Our Team

Virtual Science Teachers is made up of several professionals with extensive experience in education, technology, product development, governance, and finance. We have come together with a common purpose, to support science teachers and student learning, with the goal of equitable science learning for all.

Suzanne Sprague
Suzanne Sprague
Executive Director

Virtual Science Teachers is made up of several professionals with extensive experience in education, technology, product development, governance, and finance. We have come together with a common purpose, to support science teachers and student learning, with the goal of equitable science learning for all.  We freely share the resources on the Virtual Science Teachers website with love for science teachers and the important work they do.   

Board of Directors

Dr. David Humble
Dr. David Humble
Board Chair
Dr. Williams
Dr. Enyinne Williams
Vice Chair
Robin Herod
Robin Herod
Treasurer
Gerardo Zuniga Guerra
Gerardo Zuniga Guerra
Secretary
Screen Shot 2022-11-04 at 11.21.12 AM
Dr. Maryam Ashoori
Dr. Mayram Ashoori
Board Member
Timothy Haitaian
Timothy Haitaian
Board Member
Michael Murtagh
Dr. Michael Murtagh
Board Member
Todd Tribble
Todd Tribble
Board Member

Team Members

Jordan Burton
Jordan Burton
Content Creator
STEM Educator
Donna Falk
Donna Falk
Instructional Design
Expert
Rubén Perea Leyva
Rubén Perea Leyva
Spanish
Translator
Kristen Stephens
Kristen Stephens
Public Relations
Specialist
Irene Margitich
Irene Margitich
Volunteer
Content Creator
Suzanne Sprague
Suzanne Sprague
Founder and
Executive Director
Suzanne Sprague, drawing from her experience as a physics teacher, established Virtual Science Teachers.  This non-profit organization focuses on making high-quality online and hands-on STEM experiences freely available and accessible to everyone. Suzanne is deeply passionate about STEM education because of its transformative impact on individuals and communities. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dr. David Humble
Dr. David Humble
Board Chair
 
Dr. Humble is a practitioner, teacher, and thought leader in applying Operational
Excellence principles to various industries, including the Department of Defense,
healthcare systems, and finance. He has implemented process improvement methods into various functional processes, such as new product development, logistics, end-to-end business processes, procurement and manufacturing.
 
Dr. Humble’s strengths lie in enabling organizations to build the Operational Excellence Management Systems necessary to sustain and spread improvements. He is also a specialist in organizational change and has dedicated his life’s work to transforming organizations into world-class performers.
 
With a career spanning over 25 years, Dr. Humble has led numerous Operational
Excellence deployments under both greenfield and brownfield conditions. He has
successfully served as Lean and Six Sigma sens i to hundreds of industry leaders and internal facilitators. He has also led successful lean implementations in many different industries, including serving as Program Manager in the deployment of Lean and Six Sigma methodology within the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and the U.S Air Force’s lean efforts for several years, winning multiple Shingo awards.
 
Dr. Humble earned a B.S. in Engineering Technology from Arkansas State University,
an MBA from King University, and a Doctor of Business Administration from Capella
University. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute, a Shingo Examiner/Alumni, and a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).
 
Robin Herod
Robin Herson
Treasurer
 
Robin is a senior accounting and finance management executive with over 18 years of strategic, operating, and technical accounting experience. He is the Managing Member of Herod CPA PLLC, a local public accounting firm he founded in 2020.  His practice focuses on providing audit and assurance, tax and advisory services to technology startups and professional services firms. 
 
