In the 2017 TOPSS Committee election, TOPSS members will have the opportunity to elect three new members to the APA TOPSS Committee. The APA Election Office will send the 2017 TOPSS officers ballot electronically on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017.  Those without a functional e-mail address will be sent a paper ballot and copies of the personal statements. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Garnett Coad, director, Elections Office (202) 336-6087.

The voting period will be from Sept. 14 to Oct. 31, 2017. The voting site will close at 11:59 p.m., EDT, Tuesday Oct. 31, 2017. Hard copies of ballots must be received by APA by Oct. 31, 2017.

TOPSS members can vote for one candidate for Chair-Elect and two candidates for Member-at-Large. All will serve three-year terms.

Personal statements submitted by the candidates appear below; candidate resumes are posted to each candidate's personal statement page. The TOPSS election positions and office descriptions can be found here. TOPSS members are voting to elect candidates who support and further the mission of TOPSS.

Meet the Candidates

Allison Shaver, candidate for chair-elect

Education and Professional Experience

  • Alma College, Alma, Michigan; Bachelor of Arts (2000); Major: english, Minor: history
  • Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, Massachusetts; Masters in educational leadership (2009)
  • Currently teaching at Plymouth South High School, Plymouth, Massachusetts; 14 years
  • Taught the following courses: U.S. history II (11 years), sociology (8 years), psychology (10 years), AP psychology (5 years)
  • Implemented the Advanced Placement Psychology program at Plymouth South High School (2010-11)
  • SAT/ACT Coordinator for Plymouth, Massachusetts (9 years)
  • Extra-curricular activities: senior class advisor, advisory coordinator, senior project coordinator, NEASC co-chair

Professional Activities and Honors

  • TOPSS member-at-large (January 2016-December 2017)
  • TOPSS member (2010–present)
  • NSCC Psychology Community member (2010–present)
  • Presenter at National Council for Social Studies Conference: Connecting Psychology and Sociology Classrooms Across State Lines, Seattle, WA (2012); Brain Based Projects!, St. Louis, Montana (2013); Using Twitter to Build Your PLN, Boston, MA (2014); Student Choice, Student Voice in the Psychology Classroom, New Orleans, LA (2015); Making Motivation and Emotion Fun!, Washington, D.C. (2016)
  • Invited to White House for Teacher Appreciation Day (2014)
  • Participant in the APA/Clark University workshop (2014)
  • Active participant and host of Twitter #psychat
  • ETS/AP College Board Reader for AP Psychology (2015–present)

Platform Statement

Teaching psychology can be a very isolated experience. I was given the job of psychology/sociology teacher at Plymouth South due to unforeseen circumstances over the summer over a decade ago. I was a fairly young teacher and was comfortable teaching the history classes I had been for a few years, but was thrown into the psychology/sociology role with little to no professional development or guidance. This experience forced me to look outside the walls of my high school to get the support I had once had within. And then along came TOPSS. This organization has given me the support I needed and opportunities I never would have had without this connection.

I am very lucky to teach in a district that believes in the power of a teacher attending a conference. I have had the opportunity to connect with many psychology teachers from around the country at NCSS conferences, the APA/Clark Workshop, the AP psychology reading, on Twitter, and as a member-at-large on the TOPSS Committee. These experiences have allowed me to grow my personal learning network and bust out of the isolated feeling within the walls of my school. It is the connections I have made at these outings that has allowed me to become to psychology teacher I am today. I finally feel comfortable looking to other psychology teachers for ideas and sharing my own lessons as well. I can only hope that my continued involvement in TOPSS would help other isolated psychology teachers feel just as comfortable in a subject we all love.

As chair-elect, I would focus on the continuation of the work that started this summer at the APA Summit on High School Psychology Education. I served on “Strand 5: Credentialing” and am very much looking forward to the role TOPSS will play in the next 5 plus years to see the ideas that started at the summit come to fruition. I see TOPSS as the facilitator of these deliverables that will continue to push the importance of high school psychology in the future. Those of us who teach all psychology all day know how lucky we are! Our students look forward to our classes, want to share connections they notice in their lives, and are truly engaged in our classrooms. Our voices are important as we try to validate our passion and showcase the significance of psychology.

