Staff Biographies

Administration


Photo of Dr. Sean Egan
Dr. Sean Egan
School Leader/ Principal
Welcome火红彩票注册 to the 10th anniversary year of Hammond Academy of Science and Technology, proudly serving the Northwest Indiana region since 2010. We continue to serve approximately 550 students in grades 6 though 12. This year, we have the following new hires…or old hires in new roles:
  • Monique Foote, returned to 6th grade Science
  • Angel Ruiz, 7th grade English/Language Arts
  • Jennifer Kleszynski, 7th grade Science
  • Anna Hansel, returned to 7th grade Math
  • Luis Munoz, 8th grade Math
  • Jennifer Gabby, 8th grade English/Language Arts
  • Monica Nieves, 11th grade Math
  • Nicholas Ruff, 11th grade English/Language Arts
  • Carl Smead, Health/Physical Education
  • Susan Leonard-Balchak, Special Education

 

We continue in our second year of partnership with the School City of Hammond’s Area Career Center. 25% of HAST Juniors and Seniors attend classes daily at the ACC. These classes are career-based, providing our students excellent training and preparation for their futures.

We continue to offer a variety of dual credit classes in conjunction with CCSJ, Purdue University Northwest, Indiana University Northwest, and Ivy Tech. This allows our students to prepare for the rigor of college level courses AND to receive college credits at very affordable prices.

We are thankful to Arcelor Mittal for their continued support of the middle school Project Lead the Way program, through a 2-year grant to expand this excellent curriculum to the middle school levels. The Middle School PLTW classes provide all of our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students with the basics in engineering and design.

We are thankful to BP Whiting for their financial support of not only our PLTW program, but also our efforts to revive the greenhouse and the school’s natural environment. It is vital that our students understand the role of energy, the environment, and food production, and how they all work together right here on our campus.

Finally, we are thankful to our staff and students for their continued hard work. Special thanks to the following individuals for their 10 years of service, since HAST opened its doors:

Mrs. Fenno

Mrs. Ledford

Ms. Burke

Mrs. Projovic

Mrs. Radtke

Mrs. Mis

Mrs. Lucito

Mr. Smith

Mrs. Otero

Mr. Anderson

Mrs. Goreham

Mrs. Berg

Dr. Egan

 

Make this a year great year!

Dr Sean Egan

Degrees:

B.A. Earlham College

M.Ed., DePaul University

Ed.D. Northern Illinois University

M.B.A. University of Notre Dame

Degrees:
B.A. Earlham College
M.Ed., DePaul University
Ed.D. Northern Illinois University
M.B.A. University of Notre Dame
Photo of Mr Jeff Wood
Mr Jeff Wood
Assistant Principal

I have been in education for twenty-three years. I taught math for thirteen years in the Gary Community School Corporation and also coached boys’ and girls’ basketball. After my time in Gary, I moved to the Merrillville School Corporation where I taught for three years and was an assistant principal for seven years. During this time I also coached middle school boys’ basketball for two years. Additionally I coached Junior Varsity baseball at Valparaiso High School for eleven years.

I am a graduate of Indiana University and love my Hoosiers. I am also a big Chicago White Sox fan and Chicago Bears fan.

Degrees:
B.S. in Mathematics Education from Indiana University – Bloomington
Masters of Education (M. Ed) – Indiana Wesleyan University
Education Specialist (Ed. S.) – Indiana Wesleyan University

Photo of Mr. Ross Smith
Mr. Ross Smith
IT Director

Hello, my name is Ross Smith and I am the Director of Instructional Technology here at HAST. This is my ninth school year with HAST, overall. Before becoming Director of Instructional Technology in the fall of 2014, I taught 6th grade Global Studies for four years. I have also been an assistant baseball coach since 2012 at HAST. I grew up in Dyer and graduated from Andrean High School in 2003. In 2007 I graduated with honors from Purdue University Calumet with a degree in History and Political Science. I worked for a year as a retail manager before going back to school to obtain my teaching license. In May of 2015, I received my Masters in Education with a concentration in Instructional Technology & Design while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

I love working at HAST because it is different from other schools. Students have a great opportunity to use technology and learn in a non-traditional setting. I am always looking for different ways to engage students in the classroom and to help them obtain a better understanding of content. Education is a powerful tool that all should seek to acquire. I am very excited to share my knowledge and facilitate an environment where students learn how to obtain knowledge.

Outside of HAST I enjoy spending time with my wife, our infant son born in March 2017, and our three year old daughter. I enjoy technology and learning cool ways to enhance student learning experiences through its uses. In my free time I enjoy reading, sports (IU basketball, Bears Football, and Cubs Baseball), working out, learning and reading about history.

Degrees:

MS in Education: Instructional Technology from Purdue – 2015
Teaching Certification from Purdue – 2010
BA in History from Purdue – 2007

No results.

Photo of Samuel Payan
Samuel Payan
Guidance Counselor
Hello/Saludos HAST!
My name is Samuel Payan and I obtained my Masters degree in Education from Valparaiso University and my Bachelors in Psychology & Sociology from Augustana College. This will be my first year as a school counselor and I am really excited! Previous to HAST, I worked at multicultural centers at the university level for about 6 years. I was tasked to help support and build programs that would increase the academic success and well being of underrepresented students. I want to continue my life’s work in supporting others and continue to mentor our future leaders.
While I am away from my desk, I love to travel and being one with nature. I also enjoy spending time with my wife, family, friends and any activity that involves working with my hands.
I am looking forward to bringing my past experiences and passion to HAST!
Degrees:
M.Ed. Valparaiso University, IN
B.A. Augustana College, IL
Photo of Ms. Sarah Scannell
Ms. Sarah Scannell
Guidance Counselor
Hello HAST!
After teaching for a number of years at an alternative school in Chicago Heights, I decided to pursue a degree in Clinical/ School Counseling at Olivet Nazarene University. After graduating, I’ve been employed at HAST ever since as the Director of Guidance and Testing Coordinator.

Degree:
Eastern Illinois University- BA- Social Science/ Secondary Education
Olivet Nazarene University- MA- Professional/ School Counseling

 

Photo of Olivia Taskoff
Olivia Taskoff
Special Education Director

Hi! My name is Olivia Taskoff. I have been teaching for 20 years in a variety of grades. I began my career as a Kindergarten teacher and didn’t ever think I would use my special education training in any way other than to be a better general education teacher. When my oldest son was born and later diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3, my world was turned topsy turvy. It was definitely an adjustment and years of behavior therapy, social skills classes, speech therapy, and fighting to make sure my son stayed in general education began. When I was offered a position as a 5th

& 6th Special Education Teacher it was a transition that came easier than I thought. This is my 11th year in Special Education and I cannot imagine doing anything else! As the Director, I look forward to expanding our program and incorporating more support for students, parents, teachers, and the community as a whole.
Anyone that talks to me for very long will hear me say I LOVE being at HAST. In my 20 years of teaching the school culture that has been developed at HAST is one of academic success for all students! From Middle School to High School students are engaged and look forward to coming to school. The teachers here are different than others I have taught and coached. They are willing to expand and learn and grow and ask for how to reach the hard students. I look forward to many more years at HAST.

Support


Photo of Mr. Thomas Anderson
Mr. Thomas Anderson
Head Custodian
Photo of Sue Balchak
Sue Balchak
Special Education Teacher

Hi, HAST family! I am Sue Balchak and I was a Respiratory Therapist for 18 years before returning to college in 2001. I attended Indiana University Northwest and earned both my BA and MSEd. It was difficult to return back to school after 18 years, but I’m very glad I achieved the dream from my adolescence. I taught for 10 years in the School City of Hammond at both the high school and middle school levels. I spent the past 2 years teaching at a high school for adults over the age of 18. WOW! What a difference. I left when I saw the opportunity to join HAST’s crew and I’m not looking back! I would like nothing better than to stay until my retirement, God willing.

