News Release: ITEEA Announces 21st Century Leadership Academy Class of 2021-22


March 17, 2021

March 17, 2021 —



News Release: ITEEA Announces 21st Century Leadership Academy Class of 2021-22

ITEEA's 21st Century Leadership Academy provides an opportunity for rising technology and engineering educators from across the country to develop as professional leaders, develop community, and have experiences related to the promotion of technology and engineering education and support technological and engineering literacy for all students in our schools. Furthermore, the best of practices are being shared throughout different regions of the country via the media technology established in the course of this year long program.

Participants in the program are selected from early career university technology and engineering education teachers. Each participant will be self-nominated or nominated by another CTETE member and must agree to participate in the program for one year.


The following individuals will comprise the 2021-22 cohort.

Note: Some members of the 2020-21 cohort have chosen to remain within the program due the limitations necessitated by the COVID-19 Pandemic.


Jana Bonds

Jana Zinn Bonds is currently working on a doctoral degree in STEM education as an Ed.D student at the University of Pittsburgh. Jana holds a Master of Education degree in Technology Education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science degree in Technology Education from Millersville University. Jana has twelve years teaching experience in 6 th -8 th grade Technology & Engineering Education at Emory H. Markle Middle School (EHMMS) in the South Western School District, Hanover, PA. Over the past twelve years Jana helped develop and expand the curriculum toward an engineering focus at EHMMS, helping earn her department the ITEEA Middle School Excellence Award in 2012. Jana also serves as a board member for the PA Technology Student Association (TSA), EHMMS TSA chapter advisor, PA-TSA Leadership Conference Director, and South Western STEM Leadership Committee. Jana’s research interests concentrate on learning approaches that build the confidence of students while addressing educational inequities. Her focus is on empowering girls and underrepresented populations to pursue careers in STEM through engineering designed problem-based instruction.



Karin Dykeman

Karin Dykeman earned a B.S in Technology Education, an M.S in Elementary Education (Curriculum and Instruction), and C.A.S. in Educational Leadership from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego. Ms. Dykeman joined the Technology Department at SUNY Oswego as an Assistant Professor in 2020. Prior to that, she spent more than twenty years in technology and engineering education in New York State public schools. In addition to teaching, Ms. Dykeman has been involved in local, state and national curriculum and assessment development. She has also advised a variety of STEM programs including FIRST Robotics and Tech Challenge, VEX Robotics, and Technology Student Association. Design thinking and continuous improvement are part of Ms. Dykeman's practice as well as that of her students. She structures activities to enable success through scaffolded experiences. Her areas of interest include cultivating persistence, fostering innovation, environmental sustainability, design for the other 90%, and the interactions between technology and society.


Justin Egresitz

Justin Egresitz is a Graduate Teaching Assistant and Doctoral Student in the Technology, Design, and Engineering Education program at North Carolina State University. Justin completed a B.S. in Technology and Engineering Education and an M.S. in Innovation and Technology at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. He is the current Vice President of the Alpha Pi chapter of Epsilon Pi Tau, the International Honor Society for Professions in Technology and an active member of the Technology and Engineering Education Collegiate Association (TEECA). His research interests include the impacts of project-based learning on the teaching and learning mindsets of early childhood educators and the potential impacts of augmented reality technology in the technology and engineering education classroom. 


Tonya Isabell

Tonya M. Isabell is a doctoral fellowship student at Purdue University. Prior to attending Purdue, Tonya earned her Masters degree at Valley City State University and her Bachelors degree at the Unversity of Georgia. Tonya has taught Engineering & Technology at the middle and high school levels in Georgia in addition to teaching in England and Japan. She is also a former Technology Student Association (TSA) state officer and has been a TSA advisor for the past fifteen years. Her ultimate goal is to become a teacher educator and develop research-based hands on activities for STEM classrooms.


Abbi Richcreek

Abbi is an Engineering/Technology teacher at Edgewood Middle School in Warsaw, Indiana.  Her undergraduate degrees in Industrial Technology and Japanese Education and a minor in Asian Studies was earned at Ball State University.  She went on to Colorado State University as a teaching assistant and graduated with her masters in Engineering/Technology education.  Richcreek sponsors robotics club and manufacturing clubs, where she organizes a Vex state qualifying event and an exhibition robotics tournament.  Every year, Richcreek heads GoBabyGo! and Forget Princess, I want to be an Engineer programs in her school district.  In 2020, she was awarded the Patin’s Starfish Award for promoting inclusion and 2020 PLTW Outstanding Gateway Teacher.  From 2018 to 2020, she served ITEEA as the Region II Director.  She is currently serving on ITEEA's Emerging Leader committee, Grace College Engineering Advisory Council, and training with Ford Motor Company Next Generation Learning (Ford NGL) on project-based learning.  Outside of school, Abbi enjoys riding horses and spending time with her husband, Adam, and son, Ace.  



Debra Shapiro, DTE

Mrs. Shapiro is currently a middle school technology and engineering teacher for Suffolk Public Schools and a supervisor/recruiter for Black Rocket Productions. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Arts Education from the University of Northern Iowa in 1986 and a Master’s of Science of Education degree in Administration and Supervision from Old Dominion University in 2001. Debra has 28.5 years of experience as a middle school teacher, 3 years teaching high school, and 3 years as a technology lead teacher. She has presented at numerous conferences and provided professional development for teachers in Suffolk Public Schools and Norfolk Public Schools. Mrs. Shapiro has served as President Elect, President, President/Immediate Past President, and Immediate Past President of the Virginia Technology and Engineering Educators Association from August of 2013 – July of 2017. She served on the Board of Directors as the Region 1 Director of the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association March of 2017 to April of 2019. She has fulfilled other positions in both organizations as a committee member, committee chairperson, task force chairperson, Publications Editor, and ITEEA Affiliate Representative. Debra is a member of Alpha Phi and Epsilon Pi Tau. Mrs. Shapiro has been recognized numerous times as the Career and Technical Education Teacher of the Year for the schools where she has taught. She received ITEEA Emerging Leader Recognition in 2017 and the Distinguished Technology Educator (DTE) in 2018. She has been awarded the VTEEA Presidential Citation for Exemplary Professionalism and Service to VTEEA in 2012 and again in 2018 for Leadership and commitment to providing professional development experiences that contribute to teachers’ implementation of the engineering design process in Technology and Engineering Education across the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 2019 Debra was awarded the John Monroe Outstanding Service Award for Dedicated Service and Exemplary Leadership to the Association and the Profession across the Commonwealth of Virginia.



Twenty-first Century Leadership Academy Program Lead, Dr. Roger Hill, shared, "The 2020-2021 year was like no other. From our 2020 conference being cut short to not being able to conduct the DC Experience, the 21st Century Leadership Academy was impacted in numerous ways. We are hopeful that 2021-2022 will be more complete. Thanks to all of our online presenters and mentors who make this program possible, and thanks to Douglas Lecorchick for his co-leadership of the program."



Click to learn more about ITEEA's 21st Century Leadership Academy