Southern California Association of Science Specialist Board Members for Fall 2022 - Spring 2024
President: John Lazarcik STEM Coordinator, Imperial County Office of Education
I have been the STEM Coordinator for Imperial County Office of Education for the last five years. Prior to that I taught 7th and 8th grade science for 18 years in the El Centro and Holtville School Districts. I joined SCASS in 2015 and it was through this organization that I was able to connect with the wonderful science community in SoCal. SCASS is where friendships are born and passionate ideas about science education are shared. I look forward to continue serving the SCASS community.
Vice President: Yamileth Shimojyo Administrator, STEM Riverside County Office of Education
Yamileth Shimojyo is STEM Administrator with the Riverside County Office of Education. She has a Masters degree in Educational Administration and Leadership and Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences. She provides STEM and Science Education support across Kinder through 12th grade for the 23 districts in Riverside County. Her work involves: support of the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, implementing STEM programs and initiatives to support College and Career Readiness, and Technical Expertise with the Riverside County Science and Engineering Fair. She is the Vice Chair of the STEP Board which supports STEP programs: annual STEM Conferences for students and educators as well as STEM Summer programs. She is Vice President of the Board Council of the Western Center Academy, a high performing STEM School in the Hemet Unified School District.
Secretary: Maria Simani Executive Director, California Science Project (CSP)
CSP is a statewide network providing professional development for K-12 teachers in science. Dr. Simani received her Ph.D. in experimental particle physics in the Netherlands and then conducted particle physicist research at DESY, Germany, at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, and at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Dr. Simani also researched brain functioning and learning at the Keck Institute for Integrative Neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco. Since 2012, Dr. Simani has served on the Science Expert Committee of the California Department of Education to review and provide recommendations for the adoption and implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. Dr. Simani and the California Science Project have also contributed as lead writers of the new California Science Curriculum Framework. The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls nominated Dr. Simani in 2013 as one of the Trailblazer STEM Women of the Year, and the California Science Teachers Association recognized Dr. Simani for her distinguished service to science education in California in 2016 and 2019.
Treasurer: Ed Rodevich Director & Co-Director, CA State Science Olympiad-South (1985-present) Director, Orange County Regional Science Olympiad (1980- 2006) OCDE Coordinator, Science & Mathematics (1977-2006) Retired.
President Elect: Chelsea Cochrane
Past President: Christie Pearce Science Coordinator, Orange County Department of Education
Ms. Pearce is the Science Coordinator for the districts within the Orange County Department of Education. She has a Masters Degree in Science Education from CSU Long Beach. Ms. Pearce also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education. She has the responsibility of supporting STEM and Science Education across Kinder through 12th grade in the 28 districts in Orange County. She works to support implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards throughout the state. She has worked and continues to work in collaboration with the California Department of Education on this effort. She also serves as the Regional Director of the Orange County Science Olympiad. She brings over 20 years of experience in Science Education, K-12, in both formal and informal educational institutions.