 

On a personal level, I believe in unity and equality for all people and am a big supporter of teaching our youth about civil responsibilities and the importance of learning history so we do not repeat the heinous events that have marred our world in the past. I am geeked when students “get it,” and I look forward to meeting and working with my new colleagues. Thanks for all the help I have received so far!

 

Susan Leonard-Balchak, BA, MSEd-Indiana University Northwest (2007)

Special Educator; Ext. 140

Ms. Michell Berg
Office Aide
Ms. Robin Eldert
Social Worker

Hello to all new HAST teachers. My name is Robin Eldert and I am the school social worker at HAST. I am entering my tenth year at HAST and am so looking forward to meeting all of you! I am available at HAST on Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Firstly, a little background on myself. After having previous careers in retail buying, banking, personnel and physical therapy I went back to school to get my Master’s of Social Work degree from Indiana University Northwest. I completed this in 2010. I have worked with many different populations over the past ten years in addition to my work at HAST. My private practice experience has been with adolescents/children, families of divorce, trauma, adjustment disorders. In addition, I have worked with on the agency level with cancer patients and hospice, end of life care. I have my state licensure for social work practice and will hopefully soon be getting my state clinical social work license.
On a personal note, my husband and I live in Schererville, Indiana with our Norwich Terrier, Scout, and our big, furry cat Leo. We have five children, our oldest being 40 and our youngest is 19 and just went back to IU Bloomington for her sophomore year of college in the Kelley School of Business. We also have three adorable granddaughters ages 3 years old, 1 year old and 10 months old. My hobbies are running, yoga and meditation, piano, reading books, traveling and being a foodie.
I will be coming to talk with you and your team in the next few weeks about any challenges you are having and any students that you feel are in need of some additional social and emotional assistance. Please let me know if I can be of assistance to either you or one of your students during the year.
Photo of Mrs. Rebecca Goreham
Mrs. Rebecca Goreham
Title 1 Teacher

I am Rebecca Goreham and I am the Title I teacher assistant for the middle school. I have three children that attend HAST and have been part of the HAST community since the inaugural year. This school embodies my belief that students learn best from interacting with others and their surroundings, I love that about this environment.

I also am the coach for high school volleyball and the middle school Science Olympiad team. I am available for the needs of the students and look forward to working with all of them.
Photo of Mrs. Anna Hansel
Mrs. Anna Hansel
Title 1 Teacher
Greetings HAST Friends and Family!
My name is Anna Hansel and this is my 7th year at HAST. I previously taught 7th grade mathematics here before becoming the Title 1 Teacher last year. I love HAST and the different type of education it has to offer students.
I attended IPFW and graduated in 2011 with a Bachelors in Middle School Education with concentrations in Mathematics and English/Language Arts. I continue my education by participating in mathematics workshops every year to learn new strategies and approaches that I can incorporate into my lessons for the students. I believe that all students can master mathematics – it’s all about approach.
I have been married to my husband for the last 7 years and we have a beautiful daughter named Annabelle. Becoming a mommy was one of the best things that I have ever experienced and I am glad that I get to watch her grow and learn every single day.
I look forward to what this year will bring with our wonderful HAST family! Have a GREAT year everyone!
Education:
BS as Middle School Generalist with concentrations in Mathematics and English/Language Arts from IPFW in Fort Wayne, IN
Photo of Mrs. Kelli Lucito
Mrs. Kelli Lucito
Title 1 Teacher

I was born and raised in Hammond and attended St. Casimir Grade School and Bishop Noll Institute. After graduating from St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana with a B.S. in Communications and minors in English and Secondary Education, I taught two years at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Grade School in Hammond. After the school closed, I began teaching at East Chicago Central High School and remained there for 17 years teaching Honors English, Speech, Group Discussion, and Theater Arts/Drama classes. During that time I earned my Masters in Education at Indiana Wesleyan University. I have been at HAST since it welcomed its first students. I spent 9 years teaching 8th grade English/Language Arts before moving into the Title 1 ELA Teacher position. I currently reside in Munster with my high school sweetheart husband and college graduate son. Our family hobbies include traveling, boating, fishing, and watching football.

Degrees:

Bachelor of Science in Communication/Theater Arts; Minors: English and Secondary Education; 5-12 – Saint Joseph’s College

Masters of Education – Indiana Wesleyan University

Mrs. Leslie Otero
Administrative Assistant
Photo of Mr. Dennis Small
Mr. Dennis Small
Business Manager
Hello All! My name is Dennis Small and this is my second year working at HAST as the business manager. Throughout my first year, I have learned a lot about the importance of instilling education in the lives of children. Overall, it has been an exciting experience.
My background consists of finance and accounting positions. From being a financial advisor for a well known business to a property accountant for a global real estate company. Thus, I am consisting learning while working in the education sector and it has been great!
Regarding my educational background, I obtained both my Masters in Science of Accounting with specializations in audit and tax, and Bachelors in Science in Accounting with a minor in business administration from Governors State University. I am a CPA candidate planning on passing the exam by the end of this year or the beginning of the next.
I been married for 8 years to a lovely wife and have two handsome boys ages 3 and 6 respectively.
Besides work and studies, I enjoy spending quality time with my family, playing video games, and been baking for over 10 years now.
Gloria Valdez
Attendance Clerk

6th


Photo of Mrs. Debbie Fenno
Mrs. Debbie Fenno
6th Grade Mathematics

One of my favorite quotations is, “Have a dream, make a plan, go for it. You’ll get there, I promise.” –Zoe Koplowitz, Achilles Track Club member with multiple sclerosis who required 24 hours on crutches but finished the 1993 New Your City Marathon. I believe that dreaming, setting a goal, and having the perseverance to reach that goal, is the way to accomplish what is important to a person. As a long distance runner, I have run marathons, ultra-marathons, many 5Ks, 10Ks, and half-marathons. I have run from the north rim to the south rim at the Grand Canyon. And through it all, I have learned that giving up is not an option. This is what I would like to instill in my students. I became a teacher 15 years ago, after working in the business world for several years. My high school dream of becoming a teacher finally became a reality. I now have a Master’s of Science in Education, with a specialization in math. My goal is to help students see math as a part of our life in everything we do. Also, I believe students should have fun learning math while connecting math concepts to other areas of school such as science, social studies, language arts, physical education, and fine arts. My husband, Rick, and I, have a yellow lab named Brock. We enjoy any outdoor activity such as running, fishing, gardening, bird watching, and family barbeques. During the more quiet times, I enjoy reading and jigsaw puzzles. I am truly lucky to have such a supportive husband and family as well as wonderful friends and co-workers.

Degrees:
BS in Business Management from University of Phoenix
Post Baccalaureate teacher education from University of Phoenix
Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Middle school Math from Walden University

Photo of Ms. Monique Foote
Ms. Monique Foote
6th Grade Science

After earning my B.S. from Purdue University, I knew I wanted to continue
my life with science. Following, I went into education enjoying stimulating
young minds through the world of science. This is now my third year at
HAST. I not only see HAST as a nurturing environment for the students but
as a second family. I’m proud to be actively involved in the MSI Club and
score keeping for HAST basketball games. Needless to say, I love the
school and am always looking for ways to challenge myself and the
students.

Photo of Mrs. Jennifer Ledford
Mrs. Jennifer Ledford
6th Grade English/ Language Arts

 

Hello, I am Jennifer Ledford and I am a 6th grade English teacher here at the academy. I grew up in a small town called Star City Indiana, which is an atmosphere completely different than Hammond (I had pigs in my back yard and a drive your tractor to school day.) I graduated from Winamac Community High School in 2006, and in 2010 I graduated from Saint Joseph’s College with a B.A. in English. I find that my background can open the doors to discussion on perspective and what makes us who we are. I know that I would be a completely different person if I didn’t come from my small town. These understandings are very important especially at the middle school level.

