About Camp Snowball Staff | Camp Snowball

Peter Senge is a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-founder of SoL (Society for Organizational Learning) and the Academy for Systemic Change. He is the author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, co-author of the three related fieldbooks, including Schools That Learn; Presence; and most recently, The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World. The Financial Times called The Fifth Discipline one of the five “most important management books” of all time and the Journal of Strategy and Business named Peter a “Strategist of the Century,” as one of the 24 people who had the greatest influence on business strategy in the 20th century. Peter works with organizations throughout the world on decentralizing the role of leadership to enhance the capacities of all people to build healthier human systems.
Karen Abbott Karen Abbott has worked with general and special education students in Palm Beach County, Florida, and North Carolina for more than twenty-five years. She has served as a special education resource teacher, school-based Title I resource teacher, inclusive education teacher in a multi-age classroom, and district resource teacher for low-performing schools. In these roles, Karen has worked with economically and culturally diverse populations. She is currently a special education resource teacher, grades K-5, for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, where she is an advocate for the use of systems thinking tools and habits, especially with students facing learning challenges.
Kirstin A. Anglea, Ed.D., has more than 25 years of experience in education as a public school teacher and administrator in Milwaukee, WI. She also served eight years as a faculty member and Chair at Cardinal Stritch University in the Master of Arts in Teaching program. In her doctoral studies, Kirstin focused on reflective practice and teacher renewal based on the work of Parker Palmer. She is currently the Environmental Education Manager at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee and a national facilitator with the Center for Courage and Renewal.

Tracy Benson is president of the Waters Foundation. She conducts training and coaching sessions, consults with schools and school districts, and facilitates systems thinking professional learning experiences for educators at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Her former work experience includes elementary and middle school teaching, middle school principal, consultant, author, and mom. She holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Arizona.
Bryan Coffman is a Director with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has been a passionate explorer in the field of human collaboration and has practiced, studied and developed methodology in this field since 1981. He has designed and delivered hundreds of collaborative design and decision-making events. He works with a wide variety of clients and is versed in a number of methodologies He has employed studies in group psychology, cybernetics, systems thinking, design thinking and complexity science to develop innovations in the practice of collaborative design. A portion of Bryan’s practice has been in the use of visual modeling—or graphic recording—as an aid in the collaborative learning and decision-making process, and it is in this capacity as visual modeler that he joins Camp Snowball this year. He has used visualization with groups as a problem-solving and design tool and has also captured conversations and presentations visually for many conferences and collaborative sessions.
Elayne Dorsey is committed to communities that value the gifts of all of their diverse members and seek to live into collective leadership with youth, adults, and elders as partners. Transcending boundaries of age, gender, race, culture, class, and faith is key in her work. Elayne is now a partner in Spaces for Change. Previously, she spent many years working for several Girl Scout councils and most recently was the Chief Operations Officer at Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. Elayne also worked with the Innovation Center for Community and Youth Development, where she was involved in communities all over the United States, Africa, and India in designing and directing national and international programs and events. In addition, she partnered with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation on projects fostering youth engagement.

LeAnne Grillo helps diverse groups of people act together to address the complex social issues they are passionate to change. LeAnne’s focus is on creating the conditions that enable people to connect in meaningful ways in order to work in concert with each other. She is now a partner in Spaces for Change and the network coordinator for the SolEd Partnership. Previously, LeAnne was a partner at Reos Partners LLC, where she contributed to a range of projects using the Change Lab and U-Process methodologies. LeAnne was also Vice President and Conference Director for Pegasus Communications and spent 10 years working for the Patriots’ Trail Girl Scout Council in Boston, Massachusetts.

hellerBeth Fetterley Heller is Senior Director of Education and Strategic Planning at the Urban Ecology Center and has dedicated the past 13 of her 18 years in education to the growth of urban environmental education programs in Milwaukee, WI. Starting with a single classroom in a double-wide trailer, hosting 6000 nature-based field trips annually, her programs now run out of three branches, two state-of-the-art green buildings that provide more than 150,000 learning opportunities for people of all ages each year. Programs created and run by Beth include the Neighborhood Environmental Education Project for 50 urban schools, a job training program for high school students, and an intergenerational research program where adults and children participate undergraduate and graduate field research projects led by over 20 colleges, universities and institutions. While at the Urban Ecology Center, Beth receive her MBA from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and was awarded the 2009 Business Journal “40 under 40 Award” for community leadership in Milwaukee, 2008 Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, Blanch Hornbeck Award for Nature Education and the 2004 Educator of the Year from Wisconsin’s Conservation Congress.
Riina Hirsch is a high school teacher with 14 years of experience who is currently based in St. Louis, MO. She has taught students in grades 7-10 of every ability level and socio-economic background. Riina is the professional development co-chair for her building and an active member of the school community. She is also working to complete an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership focused on Systems Thinking and Adaptive Schools as applied to professional development programs. Riina has extensive experience designing curriculum, facilitating small groups, implementing “Understanding by Design,” and working closely with novice and struggling teachers. She has attended Camp Snowball for the past two years and is excited to be back.

