Consultant Information and Course Descriptions

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stitt.JPGNancy Stitt – (retired) Meadowlawn Middle School, St. Petersburg, FL

Pre-AP Middle School Science


Cherie Blackwood – Edmond Santa Fe High School, Edmond, OK

Pre-AP High School Physical Science


007Mark Welch – Alpena High School,  Alpena, AR

AP Biology – Teachers New to AP

 Marshall Welch has been a high school science educator for 28 years with the last 19 of those at Alpena High School in northwest Arkansas. He works also as a part time faculty member at North Arkansas College where he is a physical science, astronomy, and biology instructor. While at Alpena, he has taught AP Biology for 12 years.  He has instructed the Pre-AP Biology classes for 23 years.  He adheres to a curriculum framework driven instruction philosophy that has resulted in recognition of his students  as a top 20 high school in his state for most improved end of course biology exam performance over a period from 2007-2013 by the Office of Educational Performance (OEP) at the University of Arkansas.  His students were ranked as the 11th best performing school in Arkansas on the 2013 end of course biology exam by the OEP.  Marshall initiated a competitive high school science research program that has witnessed 1,375 regional, state, and international science fair awards won by students. He has had the privilege of mentoring 22 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair finalists. The most memorable his son Will and daughter Katie who earned finalist honors in the 2014 Intel ISEF in Los Angeles, California where their work received special recognition by the Organization of American States. He has also collaborated with the Alpena FFA chapter to produce over 100 National FFA Agriscience Fair Finalists. 15 of those were national award winners earning 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place honors. The most memorable of these are the 2nd and two 3rd place awards won by his daughter Katie and a 2nd place award won by his son Will among the 5 National Champion projects won by other students that he mentored.

Marshall was selected among a small group of high school science educators to be trained as a College Board Professional Development Consultant in April 2013. He was trained in Chicago and has presented professional development events for the New York Stem Initiative, Texas Gear Up, Oklahoma Department of Education, AP New Mexico, and the Los Angeles Unified School District, along with several events in Arkansas since then. He finds the move to a framework driven and inquiry-based curriculum in the AP sciences most exciting and enjoys helping teachers transition to this new direction of AP Science education.

Marshall is the proud father of three children Will, Katie, and Ellie. He has enjoyed the children with Jennifer, his lovely bride for the last 25 years, while residing in the beautiful Ozark Mountain region of Arkansas.

Course Description: The 2016 AP Biology APSI will acquaint teachers with the four Big Ideas found in the AP Biology curriculum framework.  Participants will take an in-depth look at the AP Biology curriculum framework and how it is organized into Big Ideas, Enduring Understandings, Essential Knowledge statements, Learning Objectives, and Science Practices.  Each day will address a Big Idea found in the curriculum framework.  Each day will also include an AP Strategy session designed to enhance an AP Biology learning environment by moving from teacher to student-centered instruction. AP Concepts will also be offered in a daily session to help teachers assist students toward skills needed in an AP Biology class.  Select AP Biology labs that correlate to each Big Idea will be included.  Additionally, inquiry investigation will be performed to help the teacher move from guided to more open-inquiry labs for their students.  Participants are asked to bring their current AP Biology textbook, a calculator, personal protective equipment for laboratory activities, and a laptop computer if available.  Through practice, sharing of ideas, discussions, and modeling, it is the intention that participants will become more skilled in instructing their students to become more successful in achieving the skills necessary in the AP Biology program of study.

PMotePhotoPat Mote – Georgia Perimeter State College, Dunwoody, GA

AP Biology – Teachers Experencied in AP

Patricia Mote taught biology at the high school level for over thirty years including serving as department chair for many of these years. She was also an adjunct instructor at the college level. She holds degrees in Microbiology, Genetics, and Science Education from the University of Georgia. She taught AP Biology for over 20 years and currently conducts one-day workshops and summer institutes at various schools and universities around the country.

She has been involved with the AP Reading to score the free response questions from the AP Biology Exam since 1992, serving as reader, table leader, question leader, and exam leader. She has written multiple-choice and free response questions for former AP Exams and is now developing questions for the new format of the AP Biology Exam.

During her career as a high school teacher she was named High School Teacher of the Year several times and also Teacher of the Year for her school district. In 1995, she was the Georgia Biology Teacher of the Year and a Tandy Technology Scholar.  In 2003, she received the Siemens Award in Biology for her work with minority students in the AP program at her school.

She has written and edited various teacher guides for anatomy and physiology textbooks and for AP Biology textbooks.  She has recently had items published in The College Board’s Materials for Professional Workshops.  She serves as an editor for articles for The American Biology Teacher and helped edit an earlier edition of the AP Biology Lab Manual for Students published by The College Board.  She has edited numerous editions of Human Anatomy and Physiology textbooks. Other publications include articles for several microbiology journals from research conducted at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and several instructor’s guides to be used with AP Biology textbooks. And she has been teaching the summer molecular biology program “Bio @ TECH” for over a decade at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Patricia resides in Atlanta and is currently an instructor for the Majors Biology and Human Anatomy and Physiology courses at Georgia Perimeter College.