Currently, I live in Merrillville IN with my husband Ryan, my 3 year old daughter D’Arcy, and my son Hunter who will be a year old in September. As you can imagine, my days are quite busy chasing these two little ones around, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

My interests include writing, reading, teaching, and theater. I am a very enthusiastic and creative educator, who is definitely not afraid to work outside the box and find methods that best fit the student. I am very excited to meet and be able to work with your students in creating this new learning environment.

Degree: B.A. in English
Photo of Ms. Kristen Mace
Ms. Kristen Mace
6th Grade Global Studies

Hello, my name is Kristen Mace and I am the 6th grade Global Studies teacher at HAST. This is my sixth year as a teacher at HAST, but I have been in the building as a substitute since the school’s opening in August 2011. Currently, I am also the HAST Advisor for the National Junior Honor Society and co-advisor of Horticulture club. I am from Lansing, Illinois and attended college at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois where I graduated in 2011 with a B.A. in Secondary Education: Social Science.

I love Social History and Teddy Roosevelt and hope to share that passion with my students for years to come. I enjoy learning about historical figures, environmental awareness, and the American Wild West. The fun challenge is incorporating those interests and random facts wherever I can.

While I am not in the classroom you can typically find me catching up on Marvel, reading, traveling, kayaking, and zip-lining in my spare time. Teddy Roosevelt once said, “It is not what we have that will make us a great nation; it is the way in which we use it.” This is how I live my life and teach. It is not what you know or have that is important; it is how you use that knowledge and skill to make your life and those around you better that counts.

-National Geographic Certified Teacher
-Edpuzzle Certified Teacher

-Kahoot Gold Certified Teacher
-Actively Learn Certified Teacher
-Newsela Certified Teacher

Degree:
Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education: Social Science (6-12) University of St. Francis

Photo of Ms. Tracy Mis
Ms. Tracy Mis
MS PLTW Sponsor: MS Science Olympiad Coach

About Me: Tracy Mis resides in the Robertsdale section of Hammond with her husband David Guiden, daughter Paige, and dogs Crede & Cash. “I find comfort and solace in my garden; I escape with a good book; I focus through mediation and yoga; I want to learn how to knit scarves.” Experience: Ms. Mis has taught middle school math or science for over 15 years. Ms. Mis has also coached Science Olympiad for 12 years, Destination Imagination (a competitive academic team) for 1 year, and has served as the program coordinator for gifted and talented middle school students for 3 years. Why I Am A Teacher: “I had my mind set on the teaching vocation since the 5th grade. There is no more worthy vocation than that of an educator. Next to family, there is no more worth a component in a child’s life than education. As a life-long learner, I take great pride in encouraging the virtues of curiosity and discovery in my students and there is no greater field than that of science in which to do so.”

Degrees:
Indiana University: Bachelor of Science in Education
Indiana University: Mathematics Endorsement, 1-9
Indiana University: Science Endorsement, 1-9


7th


Photo of Mr. Branden Chambers
Mr. Branden Chambers
7th Grade Global Studies

Hi there, my name is Branden Chambers and I am the 7th grade Global Studies instructor here at the Hammond Academy of Science and Technology. I look forward to working with you this year and helping you through your second year of the HAST experience! This page will explain a little bit about me and what makes me tick. Hopefully you find it interesting, or at least informative. Remember, knowledge is power!

I have been at Hast since Fall 2015. My teaching history has been quite diverse experience up to this point. I attended Grand Valley State University in Michigan, where I double majored in Secondary Education and Group Social Studies, focusing in Economics.

Before beginning my work with HAST, I have taught middle school in Holland, Michigan and high school in both Grand Rapids .Michigan and Stellenbosch, South Africa. During this experience, I have taught US history, World history, Economics, Business and Marketing, and Geography.

My career goal is train future teachers as a college of education professor. Wanting to work in a progressive school, I jumped at the offer to move to Indiana to begin my work at HAST.

When I am not working, I am usually taking part in one of my many hobbies. I am an avid outdoorsman. I enjoy kayaking, hiking, and backpacking. During high school I was active within the Boy Scouts of America and reached the rank of Eagle Scout. To this day, I still enjoy going out into the woods and surviving with only the tools and resources that I can carry on my person.

When not outside, I often play strategic card and board games. I play Magic The Gathering competitively and have traveled across the country火红彩票注册 to compete in invitational tournaments.

All of these hobbies have strongly influenced how I work within the classroom. I have an inclination to incorporate hands-on skills and strategic thinking into my lessons. You will often find student attempting to solve scenarios and create products in my classroom.

Degree:

B.S. inSecondary Education – Group Social Studies from Grand Valley State University

Photo of Jennifer Kleszynski
Jennifer Kleszynski
7th Grade Science
My name is Jennifer Kleszynski and I am the 7th grade Science teacher here at HAST. This is my first year teaching at HAST, but my 5th year in a classroom setting. When I get time away from the school, you can usually find me hiking at Starved Rock with my fiance Christopher and our son Caleb, or running the trails of Wolf Lake with friends. I’m very excited to be apart of the HAST family and the 7th grade team!
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”― Marie Curie
BS in Biology, Mount St. Clare College
Photo of Ms. Tracy Mis
Ms. Tracy Mis
MS PLTW Sponsor: MS Science Olympiad Coach

About Me: Tracy Mis resides in the Robertsdale section of Hammond with her husband David Guiden, daughter Paige, and dogs Crede & Cash. “I find comfort and solace in my garden; I escape with a good book; I focus through mediation and yoga; I want to learn how to knit scarves.” Experience: Ms. Mis has taught middle school math or science for over 15 years. Ms. Mis has also coached Science Olympiad for 12 years, Destination Imagination (a competitive academic team) for 1 year, and has served as the program coordinator for gifted and talented middle school students for 3 years. Why I Am A Teacher: “I had my mind set on the teaching vocation since the 5th grade. There is no more worthy vocation than that of an educator. Next to family, there is no more worth a component in a child’s life than education. As a life-long learner, I take great pride in encouraging the virtues of curiosity and discovery in my students and there is no greater field than that of science in which to do so.”

Degrees:
Indiana University: Bachelor of Science in Education
Indiana University: Mathematics Endorsement, 1-9
Indiana University: Science Endorsement, 1-9

Photo of Mr. Chris Wander
Mr. Chris Wander
7th Grade Math

Mr. Wander is starting his eighteenth year in education. He has taught exclusively in Northwest Indiana, including East Chicago, Gary, and Hammond. Having grown up in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO, Mr. Wander started college in Indiana, obtaining a degree from IU Northwest, and taking classes at Purdue Calumet and the American University of Guadalajara in Mexico. He is married with a twelve year old daughter. Mr. Wander is also a musician, having played in local rock bands for over thirty years. He is very proud to be starting his first full year at HAST.


8th


Photo of Jennifer Gabby
Jennifer Gabby
8th Language Arts

Hello! My name is Jennifer Gabby, and I am excited to be a part of the HAST team! I was born and raised in Chicago and the suburbs of Chicago. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2007 and completed my graduate degree at American College of Education in 2011. I have been teaching English Language Arts for the past 10 years. 8 of those years, I was a high school teacher for Chicago Public Schools, and I spent 1 year teaching high school in the city of Gary. Last school year, I began working with middle school students, and this school year, I am thrilled to announce that I am the new 8th grade English teacher at HAST. I am a wife as well as stepmother to a beautiful daughter who has just finished working on her masters degree at IU-Bloomington and mother to a smart and athletic 8 year old boy. When I am not working with students, you will find me either at 火红彩票注册 enjoying time with my husband, son and four dogs or at the gym doing jiu jitsu training with my son. While my main passion is teaching, my other passion is taking care of animals. In the summer, I can often be found babysitting dogs at my 火红彩票注册. In addition, I love to read, travel and exercise.

