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UC Davis celebrated Superintendent Barbara Nemko and teacher Julie Lovie at the 8th annual UC Davis conference on computing and STEM

UC Davis celebrated Superintendent Barbara Nemko (far left) and teacher Julie Lovie (middle) at the 8th annual UC Davis conference on computing and STEM. Also pictured are (left to right) NVUSD Executive Director of Innovation David Damico; Valley Oak High School Principal Maria Cisneros; and NapaLearns executive director Peg Maddocks.  

Napa County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Barbara Nemko and Napa Valley Unified School District (NVUSD) teacher Julie Lovie of Valley Oak High School were named Administrator of the Year and Teacher of the Year, respectively, at the 8th annual Conference on Integrated Computing and STEM (C- STEM) Education at UC Davis.

Nemko and Lovie received their awards on Saturday, Nov. 3.

C-STEM is a nationally known math program from UC Davis that combines algebra and geometry with coding and robotics. The annual conference provides a forum for K-14 educators, administrators and researchers from all around California to share their experiences with preparing students for college and careers in STEM-related fields.

In addition to the awards, NVUSD was prominently featured in three conference sessions.

American Canyon High School teacher Scott Marsden presented on “RoboBlockly,” a web-based robot simulation environment for learning coding and math.

Tammy Lee, a teacher at American Canyon Middle School, participated on the “Diversity and Inclusion: Girls In Robotic Leadership” panel.

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Dr. Peg Maddocks, executive director of NapaLearns, moderated a panel on “Secondary School Math with Computing and Robotics: Opening the Gate for STEM Careers.” Lovie participated on the panel.

Since 2012, Dr. Nemko has promoted the adoption of the C-STEM curriculum, which started in American Canyon High and Middle schools with two teachers. Since then she has partnered with education non-profit NapaLearns to fund and expand the program.

Julie Lovie teaches at Valley Oak High, an alternative high school for students who are struggling. Often, Valley Oak students have large gaps in their understanding of math, and traditional teaching methods aren’t effective. Lovie was determined to find a new way to connect students to numbers and formulas, which she did by introducing the C-STEM program.

Lovie teaches two sections of math with robotics. In the spring of 2018, she also recruited a robotics team of six students to attend the C-STEM competition at UC Davis for the first time. Valley Oak was the only continuation school at the competition.

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