Course Description: This comprehensive course will provide information and experiences on how to teach both the classroom and laboratory components of an AP Biology course.  Activities to support an understanding of the revised structure and design of the AP Biology Curriculum Framework will be a major part of this summer institute. There will be instruction on how to prepare or revise an Audit based on the AP curriculum framework. Teachers will be introduced to the laboratory investigations that are included in the revised AP Biology Student Laboratory Manual. In addition, activities and strategies to support inquiry-based learning will be presented along with how to incorporate these inquiry activities into the coursework. Participants will learn how to organize their AP Biology course in order to have time to present the material to the students as well as to conduct the laboratory investigations. The nature of the AP Biology Exam and the importance of the grading process will also be presented. The format of the 2015 AP Biology Exam will be presented.  A review and discussion of the standards for the free response questions from this Exam will be included. Teachers will learn methods to better prepare their students for writing answers to the free response portion of the Exam.


 Janice Willingham – Westmore High School, Oklahoma City, OK

AP Chemistry – Teachers New to AP

Janice Willingham teaches Pre-AP and AP Chemistry at Westmore High School in Oklahoma City, where she also serves as department chair.  Janice brings to the workshop 32 years of teaching experience.  For the past 25 years Janice has taught Chemistry, the last 16 years of which have been Advanced Placement Chemistry.  She has a BS degree in Medical Technology and a MS degree in Science Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. Janice was runner up in her district’s Teacher of the Year Award.  She has been listed in “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for several years and is the recipient of Sigma Xi’s Club Teacher of the Year from University of Central Oklahoma (1994) and from the University of Oklahoma (2001).  Janice is currently a “Catalyst Mentor” for Louis Educational Concepts.  In 2006 Janice received the Siemens Award for Advanced Placement and was again a nominee for 2008.

Course Description: This workshop is designed for teachers who are beginning their careers as AP Chemistry teachers.  Time will be spent during the sessions on the nature of the AP program and on structuring an AP Chemistry course.  Many labs will be discussed, and teachers will be given an opportunity to do a number of typical labs appropriate for AP chemistry.  Topics that are often covered are teaching and testing techniques, periodicity, bonding, states of matter, kinetics, equilibrium, instrumentation, equations and product prediction, thermodynamics, and eletrochemistry.  The workshop makes considerable use of the graphing calculator and the CBL as a data collection device.  Typical AP problems and essays are discussed, and strategies for enabling students to perform well on the AP exams will be shared.

 What to Bring:  Participants are asked to bring 30 copies of their favorite demo and/or experiment to share with fellow participants.  Participants are also asked to bring goggles and appropriate shoe attire for lab work.  Graphing calculators will be provided.


pic-dwentzDavid Wentz, Pea Ridge High School, Pea Ridge, AR
AP Chemistry – Experienced AP Teachers

David Wentz has taught public high school science and math in Arkansas for 21 years, including seventeen years in AP Chemistry and eight years in AP Calculus AB. He holds a BSE in Secondary Education from the University of Arkansas.  David was the National Math and Science Initiative’s Science Teacher of the Year for Arkansas in 2012.  He has consulted for NMS as a presenter to AP teachers at summer workshops, to Pre AP teachers at Laying The Foundation workshops, and to AP students in NMS’s Initiative for Military Families.  He has been an AP Chemistry Reader for ETS for each of the past four years.  David has been married for twenty-nine years and has one daughter.

Course Description: Components of the College Board’s redesign will be emphasized: Curriculum frameworks, exam format, guided inquiry labs, course audit. This will include some hands-on work with the 2013 and 2014 Practice Exams, and the 2014-2016 released exams.

Approximately half of the sixteen labs in the College Board’s AP CHEMISTRY Guided-Inquiry Experiments manual will be conducted, dependent upon content needs of the participants.  Discussion will focus on the merits of using kits as well as adding guided inquiry components to existing labs.

Topics covered will be related to the six Big Ideas as outlined in the curriculum frameworks:  atomic structure, properties as they relate to particle structure, stoichiometry and types of reactions, kinetics, thermodynamics, and equilibrium.

Tentative Institute Schedule

Day 1

  • Atomic structure and spectroscopy
  • Spectroscopy Lab: What’s the concentration of that solution?
  • PES Activity
  • Particulate Models

Day 2

  • Lab: M&M Spectroscopy
  • Stoichiometry review
  • Lab: Percent copper in brass
  • Lab: Green separation of a mixture.