Degrees:

Bachelor of Arts in English – Secondary Education with Middle School Endorsement

Masters in Educational Leadership

Teaching Certificate:

Illinois and Indiana

Photo of Mr. Steve Grimm
Mr. Steve Grimm
8th Grade Science

Hello, my name is Steve Grimm and I am the 8th grade science teacher at HAST. This is my fourth year at HAST, and my sixth year as a classroom teacher. I grew up outside of Detroit, MI and received my undergraduate degree in marketing from Michigan State University. After working in the business world for several years, I made the decision to get involved with education. I worked in experiential, outdoor education for three years, and then moved into classroom teaching. I am very excited to be a part of the 8th grade team, and the HAST community! When I’m able to find some time away from the classroom, I keep myself busy with hiking, climbing, and working in my garden.

Bachelor of Arts in Marketing – Michigan State University

Masters of Education – Valparaiso University

Photo of Ms. Tracy Mis
Ms. Tracy Mis
MS PLTW Sponsor: MS Science Olympiad Coach

About Me: Tracy Mis resides in the Robertsdale section of Hammond with her husband David Guiden, daughter Paige, and dogs Crede & Cash. “I find comfort and solace in my garden; I escape with a good book; I focus through mediation and yoga; I want to learn how to knit scarves.” Experience: Ms. Mis has taught middle school math or science for over 15 years. Ms. Mis has also coached Science Olympiad for 12 years, Destination Imagination (a competitive academic team) for 1 year, and has served as the program coordinator for gifted and talented middle school students for 3 years. Why I Am A Teacher: “I had my mind set on the teaching vocation since the 5th grade. There is no more worthy vocation than that of an educator. Next to family, there is no more worth a component in a child’s life than education. As a life-long learner, I take great pride in encouraging the virtues of curiosity and discovery in my students and there is no greater field than that of science in which to do so.”

Degrees:
Indiana University: Bachelor of Science in Education
Indiana University: Mathematics Endorsement, 1-9
Indiana University: Science Endorsement, 1-9


9th


Photo of Ms. Anna Kaniewski
Ms. Anna Kaniewski
9th Grade Math

Hi! I’m Anna Kaniewski, and I will be teaching Algebra 1 to the 9th graders. I am a born and raised Region Rat hailing from Munster, Indiana. I wen to Munster High school and graduated in 2013. I attended Valparaiso University where I obtained my Bachelors of Science in both Mathematics and Secondary Education as well as a minor in Special Education. I am the second generation of a group of super nerdy math and science teachers in the MSEED (Mathematics and Science Education Enrollment and Developent) program. While at VU, I was also part of Kappa Delta sorority and College Mentors for Kids. Both organizations were beneficial to not only my experience at VU, but also helped me become the teacher I am today. This will be my first year teaching. I previously student taught at Morgan Township Middle/High School in Valparaiso. At Morgan, I taught Geometry (9th and 10th) and Pre-Calculus/Trigonmetry, both are classes that rely heavily on the content taught in Algebra 1. \nWhen I am not teaching, I enjoy all that is crafty, softball in all forms (I even umpire in my spare time), I play the violin, and dabble in the other various sport that I played while in high school. I also hope to be working on my Masters in Post-Secondary Mathematics in the coming year. I am very excited to be part of the staff this year as well as an active member of this amazing Hast community!

Degrees:

Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and Secondary Education, minor in Speical Education

Photo of Ms. Lindsey McDermott
Ms. Lindsey McDermott
9th Grade Language Arts

Lindsey McDermott is the 9th grade English Language Arts teacher. She has taught in Hammond schools for 3 years and excited to start her first year at HAST. Lindsey has had the pleasure of receiving an English degree from IU Bloomington and is excited to impart her passion for literature onto the young minds of Northwest Indiana. When Lindsey is not in the classroom, she can be found at 火红彩票注册 hanging out with her cat or acting in local theater productions. In addition to theater, Lindsey is an avid collector of action figures and enjoys painting and photography.

Photo of Dr. Lee Rademacher
Dr. Lee Rademacher
9th Grade Global Studies

I teach ninth grade Global Studies. In this course, we cover a lot of history. I think that understanding history is important because it helps us know who we are today and it gives us an awareness of our heritage. I also teach Current Problems, Ethnic Studies and Dual Credit American Government. I enjoy HAST students because they are inquisitive and challenging.

I have a doctoral degree in political science from Purdue University. Education is something I highly value, and I am always reading and thinking. I have had many different careers at the academic level: academic advisor, recruiter, and faculty member. I loved teaching at the college level, and I am having fun exploring world history with my students.

Writing has been an important part of my life and I have published several books: Learning to Learn: A Philosophical Guide to Learning, and Structuralism vs. Humanism in the Formation of the Political Self.” I was a columnist for the Post Tribune and an editor/founder of a journal for Noel-Lovitz.

My hobbies include reading. In fact, I am kind of a book collector. My 火红彩票注册 is filled with books. For the most part I read a lot of history (and yes I do it because it’s fun), and philosophy – Martin Heidegger, Jean- Paul Sartre, Michael Weinstein, and Richard Rorty are several of my favorite philosophers. Reading has opened my mind to new ideas and different ways of thinking. Music has always been an important part of my life – I sing and play guitar. You can find some of my videos on You Tube. I’m not too shabby! I play a wide variety of music in my classroom. My iPod has about 4,000 pieces of music – I try to expose students to music they don’t ordinarily listen to. I also love traveling.

My wife, Lisa, and I are crazy about Jamaica, Michigan, and New York City. We recently traveled to Paris, France and that was a blast! My best friend and I take a yearly road trip around the country火红彩票注册. We have driven the West Coast up Highway 101 along the Pacific Ocean.;

explored Glacier National Park and Yellowstone; we have eaten lobster in Boston, clam chowder in Maine, corned beef at Katz’s Deli in NYC, and the best oysters you’ve ever eaten in South Carolina.

My daughter, Hannah is a recent graduate of Butler University. She has a bachelor’s degree in history and is working at a law firm in Indianapolis. She is considering law school My wife, Dr. Lisa Goodnight is a Vice Chancellor for Advancement at Purdue Northwest. We met working on the student newspaper at Purdue Calumet many years ago. She is also a professor of communication and published a very successful textbook on communication. We have two dogs – Daly, who is a crazy border collie, and Plato, the friendly dog. We live in Crown Point.

Photo of Ms. Patricia Tuxford
Ms. Patricia Tuxford
9th/10th Grade Math

Hello, my name is Patricia Tuxford. I grew up in Oak Lawn, IL. I received my Bachelors in Bio Medical Science from Calumet College of St Joseph in Whiting, IN. I am still currently a student pursing my Masters in Education. I’m teaching 9/10thmath. MY goal for my students at HAST is it make sure they leave each day learning something new that they can apply to everyday life.

When I’m not at work, I like to spend my time relaxing and hanging out with my dog.

Degree:

BS Bio Medical Science from Calumet College of St. Joseph


10th


Photo of Ms. Meg Doughman
Ms. Meg Doughman
10th Grade Language Arts

Hailing from Bloomington with an Indiana University B.A. in English, I have been teaching in the city of Hammond since the 2008-09 school year. In 2018-2019 I joined HAST to rejuvenate my passion for teaching. I enjoy laughing, reading, traveling, being outdoors, attending live sporting events and concerts all of which provide opportunities for another preferred hobby, writing.

Mr. Jason Meyer
10th Grade Global Studies

Hello HAST students and families! My name Jason Meyer and this is my second year at HAST. I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and grew up in southern Indiana. I graduated from Ball State University in 2000 with a degree in History. I have lived in northwest Indiana since 2000. I am currently in my fifteenth year of education.

Photo of Ms. Patricia Tuxford
Ms. Patricia Tuxford
9th/10th Grade Math

Hello, my name is Patricia Tuxford. I grew up in Oak Lawn, IL. I received my Bachelors in Bio Medical Science from Calumet College of St Joseph in Whiting, IN. I am still currently a student pursing my Masters in Education. I’m teaching 9/10thmath. MY goal for my students at HAST is it make sure they leave each day learning something new that they can apply to everyday life.

When I’m not at work, I like to spend my time relaxing and hanging out with my dog.