Prior to founding his practice, Robin has held several senior finance leadership roles at other technology companies including serving as one of the primary members of the IPO team for an advertising technology company, establishing the finance function at an early-stage cybersecurity startup, and advising senior finance leadership at a public fashion ecommerce company on technical accounting matters and public company reporting obligations.  
He is a Certified Public Accountant in New York and a member of both the AICPA and NY State Society of CPAs.
Gerardo Zuniga Guerra
Gerardo Zuniga Guerra
Secretary
 
Gerardo Zúñiga Guerra is an experienced leader in healthcare technology. As a PMO and Operational Excellence Director in Medtronic, he takes pride in engineering simple and effective program management solutions and increasing business process excellence capabilities for the Quality organization. In addition to his primary job responsibilities, Gerardo is an active member of the Hispanic Latino Network and is managing a collaborative program with Medtronic and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) that is aiming to remove barriers for Hispanic students studying STEM through internships and mentoring opportunities.
 
Gerardo lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife Jessica and their son Marcelo. He holds a BS in Electronics and Communications Engineering from the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León and an MBA from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Maryam Ashoori
Dr. Maryam Ashoori
Board Member
 
Maryam Ashoori is director of product management for IBM Data, AI and Automation. She has more than 15 years’ experience developing data-driven technologies that drive demand and delight customers, building and working with diverse research, design, product and development teams. Before joining IBM, Dr. Ashoori was head of engineering at Lyft Bikes and Scooters Operations, and prior to that she spent six years at IBM Research designing experiences for emerging technologies in AI and Quantum.
Timothy Haitaian
Timothy Haitaian
Board Member
 
Tim is currently the CFO for an UHNW single family office in SW Florida, adjunct professor at Arizona State University, Board Director at RedShelf, and advisor to several early stage startups. Previously, Tim co-founded and was CFO of RedShelf, the leading digital textbook platform in higher-education, and graduated from the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU in 2010 with degrees in Finance and Accounting. He lives in Phoenix, AZ with his wife, Caitlyn, and their two great danes, Pepper and Skye. Outside of professional activities, Tim is an avid golfer, outdoorsman, and traveler. 

 

Michael Murtagh
Dr. Michael Murtagh
Board Member
 
Dr. Michael Murtagh most recently served as Chief Technology Officer Industrial at Stanley Black & Decker, with global leadership for the Engineering, Digital Technology, and Innovation functions within the company’s Industrial businesses, including Stanley Engineered Fastening, CAM Aerospace, Stanley Infrastructure, and Digital Services. He was responsible for developing and deploying the strategic roadmap and innovative customer solutions to improve vitality, mitigate enterprise risk, and drive business growth across the platform. Prior to Stanley Black & Decker, Michael was at Carpenter Technology, where he served as President of the $1.8B Specialty Alloy Operations business unit, and was responsible for the manufacturing, commercial, supply chain, engineering, and technology functions.

 

Michael has previously served as Chief Technology Officer for Carpenter Technology, Alkegen, and James Hardie Building Products, and has held a variety of technology/IT, operations, and commercial leadership roles throughout his 20+ year career. He holds 14 patents and contributes an extensive working knowledge of the Automotive/E Mobility, Energy, Aerospace, Specialty Materials, and Telecommunications sectors. Michael also has extensive Board of Directors experience, and currently serves on the Boards for the Edison Welding Institute and Rutgers University (College of Engineering).
 
His academic credentials include a PhD in Material Science and Engineering from Rutgers University, and an MBA in Finance from Syracuse University. He also completed the executive leadership program at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

 

Todd Tribble
Todd Tribble
Board Member
 
Todd has been in the Higher Ed/K12 tech space for the last 15 years and has served in various executive roles in operations, sales, implementation, and support.  He currently is the SVP of North America for the student engagement company, Gecko and runs the revenue operations for them in the US.  His passion has always been working in the technology space with products that look to further the education of youth and the adult learner.  He is very excited about working with Virtual Science Teachers and helping them bring their inspirational mission to students and teachers across the country.

 

Jordan Burton

 

Jordan Burton is an accomplished educator with a fervent passion for inspiring the next generation of innovators. After graduating from Old Dominion University in 2014, he dedicated his career to teaching engineering with Norfolk Public Schools in Virginia, beginning in 2015.

