Meet the Staff
Thomas Ames (Geometry)
Thomas Ames graduated from Montana State University-Billings with a B.A. in Mathematics-Teaching Option in 2008 and completed his Master of Accountancy from Golden Gate University in 2012. He has taught grades 6-9 and is currently teaching Mathematics to 7th and 8th graders at Tolt Middle School in the Riverview School District.
Kate Boyd (American Literature)
Kate Boyd is currently completing her dissertation in English at the University of Washington (UW) and intends to graduate in Spring, 2013. She has been teaching writing, literature and cultural studies at the UW for over 6 years, where she also co-founded the Critical Cultural Studies Collective, the Critical Classrooms Committee, and the Simpson Center for the Humanities sponsored graduate student research cluster, The Race/Knowledge Project. Kate has been involved in anti-racist community organizing across the region for 17 years and is currently the co-founder of If You Don’t They Will, a Northwest partnership that provides support to communities organizing against far right, white nationalist social movements.
Anna Burago (Invariants, Induction, and Infinity)
Anna Burago is a math professional, educator, and a book author with passion for teaching extracurricular mathematics. In her classes, she combines the rich traditions of the Russian-style mathematics for gifted children with her experience of teaching non-curricular math in a US classroom. Anna is the founder of Prime Factor Math Circle and the lead teacher at the Northwest Academy of Sciences. Her book on extracurricular math and creative problem solving has been published by the American Mathematical Society. Anna’s passion for math dates back to her school years in Russia. In the United States, Anna has spent many years balancing two careers: a software developer and a math educator. (Anna holds two Master Degrees: in Mathematics and in Computer Science). These days, she is a full-time math education professional.
Jason Gilmore (Reel Life in Focus)
Jason is an advanced doctoral student in the Department of Communication where he focuses on political communication across cultures. He has undergraduate and master’s degrees in international studies. Jason also has extensive experience working in K-12 schools, including a stint as an instructor for a gifted and talented program.
Nick Grossenbacher (Essay Writing A)
Nick Grossenbacher is a Ph.D. student in the History Department at the University of Washington, where he specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of Byzantium and the medieval Middle East. He received his B.A. from the University of Southern California’s honors college and has studied archaeology at the University of Edinburgh and Arabic language and literature at the University of Damascus. He has been a teaching assistant in the History Department for more than two years and has taught classes for a private tutoring company on essay composition, writing for history, and writing for standardized tests. In his free time he travels the world, studies languages, and reads stacks of literary essays on a panoply of incredibly fascinating subjects.
Michael Hodges (Essay Writing B)
Michael Hodges is a Ph.D. student in the English department at the University of Washington, where he is researching the ways in which ideas of immigrant and regional bodies circulate in contemporary American literature and political discourse. He has been teaching composition and literature classes in the English department for three years, and has taught previously for the Robinson Center’s Summer Stretch program. He received his BA in English and economics from the Honors College at Stetson University in 2009, and his MA in English from the UW in 2011.
Dr. Judith Jones Hall (Algebra 1 & 2)
Judith Jones Hall has a B.A. in Education from the University of Washington, a Masters of Education from Seattle Pacific University, Mathematics Endorsement from Seattle Pacific University, and a Doctor of Education (Mathematics) from SPU. She is currently a mathematics teacher at Holy Names Academy in Seattle.
Jean Lutgen (Precalculus)
A Seattle native, Jean Lutgen attended Seattle Public Schools and earned both her B.A. in Mathematics and her Teaching Credential from Seattle Pacific University. She is currently working on her Master’s in Education at SPU. Jean resides with her family a short distance from Roosevelt High School, where she has taught math for many years. This year, she was pleasantly surprised to receive a “Hero in the Classroom” award from the Seattle Seahawks and Symmetra Financial. She is very much looking forward to her another Summer Stretch!
Mark Morrow (Chemistry)
Mark Morrow has a B.A. in Biology from Cornell University and a M.S. in Secondary Science Education from Long Island University. He has been teaching Chemistry & Advanced Placement Chemistry for more than 13 years, and is currently on the faculty at Bellevue High School.
Jeannine Sieler (Chemistry)
Jeannine Sieler has a B.S. and M.A. in Chemistry from the University of Puget Sound. She earned her National Board Certification in November, 2006, and has been teaching Chemistry & Advanced Placement Chemistry for 25 years. Jeannine is currently on the faculty at Bellevue High School.
Tina Sowler (Algebra 2)
Tina Sowler graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in business and pursued a career in the business world for 15 years; in the latter years she was employed as a PC developer. Subsequently, she enrolled in the post baccalaureate education program at Western Washington University to pursue her teaching credentials. She continued her education thereafter to obtain her math endorsement. Tina has taught grades 6 through 9. She is currently a mathematics teacher at Canyon Park Junior High in the Northshore School District and integrates her love of technology with her teaching.
Sam Timinsky (Debate)
Sam earned his B.A. in History from Marist College in Poughkeepsie New York in 2006 and an M.A. in Japan Studies from the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington in 2012. He has just returned from a year of language training and research at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama, Japan and will begin working toward his PhD in History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison this coming Fall. His specialty is Modern Japanese Intellectual History. Sam has taught debate in formal classes at local weekend schools and lectured on argument in several classes at the Jackson School of International Studies. In addition he has coached debate professionally for five years, first at Newburgh Free Academy in New York State and for the several years he has been the one of the coaches for the University of Washington’s Parliamentary Debate Team. He has coached debaters to national invitational tournaments.
David Zook (Physics: Rockets & Robotics)
David is a lifelong teacher and technology aficionado. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Washington, runs Big Brains Education Enrichment in Bellevue, and coaches two highly successful competition robotics teams. Over the last few years, his teams have won trophies at the US Nationals (FLL), WorldFest (FLL) twice and last year were named the High School World Champions in VEX Robotics. David loves working with kids and is looking forward to another summer with the Robinson Center.
TA’s are typically undergraduate students at the University of Washington.
Dr. Maren Halvorsen is the Associate Director and Principal of Summer Programs as well as the Principal of the Transition School. Dr. Halvorsen received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Washington in 2002 with a focus on Early Modern Europe, with special interest in medieval and early modern spirituality. She has taught numerous courses for the UW Department of History, ranging from freshmen general education classes to advanced senior seminars. She joined the Robinson Center in 1990 and served as the Transition School’s History instructor until 2009.
Kristy Carter is the Program Coordinator for the Transition School and Summer Programs. She joined the Robinson Center in January 2010, coming from the Provost’s Office at the UW. Her previous experience includes four years working for the World Affairs Council in Seattle and two years living and teaching English in Japan.