Degree:

BS Bio Medical Science from Calumet College of St. Joseph


11th


Photo of Ms. Randi Genung
Ms. Randi Genung
11th Grade Earth Space Science/ 12th Grade Physics/ Animal Behavior & Zoology Sponsor: HS Science Olympiad Coach, MSI Club

Howdy!! I’m Randi Genung and this will be my 6th year teaching at HAST. I am originally from Holland, Michigan and went to West Ottawa High School, class of 1999. I then moved on to Michigan State University and received my Bachelors of Science in Zoology with concentrations in Zoo & Aquarium Studies and Animal Behavior & Neurology in 2002. I moved to Lincoln, Nebraska and was a zookeeper at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo for 7 years. I started off as the Relief Keeper and took care of all the animals of the zoo on the other keepers’ weekends. After 1.5 years I took over a string of animals that were my sole responsibility. These animals included: Marmosets, Tamarins, Lemurs, Porcupines, Tree Shrews, Meerkats, Prairie Dogs, Gila Monsters, Monitor Lizard, Iguanas, Bats, Turtles, Snakes, Frogs, Tarantulas, Scorpions and Skink. I also did a lot of demonstrations and training of the animals for medical reasons as well as for the public. I decided then to go into teaching and went to graduate school at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. I finished my certification in Secondary Science and finished my Masters in Applied Science from UNL in 2015. I am excited for this next year and the new experiences we will have!!

Degrees:

BS Zoology, Michigan State University- 2002
Secondary Science Teaching Certification, University of Nebraska at Lincoln- 2011
Masters of Applied Science, University of Nebraska at Lincoln- 2015

 

Photo of Monica Nieves
Monica Nieves
11th Grade Math

My name is Monica Nieves and I am going into my 7th year of teaching here at HAST. I have taught everything from 8th grade math to AP Statistics, so I have a wide range of experience. Ever since I was 8 years old my dream was to become a teacher. Today I am still as passionate as ever and so thankful for my career. I double majored in Math and Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University in 2012 and am a licensed Secondary math teacher through the state of Indiana.

When I am not at work my time is spent with my amazing family: My husband of 11 years Jonathan (my high school sweetheart), Aiden (11), Logan (6), Annalisa (2), and Luna (7months). I love reading, going on walks, and watching movies. I love all things Anime/Manga, KDrama, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Stranger Things.
My goal here at HAST is to help students reach their full potential and hopefully learn to love (or at least not be scared of) math. Thank you for having me join the HAST family team!
Photo of Nicholas Ruff
Nicholas Ruff
11th Grade English

My name is Nicholas Ruff and this is my first year teaching at HAST. I have been teaching English Composition and Liberal Studies for the past 5 years at Purdue Northwest where I earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies and an M.A. in English. I’m passionate about teaching and am excited to be a member of the 11/12th grade team.

My hobbies include reading, creative writing, playing guitar, and spending time with my wife of 4 years and my cat. I’m also an experienced landscaper, amateur philosopher, MMA aficionado, animal lover, and nature enthusiast.


12th


Photo of Ms. Elizabeth Burke
Ms. Elizabeth Burke
12th Grade English/ Language Arts Co-Sponsor: Class of 2017

Hello Parents and Students! I am very excited to start my eighth year here at HAST. Although I loved teaching middle school for the first four years, I am thrilled to continue teaching 12th grade English, some awesome English electives, and our dual credit courses: composition, literature, and speech for a fourth year. I received my B.A. in Secondary English from Purdue University. I graduated with my M.S. in Special Education: Mild Intervention K-12 with a GPA of 4.0 in my graduate studies. Before I came to HAST, I taught Composition for the Department of English and Philosophy at Purdue University. I was also an administrative assistant and a writing tutor in the Writing Center at Purdue. I have piloted and presented several workshops for the Writing Center. I was also a moderator for the 18th Annual Clement S. Stacy Undergraduate Research Conference sponsored by the School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences which included over 120 presentations from twenty visiting universities. I belong to the International Reading Association, and I am currently the Chicago Writing Examiner for an online newspaper. I spent last summer working on the PARCC Grant through Purdue assessing college readiness, and I am determined to make sure our seniors are prepared for the next step in their education.

Degrees:

BA: Secondary English Education from Purdue University
MS: Special Education from Purdue University
Photo of Mrs. Mira Projovic
Mrs. Mira Projovic
12th Grade Government/ Economics/ and Internship Coordinator Sponsor: Dance Club Sponsor & Class of 2017 Sponsor

My journey toward membership in the HAST revolution (more on that later) began in Chicago, where I was born, and continued in Dyer, where I grew up on a small farm with my three sisters and Serbian immigrant parents (I currently live in Munster with my husband Chris and 3 chihuahuas, Louie, Deanie & Maggie).

After high school, I attended college in Tallahassee, Florida, where my aspirations were to become an actress or film director. To pay the bills, I took a job at a local Applebee’s, and that’s where my life took the first of many turns. I spent the next 20 years working in the restaurant industry, where I held every job possible: host, busser, prep cook, dishwasher, waitress, bartender, manager, bouncer (yep), and finally, owner of Muse Cafe, an “inspiring eatery and espresso bar” in Lansing, Illinois.

In 2006 I sold my cafe, enrolled in Purdue Calumet to complete my degree, and found my way to HAST as a substitute teacher six months after they first opened their doors. On my first day, I realized HAST is like no other school that I had ever been involved with. I observed several groups of 7th graders who were working on their Rube Goldberg projects in the hallway. They were polite and asked if they could show me what they had so far; they were still tweaking it and needed feedback. I saw a group of adults and students huddled around a table in the cafeteria, where they were immersed in a traffic configuration project for the area around the new school that was being built in downtown Hammond. It was amazing and I was speechless. This was change…progress…the future of education. On my third day of subbing, Dr. Egan asked me if I would be interested in a more permanent position. My exact reply to him was, “If you’re asking me to join the revolution, I’m giving a resounding YES!”

Seven years later, we’re still changing, still progressing and I’m so proud to be a part of it!

Degrees:
BA in Secondary Education from Purdue
BA in History from Purdue

English


Photo of Nicholas Ruff
Nicholas Ruff
11th Grade English

My name is Nicholas Ruff and this is my first year teaching at HAST. I have been teaching English Composition and Liberal Studies for the past 5 years at Purdue Northwest where I earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies and an M.A. in English. I’m passionate about teaching and am excited to be a member of the 11/12th grade team.

My hobbies include reading, creative writing, playing guitar, and spending time with my wife of 4 years and my cat. I’m also an experienced landscaper, amateur philosopher, MMA aficionado, animal lover, and nature enthusiast.

Photo of Ms. Elizabeth Burke
Ms. Elizabeth Burke
12th Grade English/ Language Arts Co-Sponsor: Class of 2017

Hello Parents and Students! I am very excited to start my eighth year here at HAST. Although I loved teaching middle school for the first four years, I am thrilled to continue teaching 12th grade English, some awesome English electives, and our dual credit courses: composition, literature, and speech for a fourth year. I received my B.A. in Secondary English from Purdue University. I graduated with my M.S. in Special Education: Mild Intervention K-12 with a GPA of 4.0 in my graduate studies. Before I came to HAST, I taught Composition for the Department of English and Philosophy at Purdue University. I was also an administrative assistant and a writing tutor in the Writing Center at Purdue. I have piloted and presented several workshops for the Writing Center. I was also a moderator for the 18th Annual Clement S. Stacy Undergraduate Research Conference sponsored by the School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences which included over 120 presentations from twenty visiting universities. I belong to the International Reading Association, and I am currently the Chicago Writing Examiner for an online newspaper. I spent last summer working on the PARCC Grant through Purdue assessing college readiness, and I am determined to make sure our seniors are prepared for the next step in their education.