Beyond his classroom endeavors, Jordan actively shapes the future of engineering education. Since 2018, he has played a pivotal role in developing curriculum and leading instruction for the Try Engineering Summer Camps, cultivating creativity and critical thinking in young minds.

With unwavering commitment to education and a distinguished track record in the field, Jordan Burton stands as a pillar in the world of STEM education. He has created a lasting impact on students, equipping them for a future brimming with opportunities and innovation.

 

Donna Falk

 

Donna Falk’s professional journey has been quite diverse, transitioning from her role as a Scientist to becoming a dedicated Middle School Science Teacher and now Instructional Design Expert. Holding a degree in Microbiology from Rutgers University, she initially worked as a scientist, testing orange juice from tanker ships, developing preservatives for various materials, writing technical documents, and contributing to Rutgers University’s Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences.

 

When her children reached middle school, Donna pursued her science teaching certification. With more than 17 years of experience in teaching middle school science, she spent the first 14 years designing and instructing a unique course called Forensic Science. This innovative class linked scientific concepts to crime-solving techniques, engaging every 8th-grade student — over 600 students annually. Through this extensive teaching exposure, she honed her ability to tailor lessons to diverse learning levels and situations.

 

When the pandemic emerged, Donna volunteered to instruct the core 8th grade science curriculum in a fully virtual setting. This undertaking required her to grasp new subject matter and seamlessly adapt it into digital lessons. Despite the challenges, she found immense satisfaction in devising hands-on lab activities that students could perform using minimal supplies, from the comfort of their homes.

 

Donna states that her motivation for becoming a middle school science teacher stemmed from her desire to help students in this age group who might approach science with trepidation. Her greatest joy lies in winning over these hesitant students and demonstrating that science is not only enjoyable and captivating, but also relevant and interconnected with their daily lives.

 

Residing by the sea in Belmar, NJ, Donna shares her home with her husband, Jon, and their mini labradoodle, Ruby.

Rubén Perea Leyva

 

Rubén Perea Leyva is a physics professor at Colegio de Bachilleres del Estado de Veracruz (COBAEV): Plantel 50 in the port of Veracruz, Mexico. He is mechanical electrical engineering and a master’s degree in

“Communication Sciences and Education”. Since 1995, he has been teaching physics and mathematics.

 

His teaching approach is based on experimentation and the creation of didactic, experimental, and technologically applicable prototypes. Over the years, he has advised students who have won national prizes in the National Physics Apparatus and Experiments Competition. He is a co-author of the Physics 1 book and the author of the Physics 2 book for COBAEV.

 

Since January 2021, he has been collaborating with the PhET project at the University of Colorado Boulder as a learning activity designer for physics. 

 

In 2022, he was selected as a PhET Fellow along with 15 Fellows in Africa and 17 Fellows in Latin America who are exemplary educators committed to increasing the accessibility and impact of PhET simulations.

 

Irene Margitich

 

 Irene Margitich graduated from the University of Hawaii with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. Next stop was Caltech where she spent 5 years working as a research assistant for Dr. N. Davidson, a National Medal of Science Awardee.

 

The University of Miami (UM) welcomed her as she continued her research in multiple fields….Genetics, Cell Biology and Neuroscience at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.

In 2007, Irene accepted a position with Dr. J. Hare in The Stem Cell Research Institute at UM.  The labs were focused on translational cardiology and stem cell biology. Here, she was responsible for coordinating all aspects of running the lab. Irene provided technical and administrative guidance and support to the physicians, postdocs and students in the lab. 

 

As a researcher, Irene continued to do experiments to understand the biology of cardiac stem cells in vitro. Each year, as Director of the Stem Cell Summer Volunteer program she had the opportunity to introduce undergraduate students into hands on research.

 

Irene retired from the University in May of 2020.  Retirement has provided the opportunity to study oil painting, read historical fiction, plant a butterfly garden and think about science for the joy of doing so.