Day 3

  • Kinetics review
  • Lab: What is the rate law?
  • Electrochemistry review
  • Lab: Redox titration

Day 4

  • Equilibrium review
  • Lab: Le Chatlier’s principle and shifting reactions
  • Exam Review

bkread2 Brian Kaestner, Saint Mary’s Hall, San Antonio, TX

AP Environmental Science – Teachers New to AP

Brian currently teaches AP Environmental Science and AP Human Geography at Saint Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, where he has been on the faculty for 33 years. In 1993, Brian received the “Special Recognition Award” from College Board and was a TEA state nominee for the “Presidential Awards for Excellence.”  In 2000, he received the “Siemens Award for Advanced Placement Teaching.” With a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Environmental Management, Brian also serves with the College Board as an Advanced Placement consultant and as a table leader at the APES reading.  He is also the moderator for the College Board APES Community Forum.  A veteran of both public (PA) and private (NY, TX) schools, Brian is in his thirty-seventh year teaching and coaching soccer.

 Course Description: The unique focus for the week will be the investigation of multidisciplinary nature of the environmental science curriculum through both terrestrial and aquatic ecology and the unique ecosystems in the Hot Springs area. Environmental Science is the most multidisciplinary of the AP science subjects.  This workshop will incorporate both lecture and laboratory aspects of the course. Designed for both the novice AP Environmental Science instructor, this course will consider the challenges of developing a successful APES program. Participants will complete a variety of field activities, including an array of useful techniques for analyzing plant and animal populations in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.  Methods will incorporate both traditional techniques and calculator-based labs. The most useful websites for APES teachers and students will be investigated thoroughly. This institute will incorporate significant fieldwork and participants should be prepared for light hiking over short distances.

What to Bring: The instructor will provide insect repellent and sunscreen as needed, but participants might want to bring a camera, binoculars, notebook, walking boots or shoes, and hat for fieldwork.  Participants should have one pair of shoes that they do not mind getting wet and/or muddy.

Beatrice Rasmussen – University of Texas, Dallas, TX

AP Physics 1


bill3William Compton – Montgomery Bell Academy, Nashville, TN

AP Calculus AB – Teachers New to AP

Instructor Bill Compton has been teaching AP calculus, AB or BC, for the past 32 years and AP computer science for the past 26 years at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tenn. 
He has been a reader or table leader at the AP calculus reading for 21 of the past 25 years and has been a College Board endorsed consultant in the Southern Region for the past 15 years. He has presented one day, student review, teaching and learning, and week-long summer workshops. From 2005-07, he conducted the College Board’s online “New AP Teachers Open-Workshop for AP Calculus,” presenting a six-hour introduction for new teachers to AP calculus. He graduated from Davidson College with a B.S. degree in mathematics and from Duke University with a MAT in mathematics.

Course Description: This course will provide a complete overview of the AP® Calculus AB course and is appropriate for teachers who are both new to the course or experienced seeking new strategies and methods to improve their calculus programs. The purpose of the course is to enhance teachers’ understanding of the topics covered in Calculus AB, to help them understand and experience the construction of the Calculus AB exam and scoring rubrics and to understand the process of scoring the Calculus AB exam. The course will focus on instructional strategies for helping students learn calculus concepts and techniques. We will focus on the College Board outline for Calculus AB, with special emphasis on those topics that have given students problems on the exam.  The course will analyze the impact of the new AP®  Calculus AB/BC Curriculum Framework for 2016-2017 school year. Participants will be provided opportunities to share practices and activities that they have found to be successful in their own classrooms. The TI84 will be used as the main graphing calculator for workshop demonstrations, but participants can bring any graphing calculator that they normally use and feel comfortable with.


Deborah Costello – Trinity Prep School, Winter Park, FL

AP Calculus, Teachers Experienced in AP


Europe-659Bob Smidt – Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA

AP Statistics

Bob Smidt (Ph.D. Wyoming, M.S. Rutgers, B.S. Manhattan) is professor emeritus and former chair of the Statistics Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he was named a Distinguished Faculty (a teaching award).  He has taught Statistics at four colleges, two junior colleges, an Air Force Base, and a prison (a captive audience).  He has been a question leader, table leader, and reader for the AP Statistics exam and has presented one-day and week-long workshops to AP Statistics high school teachers around the country.  He has broad statistical consulting experience and has contributed articles to a variety of journals.

 Course Description: Participants will gain insights into the essentials of the AP Statistics course as well as techniques for presenting the ideas with which students struggle the most. The workshop structure will be flexible, providing opportunities for participants to request discussion of specific topics.

 Topics will include the following:

  • Important ideas from the four major content areas:
    • Exploratory data analysis
    • Data collection
    • Probability
    • Statistical inference
  • Concepts that are particularly difficult for students
  • Teaching strategies and lecture suggestions
  • Approaches for taking the AP Statistics exam
  • Content of the 2015 AP Statistics exam
  • Interesting and pedagogically useful questions from old exams

 What participants should bring:

  • Questions and topics for discussion

Optional supplies:

  • Calculator
  • A computer memory key if you want electronic copies of mateials