Kathy was a National Board Certified Teacher as well as Presidential Awardee in Elementary Science. Prior to being president she has served as Secretary and President-Elect .She is a vocal advocate for quality science instruction in elementary classrooms Honoring the integrity of ALL disciplines while elevating science is important.
Marlenn Maicki has over 45 years teaching experience and 40 years as the elementary science chair and Dean of the Junior School at Detroit Country Day School. She was a regular presenter at the annual MSTA Conferences and at the NSTA Conferences. Marlenn has trained countless teachers at both the state and national level and was a reviewer for NSTA Science and Children. She has served on numerous committees to review and revise state and national standards, often participating as a trainer for the new standards.
Marlenn has served the Michigan Science Teachers Association since 1987 in various capacities as Elementary Director, Director at Large, Outreach Conference Director, Newsletter Editor, Secretary, Executive Board, Policies and Procedures
Chair, Awards Chair, Parliamentarian, and Historian. The recipient of numerous Awards, Marlenn was inducted into the Space Camp Hall of Fame in 2008 and has served on several committees within the Hall of Fame Organization.
(Interesting fact - She was one of the original 1990 awardees who created SEPA.)
Conni Crittenden is the current /Math Representative and Communications Director
A 1998 Presidential Awardee from Michigan, and 1995 McAuliffe Fellow. Conni spent 47 years in the elementary classroom,but the pandemic brought that to a close. She has held a number of positions on the SEPA Board, including President-Elect, President, Past President, and Science Rep.multiple terms and the Communications Director for several years.
Conni has a BS in Elementary Math and Science, and MS in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University and still resides in East Lansing. She has two adult children and a husband of 49 years, and an adorable mini Goldendoodle named Scout.
She presents regularly at state and national conferences, works with the local science center, coaches teachers and interns, and is the Michigan State Coordinator for the Presidential Awards, and is a regional director for both the Michigan Science Teachers Association and Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Naveen Cunha received his BS in Geology in 1986 and started his teaching career as a 5th grade math/science teacher in 1989. He received his MEd in Educational Technology in 1999 and had the opportunity to teach self-contained 6th grade. During that time, he developed some highly effective interdisciplinary problem-based learning units. He received the Presidential Award for science teaching in 2002 and served as an Einstein Fellow with NASA's office of education from 2004 - 2006.
It was during the fellowship that he was introduced to ITEEA. He found myself in the midst of educated and dedicated educators from all over the world. To this day, he use resources gained from that conference. Consequently, he ventured into the realm of Technology and Engineering, the application of the science /math foundation he had built over the years. As an instructor of a high school Engineering course at the middle school level in a STEM academy, he has been a Robotics instructor for the past six years and continues to be the advisor for several related organizations including FIRST robotics, Seaperch, and TSA.
SEPA President's Welcome
Welcome to SEPA
As current president of the Society of Elementary Presidential Awardees , I want to thank you for becoming a member of an organization created for you because you earned the most prestigious award in science, mathematics and computer science education, the Presidential Award. This organization is here to help you navigate the new opportunities and responsibilities of leadership in these areas. It’s an organization of like-minded colleagues interested in leading the way to improved instruction and equitable opportunities for learning in all disciplines for children in grades PK-5/6 . The organization is a support system, a network , a group of amazing colleagues. We welcome you to SEPA
Thank you for becoming a member of the Society of Elementary Presidential Awardees.
Kathy Renfrew, President