Koh Ming Wei has a Ph.D. in Sustainability Education and has been farming and homesteading for over 20 years. Ming Wei is an educational consultant, curriculum developer, grant writer, public speaker, and organizer. She has been trained to integrate Education for Sustainability standards and ecological principles into classroom curriculum, professional development courses, and community outreach programs. A certified Waldorf Educator, Ming Wei was a classroom teacher for ten years before creating and directing a small Waldorf-inspired school in Hawai‘i. She has also developed school garden teacher trainings with The Kohala Center. Her dissertation, “Discovering Learning, Discovering Self: The Effects of an Interdisciplinary, Standards-based School Garden Curriculum on Elementary Students in Hawai‘i,” is a useful reference for those interested in developing school learning gardens. Her research includes how the school learning garden experience is a context conducive to teaching core subjects, STEM, and foundational life skills, and has created the pedagogy of food to frame the kind of education she believes in and shares.
Anne LaVigne has worked within a variety of educational settings with infants through high school students for almost 30 years. Much of that work was, and continues to be focused on creating settings that build educators’ capacity to use systems thinking and dynamic modeling strategies. She facilitates professional learning experiences with large groups, small groups, and individuals, nationally and internationally. She designs instructional resources in all curricular areas and builds online learning environments that integrate a variety of modalities including visual, text-based/auditory, and kinesthetic to meet individual learning styles. Anne currently serves as Director of Educational Technology for the Waters Foundation and Curriculum Resource Designer for the Creative Learning Exchange.
Sheri Marlin is a program coordinator for the Waters Foundation, Systems Thinking in Schools project in Tucson, Arizona, where she spends her time writing, teaching and coaching. She has worked for the last 28 years in education as a teacher, administrator and teacher educator. She has a Masters degree from the University of Arizona in Curriculum and Instruction. Passionately committed to improving learning strategies and opportunities for children worldwide and devoted to teaching people to communicate, Sheri firmly believes that the tools and habits of a systems thinker are ideal tools for doing just that.
Mike Maryanski has been in the Tahoma School system for his entire 43-year career. he has provided leadership in the system since 1989 and for the last 19 years has been the district superintendent. his passion and commitment to developing a learning organization throughout the entire school system has transformed this suburban school system of 7600 students into one of the top performing districts in the state of Washington. Mike and his team will provide insights into how their school system supports leadership and learning at all levels of the organization.
Kelly Nichols has more than twenty years of experience in elementary school classrooms. She is currently a third-grade teacher for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. In addition, Kelly has served as an adjunct professor at Wake Forest University and has provided staff development training across North Carolina. Kelly seeks to revolutionize the way classrooms, schools, and districts function by supporting educators in using systems tools.

megan circleMegan Odenthal has a BA in Anthropology and a Masters degree in Social Work from the George Warren Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. There, she studied International Social and Economic Development with a specialization in Systems Dynamics. Megan has had the opportunity to do community based research in numerous international settings, including South Africa, the Kingdom of Tonga, and most recently in India, where she used community based Systems Dynamics to explore social and ecological issues in a dryland village. Megan is interested in many social justice issues, and is passionate about involving youth voices and systems thinking in efforts to bring about positive social change. Megan has had the opportunity to use systems thinking tools with high school students in St. Louis who are dedicated to making their school and communities a more inclusive and unified place to learn.