Degrees:

BA: Secondary English Education from Purdue University
MS: Special Education from Purdue University
Photo of Mrs. Jennifer Ledford
Mrs. Jennifer Ledford
6th Grade English/ Language Arts

 

Hello, I am Jennifer Ledford and I am a 6th grade English teacher here at the academy. I grew up in a small town called Star City Indiana, which is an atmosphere completely different than Hammond (I had pigs in my back yard and a drive your tractor to school day.) I graduated from Winamac Community High School in 2006, and in 2010 I graduated from Saint Joseph’s College with a B.A. in English. I find that my background can open the doors to discussion on perspective and what makes us who we are. I know that I would be a completely different person if I didn’t come from my small town. These understandings are very important especially at the middle school level.

Currently, I live in Merrillville IN with my husband Ryan, my 3 year old daughter D’Arcy, and my son Hunter who will be a year old in September. As you can imagine, my days are quite busy chasing these two little ones around, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

My interests include writing, reading, teaching, and theater. I am a very enthusiastic and creative educator, who is definitely not afraid to work outside the box and find methods that best fit the student. I am very excited to meet and be able to work with your students in creating this new learning environment.

Degree: B.A. in English
Photo of Ms. Lindsey McDermott
Ms. Lindsey McDermott
9th Grade Language Arts

Lindsey McDermott is the 9th grade English Language Arts teacher. She has taught in Hammond schools for 3 years and excited to start her first year at HAST. Lindsey has had the pleasure of receiving an English degree from IU Bloomington and is excited to impart her passion for literature onto the young minds of Northwest Indiana. When Lindsey is not in the classroom, she can be found at 火红彩票注册 hanging out with her cat or acting in local theater productions. In addition to theater, Lindsey is an avid collector of action figures and enjoys painting and photography.

Photo of Mrs. Kelli Lucito
Mrs. Kelli Lucito
Title 1 Teacher

I was born and raised in Hammond and attended St. Casimir Grade School and Bishop Noll Institute. After graduating from St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana with a B.S. in Communications and minors in English and Secondary Education, I taught two years at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Grade School in Hammond. After the school closed, I began teaching at East Chicago Central High School and remained there for 17 years teaching Honors English, Speech, Group Discussion, and Theater Arts/Drama classes. During that time I earned my Masters in Education at Indiana Wesleyan University. I have been at HAST since it welcomed its first students. I spent 9 years teaching 8th grade English/Language Arts before moving into the Title 1 ELA Teacher position. I currently reside in Munster with my high school sweetheart husband and college graduate son. Our family hobbies include traveling, boating, fishing, and watching football.

Degrees:

Bachelor of Science in Communication/Theater Arts; Minors: English and Secondary Education; 5-12 – Saint Joseph’s College

Masters of Education – Indiana Wesleyan University


Math


Photo of Mrs. Debbie Fenno
Mrs. Debbie Fenno
6th Grade Mathematics

One of my favorite quotations is, “Have a dream, make a plan, go for it. You’ll get there, I promise.” –Zoe Koplowitz, Achilles Track Club member with multiple sclerosis who required 24 hours on crutches but finished the 1993 New Your City Marathon. I believe that dreaming, setting a goal, and having the perseverance to reach that goal, is the way to accomplish what is important to a person. As a long distance runner, I have run marathons, ultra-marathons, many 5Ks, 10Ks, and half-marathons. I have run from the north rim to the south rim at the Grand Canyon. And through it all, I have learned that giving up is not an option. This is what I would like to instill in my students. I became a teacher 15 years ago, after working in the business world for several years. My high school dream of becoming a teacher finally became a reality. I now have a Master’s of Science in Education, with a specialization in math. My goal is to help students see math as a part of our life in everything we do. Also, I believe students should have fun learning math while connecting math concepts to other areas of school such as science, social studies, language arts, physical education, and fine arts. My husband, Rick, and I, have a yellow lab named Brock. We enjoy any outdoor activity such as running, fishing, gardening, bird watching, and family barbeques. During the more quiet times, I enjoy reading and jigsaw puzzles. I am truly lucky to have such a supportive husband and family as well as wonderful friends and co-workers.

Degrees:
BS in Business Management from University of Phoenix
Post Baccalaureate teacher education from University of Phoenix
Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Middle school Math from Walden University

Photo of Mr. Chris Wander
Mr. Chris Wander
7th Grade Math

Mr. Wander is starting his eighteenth year in education. He has taught exclusively in Northwest Indiana, including East Chicago, Gary, and Hammond. Having grown up in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO, Mr. Wander started college in Indiana, obtaining a degree from IU Northwest, and taking classes at Purdue Calumet and the American University of Guadalajara in Mexico. He is married with a twelve year old daughter. Mr. Wander is also a musician, having played in local rock bands for over thirty years. He is very proud to be starting his first full year at HAST.

Photo of Ms. Anna Kaniewski
Ms. Anna Kaniewski
9th Grade Math

Hi! I’m Anna Kaniewski, and I will be teaching Algebra 1 to the 9th graders. I am a born and raised Region Rat hailing from Munster, Indiana. I wen to Munster High school and graduated in 2013. I attended Valparaiso University where I obtained my Bachelors of Science in both Mathematics and Secondary Education as well as a minor in Special Education. I am the second generation of a group of super nerdy math and science teachers in the MSEED (Mathematics and Science Education Enrollment and Developent) program. While at VU, I was also part of Kappa Delta sorority and College Mentors for Kids. Both organizations were beneficial to not only my experience at VU, but also helped me become the teacher I am today. This will be my first year teaching. I previously student taught at Morgan Township Middle/High School in Valparaiso. At Morgan, I taught Geometry (9th and 10th) and Pre-Calculus/Trigonmetry, both are classes that rely heavily on the content taught in Algebra 1. \nWhen I am not teaching, I enjoy all that is crafty, softball in all forms (I even umpire in my spare time), I play the violin, and dabble in the other various sport that I played while in high school. I also hope to be working on my Masters in Post-Secondary Mathematics in the coming year. I am very excited to be part of the staff this year as well as an active member of this amazing Hast community!

Degrees:

Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and Secondary Education, minor in Speical Education


Science


Photo of Ms. Randi Genung
Ms. Randi Genung
11th Grade Earth Space Science/ 12th Grade Physics/ Animal Behavior & Zoology Sponsor: HS Science Olympiad Coach, MSI Club

Howdy!! I’m Randi Genung and this will be my 6th year teaching at HAST. I am originally from Holland, Michigan and went to West Ottawa High School, class of 1999. I then moved on to Michigan State University and received my Bachelors of Science in Zoology with concentrations in Zoo & Aquarium Studies and Animal Behavior & Neurology in 2002. I moved to Lincoln, Nebraska and was a zookeeper at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo for 7 years. I started off as the Relief Keeper and took care of all the animals of the zoo on the other keepers’ weekends. After 1.5 years I took over a string of animals that were my sole responsibility. These animals included: Marmosets, Tamarins, Lemurs, Porcupines, Tree Shrews, Meerkats, Prairie Dogs, Gila Monsters, Monitor Lizard, Iguanas, Bats, Turtles, Snakes, Frogs, Tarantulas, Scorpions and Skink. I also did a lot of demonstrations and training of the animals for medical reasons as well as for the public. I decided then to go into teaching and went to graduate school at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. I finished my certification in Secondary Science and finished my Masters in Applied Science from UNL in 2015. I am excited for this next year and the new experiences we will have!!

Degrees:

BS Zoology, Michigan State University- 2002
Secondary Science Teaching Certification, University of Nebraska at Lincoln- 2011
Masters of Applied Science, University of Nebraska at Lincoln- 2015

 

Photo of Ms. Monique Foote
Ms. Monique Foote
6th Grade Science

After earning my B.S. from Purdue University, I knew I wanted to continue
my life with science. Following, I went into education enjoying stimulating
young minds through the world of science. This is now my third year at
HAST. I not only see HAST as a nurturing environment for the students but
as a second family. I’m proud to be actively involved in the MSI Club and
score keeping for HAST basketball games. Needless to say, I love the
school and am always looking for ways to challenge myself and the
students.