Kristi Ponder graduated from Maryville University in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. While earning her degree, she spent time studying in Florence, Italy, and received several awards. In 2008, Kristi started teaching at Ritenour High School in St. Louis. She received her master’s degree in art education in 2012. Kristi facilitated a session for the Gifted Association of Missouri Conference and has led several systems thinking training sessions in St. Louis. In 2014, she was elected as the professional development co-chair at Ritenour High School, where she works closely with teachers to fine-tune their craft. This is Kristi’s third year attending Camp Snowball./div>
Rob Quadenweb-rob is a classroom teacher with more than 30 years of experience teaching math. He also served as a Curriculum Coordinator, Teacher Mentor and Math Coach. As a Waters Foundation mentor for eight years, he developed curriculum and pedagogical approaches to system dynamics. Rob has led workshops at a variety of conferences, both nationally and abroad. Throughout his career he has been influenced by constructivist approaches to learning. He is interested in the use of systems thinking and classroom structures to increase the learning capacity of all students. He is coauthor, with Alan Ticotsky, of The Shape of Change, a two-book series that engages students in games and simulations that teach basic system dynamics concepts including change over time, feedback loops, and stock and flow thinking.
Dr. Anthony Robinson is currently the Head Principal of Ritenour High School in the Ritenour School District in St. Louis. He has been an educator for over 17 years. Tony has integrated system thinking into Ritenour High School’s school improvement team and student groups employ systems thinking tools and group modeling in order to develop innovative ways to improve Ritenour High School. Tony has presented at the Systems Thinking Institute, Sponsored by the Waters Foundation, Washington University, and Ritenour School District. Tony believes that having leaders who think systemically is the key to positively impact schools and communities. He believes all stakeholders should utilize systems thinking as a means of problem solving and planning.
Mary Scheetz has over 40 years experience as an innovative teacher, administrator, project director and consultant. From 2007 to 2013, Mary served as the assistant superintendent with the Ritenour School District in St. Louis and is currently a trainer and consultant working with the Waters Foundation Systems Thinking in Schools Team. She has presented systems thinking in schools work at numerous national and international conferences and facilitated related workshops. Mary’s belief is that all students are capable of the critical thinking levels that systems thinking tools produce and that it is essential for schools to ensure that ALL students are provided access to rigorous and relevant learning. As an assistant superintendent, she implemented multiple strategies for the integration of systems thinking in school improvement, integrated systems thinking into classroom instruction across the district and developed the annual St. Louis Systems Thinking in Schools Institute, which involves participants from multiple school districts and universities in the region. Mary’s work is guided by the words of Marvin Weisbord, “If I had a crystal ball, I would not ask what’s wrong here and who’s to blame but what’s possible here and who cares?”
William Thompson is a fifth grade teacher in Portland who has been using systems thinking tools with his students for over ten years. Recently his focus has been on building systems with his students in and around his school that reduce waste and increase yields. His students are responsible for both maintaining and regenerating these systems. Projects include aquaponics, permaculture gardens, vermicomposting, water harvesting, place making, and energy efficient lighting systems. Innovation and “new” thinking that mimics natural systems drive these student interest-centered projects. Their goal is improving place and being responsible for their school’s continuous improvement is the only motivation needed. They can see the snowball effect as more students and community members are getting involved at an increasing rate. William will direct Camp Sunshine this summer and will be joined by some of his current students in leading systems thinking activities.
ticotskyAlan Ticotsky was a classroom teacher for thirty-eight years, and also served as a Curriculum Coordinator. As a Waters Foundation mentor for eight years, he developed curriculum and pedagogical approaches to systems thinking and system dynamics. He is coauthor, with Rob Quaden, of The Shape of Change, a two-book series that engages students in games and simulations that teach basic system dynamics concepts including change over time, feedback loops, and stock and flow thinking. Al has led workshops and presented in many schools and national conferences. Science Giants, his trilogy of science books on physical science, life science, earth and space, presents hands-on experiments and classroom activities for elementary students that illustrate important principles and discoveries in the history of science.

wagnerChristine Wagner is the creator of Power2Thrive, a mentoring program for women and girls. She holds two levels of certification in Whole Brain Thinking through Herrmann International and has utilized whole brain thinking concepts in developing courses for an MBA program and teaching MBA students and their mentors. Christine has a master’s degree in Workforce Development and Adult Education from the Ohio State University and has completed all the coursework toward her doctorate.
Joan Yates is vice president of the Waters Foundation. She spent the first 15 years of her educational career teaching middle level English and mathematics and serving as a middle school administrator. Since then, Joan has been devoted to bringing the concepts and strategies of systems thinking to young people by teaching and supporting the adults who work with them. A systems mentor who introduced Joan and her colleagues to systems thinking told them that if they became systems thinkers their lives would never be the same, for the good. Joan agrees. She facilitates professional development sessions nationally and internationally, believing that systems thinking provides powerful concepts and visual tools that can enhance everyone’s critical thinking and questioning skills.