Photo of Mr. Steve Grimm
Mr. Steve Grimm
8th Grade Science

Hello, my name is Steve Grimm and I am the 8th grade science teacher at HAST. This is my fourth year at HAST, and my sixth year as a classroom teacher. I grew up outside of Detroit, MI and received my undergraduate degree in marketing from Michigan State University. After working in the business world for several years, I made the decision to get involved with education. I worked in experiential, outdoor education for three years, and then moved into classroom teaching. I am very excited to be a part of the 8th grade team, and the HAST community! When I’m able to find some time away from the classroom, I keep myself busy with hiking, climbing, and working in my garden.

Bachelor of Arts in Marketing – Michigan State University

Masters of Education – Valparaiso University

Photo of Ms. Tracy Mis
Ms. Tracy Mis
MS PLTW Sponsor: MS Science Olympiad Coach

About Me: Tracy Mis resides in the Robertsdale section of Hammond with her husband David Guiden, daughter Paige, and dogs Crede & Cash. “I find comfort and solace in my garden; I escape with a good book; I focus through mediation and yoga; I want to learn how to knit scarves.” Experience: Ms. Mis has taught middle school math or science for over 15 years. Ms. Mis has also coached Science Olympiad for 12 years, Destination Imagination (a competitive academic team) for 1 year, and has served as the program coordinator for gifted and talented middle school students for 3 years. Why I Am A Teacher: “I had my mind set on the teaching vocation since the 5th grade. There is no more worthy vocation than that of an educator. Next to family, there is no more worth a component in a child’s life than education. As a life-long learner, I take great pride in encouraging the virtues of curiosity and discovery in my students and there is no greater field than that of science in which to do so.”

Degrees:
Indiana University: Bachelor of Science in Education
Indiana University: Mathematics Endorsement, 1-9
Indiana University: Science Endorsement, 1-9


Global


Mr. Jason Meyer
10th Grade Global Studies

Hello HAST students and families! My name Jason Meyer and this is my second year at HAST. I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and grew up in southern Indiana. I graduated from Ball State University in 2000 with a degree in History. I have lived in northwest Indiana since 2000. I am currently in my fifteenth year of education.

Photo of Mrs. Mira Projovic
Mrs. Mira Projovic
12th Grade Government/ Economics/ and Internship Coordinator Sponsor: Dance Club Sponsor & Class of 2017 Sponsor

My journey toward membership in the HAST revolution (more on that later) began in Chicago, where I was born, and continued in Dyer, where I grew up on a small farm with my three sisters and Serbian immigrant parents (I currently live in Munster with my husband Chris and 3 chihuahuas, Louie, Deanie & Maggie).

After high school, I attended college in Tallahassee, Florida, where my aspirations were to become an actress or film director. To pay the bills, I took a job at a local Applebee’s, and that’s where my life took the first of many turns. I spent the next 20 years working in the restaurant industry, where I held every job possible: host, busser, prep cook, dishwasher, waitress, bartender, manager, bouncer (yep), and finally, owner of Muse Cafe, an “inspiring eatery and espresso bar” in Lansing, Illinois.

In 2006 I sold my cafe, enrolled in Purdue Calumet to complete my degree, and found my way to HAST as a substitute teacher six months after they first opened their doors. On my first day, I realized HAST is like no other school that I had ever been involved with. I observed several groups of 7th graders who were working on their Rube Goldberg projects in the hallway. They were polite and asked if they could show me what they had so far; they were still tweaking it and needed feedback. I saw a group of adults and students huddled around a table in the cafeteria, where they were immersed in a traffic configuration project for the area around the new school that was being built in downtown Hammond. It was amazing and I was speechless. This was change…progress…the future of education. On my third day of subbing, Dr. Egan asked me if I would be interested in a more permanent position. My exact reply to him was, “If you’re asking me to join the revolution, I’m giving a resounding YES!”

Seven years later, we’re still changing, still progressing and I’m so proud to be a part of it!

Degrees:
BA in Secondary Education from Purdue
BA in History from Purdue
Photo of Ms. Kristen Mace
Ms. Kristen Mace
6th Grade Global Studies

Hello, my name is Kristen Mace and I am the 6th grade Global Studies teacher at HAST. This is my sixth year as a teacher at HAST, but I have been in the building as a substitute since the school’s opening in August 2011. Currently, I am also the HAST Advisor for the National Junior Honor Society and co-advisor of Horticulture club. I am from Lansing, Illinois and attended college at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois where I graduated in 2011 with a B.A. in Secondary Education: Social Science.

I love Social History and Teddy Roosevelt and hope to share that passion with my students for years to come. I enjoy learning about historical figures, environmental awareness, and the American Wild West. The fun challenge is incorporating those interests and random facts wherever I can.

While I am not in the classroom you can typically find me catching up on Marvel, reading, traveling, kayaking, and zip-lining in my spare time. Teddy Roosevelt once said, “It is not what we have that will make us a great nation; it is the way in which we use it.” This is how I live my life and teach. It is not what you know or have that is important; it is how you use that knowledge and skill to make your life and those around you better that counts.

-National Geographic Certified Teacher
-Edpuzzle Certified Teacher

-Kahoot Gold Certified Teacher
-Actively Learn Certified Teacher
-Newsela Certified Teacher

Degree:
Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education: Social Science (6-12) University of St. Francis

Photo of Mr. Branden Chambers
Mr. Branden Chambers
7th Grade Global Studies

Hi there, my name is Branden Chambers and I am the 7th grade Global Studies instructor here at the Hammond Academy of Science and Technology. I look forward to working with you this year and helping you through your second year of the HAST experience! This page will explain a little bit about me and what makes me tick. Hopefully you find it interesting, or at least informative. Remember, knowledge is power!

I have been at Hast since Fall 2015. My teaching history has been quite diverse experience up to this point. I attended Grand Valley State University in Michigan, where I double majored in Secondary Education and Group Social Studies, focusing in Economics.

Before beginning my work with HAST, I have taught middle school in Holland, Michigan and high school in both Grand Rapids .Michigan and Stellenbosch, South Africa. During this experience, I have taught US history, World history, Economics, Business and Marketing, and Geography.

My career goal is train future teachers as a college of education professor. Wanting to work in a progressive school, I jumped at the offer to move to Indiana to begin my work at HAST.

When I am not working, I am usually taking part in one of my many hobbies. I am an avid outdoorsman. I enjoy kayaking, hiking, and backpacking. During high school I was active within the Boy Scouts of America and reached the rank of Eagle Scout. To this day, I still enjoy going out into the woods and surviving with only the tools and resources that I can carry on my person.

When not outside, I often play strategic card and board games. I play Magic The Gathering competitively and have traveled across the country火红彩票注册 to compete in invitational tournaments.

All of these hobbies have strongly influenced how I work within the classroom. I have an inclination to incorporate hands-on skills and strategic thinking into my lessons. You will often find student attempting to solve scenarios and create products in my classroom.

Degree:

B.S. inSecondary Education – Group Social Studies from Grand Valley State University

Photo of Dr. Lee Rademacher
Dr. Lee Rademacher
9th Grade Global Studies

I teach ninth grade Global Studies. In this course, we cover a lot of history. I think that understanding history is important because it helps us know who we are today and it gives us an awareness of our heritage. I also teach Current Problems, Ethnic Studies and Dual Credit American Government. I enjoy HAST students because they are inquisitive and challenging.

I have a doctoral degree in political science from Purdue University. Education is something I highly value, and I am always reading and thinking. I have had many different careers at the academic level: academic advisor, recruiter, and faculty member. I loved teaching at the college level, and I am having fun exploring world history with my students.

Writing has been an important part of my life and I have published several books: Learning to Learn: A Philosophical Guide to Learning, and Structuralism vs. Humanism in the Formation of the Political Self.” I was a columnist for the Post Tribune and an editor/founder of a journal for Noel-Lovitz.

My hobbies include reading. In fact, I am kind of a book collector. My 火红彩票注册 is filled with books. For the most part I read a lot of history (and yes I do it because it’s fun), and philosophy – Martin Heidegger, Jean- Paul Sartre, Michael Weinstein, and Richard Rorty are several of my favorite philosophers. Reading has opened my mind to new ideas and different ways of thinking. Music has always been an important part of my life – I sing and play guitar. You can find some of my videos on You Tube. I’m not too shabby! I play a wide variety of music in my classroom. My iPod has about 4,000 pieces of music – I try to expose students to music they don’t ordinarily listen to. I also love traveling.

My wife, Lisa, and I are crazy about Jamaica, Michigan, and New York City. We recently traveled to Paris, France and that was a blast! My best friend and I take a yearly road trip around the country火红彩票注册. We have driven the West Coast up Highway 101 along the Pacific Ocean.;

explored Glacier National Park and Yellowstone; we have eaten lobster in Boston, clam chowder in Maine, corned beef at Katz’s Deli in NYC, and the best oysters you’ve ever eaten in South Carolina.

My daughter, Hannah is a recent graduate of Butler University. She has a bachelor’s degree in history and is working at a law firm in Indianapolis. She is considering law school My wife, Dr. Lisa Goodnight is a Vice Chancellor for Advancement at Purdue Northwest. We met working on the student newspaper at Purdue Calumet many years ago. She is also a professor of communication and published a very successful textbook on communication. We have two dogs – Daly, who is a crazy border collie, and Plato, the friendly dog. We live in Crown Point.


Specials


Photo of Ms. Therese Hartz
Ms. Therese Hartz
Music Director
Hello HAST Community!
My name is Mrs. Therese Hartz (formally Ms. Therese Narusis), and I am thrilled to be HAST’s music director! From the time I sang “Castle On A Cloud” while my mother played piano, I knew I wanted to be a music teacher. In order to fulfill this dream, I joined choirs at school and in the community, took lessons in my 火红彩票注册 country火红彩票注册 of Lithuania, and toured the world with VU Chorale. My love for singing also fueled my love for musical theatre. If you walk past my room during my prep time, you might catch me belting showtunes! Besides, I played golf and softball in high school as well as coached volleyball at my grade school. I am very excited to be back on the court as HAST’s middle school girls volleyball coach! In addition to coaching volleyball, you may see me around school leading the HAST choir or running the clock at basketball games!
Degree:
B.M.E. – Valparaiso University
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Lucero Hernandez
Spanish

Hello, my name is Lucero Tirado. I am the high school Spanish teacher here at HAST. This is my first year teaching and I’m looking forward to many more. I graduated from Indiana University Northwest, where I tutored Spanish. While in college I also worked as a server at La Hacienda Azteca. Last school year, I worked one on one with a student here at HAST. I was born and raised in Hammond Indiana. I have a 5-year- old daughter named Estrella and a 4-year- old son named Ethan that keep my hands full on my free time.

BA Spanish Indiana University Northwest

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Mr. Doug Kman
Project Lead The Way

My name is Doug Kman. I was born in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. I attended Northern Illinois University and finished my Mathematics Degree and Secondary Education Certification as well as my masters at Governors State University. I love sports, statistics and math, movies and music. I am excited to be able to share my knowledge with the students of HAST.

Degrees:
B.A. Mathematics from Governors State University
M.S. Mathematics from Governors State University

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Ms. Tracy Mis
MS PLTW Sponsor: MS Science Olympiad Coach

About Me: Tracy Mis resides in the Robertsdale section of Hammond with her husband David Guiden, daughter Paige, and dogs Crede & Cash. “I find comfort and solace in my garden; I escape with a good book; I focus through mediation and yoga; I want to learn how to knit scarves.” Experience: Ms. Mis has taught middle school math or science for over 15 years. Ms. Mis has also coached Science Olympiad for 12 years, Destination Imagination (a competitive academic team) for 1 year, and has served as the program coordinator for gifted and talented middle school students for 3 years. Why I Am A Teacher: “I had my mind set on the teaching vocation since the 5th grade. There is no more worthy vocation than that of an educator. Next to family, there is no more worth a component in a child’s life than education. As a life-long learner, I take great pride in encouraging the virtues of curiosity and discovery in my students and there is no greater field than that of science in which to do so.”

Degrees:
Indiana University: Bachelor of Science in Education
Indiana University: Mathematics Endorsement, 1-9
Indiana University: Science Endorsement, 1-9

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Mrs. Mira Projovic
12th Grade Government/ Economics/ and Internship Coordinator Sponsor: Dance Club Sponsor & Class of 2017 Sponsor

My journey toward membership in the HAST revolution (more on that later) began in Chicago, where I was born, and continued in Dyer, where I grew up on a small farm with my three sisters and Serbian immigrant parents (I currently live in Munster with my husband Chris and 3 chihuahuas, Louie, Deanie & Maggie).

After high school, I attended college in Tallahassee, Florida, where my aspirations were to become an actress or film director. To pay the bills, I took a job at a local Applebee’s, and that’s where my life took the first of many turns. I spent the next 20 years working in the restaurant industry, where I held every job possible: host, busser, prep cook, dishwasher, waitress, bartender, manager, bouncer (yep), and finally, owner of Muse Cafe, an “inspiring eatery and espresso bar” in Lansing, Illinois.

In 2006 I sold my cafe, enrolled in Purdue Calumet to complete my degree, and found my way to HAST as a substitute teacher six months after they first opened their doors. On my first day, I realized HAST is like no other school that I had ever been involved with. I observed several groups of 7th graders who were working on their Rube Goldberg projects in the hallway. They were polite and asked if they could show me what they had so far; they were still tweaking it and needed feedback. I saw a group of adults and students huddled around a table in the cafeteria, where they were immersed in a traffic configuration project for the area around the new school that was being built in downtown Hammond. It was amazing and I was speechless. This was change…progress…the future of education. On my third day of subbing, Dr. Egan asked me if I would be interested in a more permanent position. My exact reply to him was, “If you’re asking me to join the revolution, I’m giving a resounding YES!”

Seven years later, we’re still changing, still progressing and I’m so proud to be a part of it!

Degrees:
BA in Secondary Education from Purdue
BA in History from Purdue
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Ms. Jaclyn Radtke
P.E./Health

I am Mrs. Jaclyn Radtke, the high school physical education and middle school health teacher. This will be my 4th year at HAST. I grew up in Warren, Michigan and graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. I moved to Indiana in August of 2009. My major is in Physical Education and my minor is in Health Education. I have worked as a Title I Interventionist at an elementary school in Griffith. I have participate in basketball, volleyball, softball, and track for many years. I even played college basketball for 2 years. I have always enjoyed physical activity and I hope I can teach children to enjoy it as much as I have. In my spare time I enjoy reading, running, scrapbooking, cooking, spending time with family, and traveling. My goal is to help children become skilled and knowledgeable in ways to stay healthy and active throughout their entire life.

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Mr. Rich Soria
PE

Hello HAST community! My name is Mr. Rich Soria and I am the new PE/Health teacher here at HAST. I am from Thornton, IL and went to Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, IL. I recently just graduated from Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, IN with a B.S. in Physical Education. I graduated with high honors and with multiple academic awards.

Growing up, my life has been surrounded by sports and fitness. I am a huge Cubs, Bulls, Blackhawks, and European soccer fan (Man United, Real Madrid, FC Bayern) and follow many other sports as well. I also lift weights regularly and have a passion for fitness and wellness.

I look forward to starting my career with HAST and being welcomed into your community. Please contact me with any questions you may have.

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Mr. Eric Speer
Athletic Director; PE and Health Instructor Specials

I am Eric Speer and this will be my second year at HAST. I currently teach Middle School Health, High School PE and am the school’s Athletic Director. I am also the Boys Varsity basketball coach and will be entering my 9th year coaching basketball. I grew up in Portage, IN and graduated from Purdue University Calumet, now known as Purdue Northwest!