Melissa Schaefer Adams, candidate for member-at-large

 Education and Professional Experience

  • Teacher, Mundelein High School, Mundelein, Illinois (2008-present)
  • 10 years teaching psychology, 6 years teaching AP psychology; 4 years AVID coordinator
  • Northeastern Illinois University; Masters in educational leadership, principalship endorsement (2016-present)
  • Northeastern Illinois University; Masters in counseling (2009-13)
  • Loyola University Chicago; BA in history, BS in secondary education, social science certification

Professional Activities and Honors

  • AP reader for the College Board (2013-present)
  • Memberships: TOPSS member; NCSS Psychology community member (2010-present)
  • Presentations
    Presented lesson ideas yearly at CHI-TOPSS annual conference (2010-present)
    Teacher-presenter at the National Council for Social Studies annual conference
    2011- “Writing to Learn, Learning to Write”
    2012- “Writing in the Social Studies Classroom”
    2013- “Flipping out: How I flipped my social studies classroom”
  • Web Contributions
    “Flipping Out: Lesson Learned Year One” blog post
    Video lessons posted for all topics on YouTube channel
  • Host and participant in #psychat

Platform Statement

When I first started teaching psychology 10 years ago, I was a first-year teacher who had a degree in history with certification to teach all the social sciences. While teaching psychology was always something I was interested in, the university I attended would not allow secondary education majors to major in psychology because as they said, “We would never find a job teaching psychology, schools really do not offer that…” I did not think I would have a job my first year out of school, but I got a call four days before school started to interview for a psychology and U.S. history position. The motivation to give my students a great experience in psychology, the internet, and a few generous teachers got me through my first year. Through the guidance of these teachers, I was able to get connected to CHI-TOPSS where I found my first group of educators who were dedicated to teaching psychology. Through attending these yearly conferences, I gained an extensive reparatory of lesson ideas and teaching methodologies. In becoming connected with CHI-TOPSS, I also joined the NCSS Psych Community and was able to attend many informative presentations. It was through these two professional communities that I first started to present my own lesson ideas to other, first at CHI-TOPSS and then at the NCSS national conferences. I was so excited and honored to be able to give back to the teaching communities that helped my growth so much as a teacher.

As a TOPSS committee member, I would like to work on many different things as a way of progressing all the hard work of members before me. First, I want to continue to work of expanding the number of schools that offer psychology and make sure universities know how to prepare those students, so no teacher will be told “they cannot major in psychology and teach because they will not find a job” like I was. As a teacher who “flips” my AP psychology classroom, I believe I can offer valuable insight and methodologies for teachers who are looking to integrate technology into their classrooms in a meaningful way, as opposed to just a substitution for pen and paper. In addition, my block schedule at Mundelein High School has forced me to really be intentional with the activities and assignments I design in order to gain the greatest amount of learning in our limited semester. Too often as a new teacher I went with the activities that were the most engaging or exciting without really analyzing if they were the best way for students to learn the material, not just be entertained by it. As I have grown as a teacher, I learned to create activities that help my psych students grow as critical thinkers in addition to holding their attention. As a member of the committee, I would like to help move that work forward, so that psych teachers, especially those young in their careers, have access not only to engaging material, but learn to distinguish between activities that are fun but ultimately ineffective for learning, and activities that are fun because they force students to think in new and creative ways. I know lots of this work will have an amazing kick-off at the APA Summit for High School Psychology this summer, and my goal as a committee member would be to make sure the hard work teachers do in that week continues to move forward in the years ahead.

Finally, as the AVID coordinator at my school, I believe I bring a unique perspective to the TOPSS committee as the College Board works to help make AP classes accessible to all students. The AVID program works to help first generation students, low income students, or students from other underrepresented groups take rigorous courses and attend a four-year university. I have work with lots of AP teachers in my district to help them find ways to scaffold content for students who might be considered “non-traditional” AP students. Psychology is such an interesting and helpful course for high school students to help them understand themselves and the world. As a member of the TOPSS committee, it is my goal to work on ways to help psych teachers make the content accessible for all students not by lowering the standard which is the most common practice, or to disregard the students as unprepared, but to help teachers develop ways to help all students reach the high scientific skills and critical thinking abilities our content demands of them.

Steven Kushner, candidate for member-at-large

Education and Professional Experience

  • PhD, curriculum and instruction, University of Illinois at Chicago (2016)
  • MA psychology, National Louis University (2010)
  • BA psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2006)
  • AP psychology teacher, Bremen High School District 228, Midlothian Illnois, (2007–present)
  • University adjunct instructor, DePaul University, 2016–present. Courses taught: philosophy and psychology of youth and middle level education
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, 2013–2016. Courses taught: middle and high school literacy

Professional Activities and Honors

  • Designed and implemented an AP psychology curriculum for Bremen High School District 228
  • Founder of PSYCHademia, an animated and interactive video lecture series intended to help students prepare for the AP Psychology exam
  • Member of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) psychology community (2010–present)
  • Currently creating digital videos for Myers Psychology for the AP course (3rd Ed.) (2017)
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award, American Educational Research Association (2017)
  • Doctoral Dean’s Merit Award, College of Education, University of Illinois at Chicago (2016)
  • Teacher Innovation Award, College of Education, University of Illinois at Chicago (2016)
  • Conference Participant/Presenter:
    Chicago Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (CHITOPPS), (2007–present)
    Midwest Institute for Students and Teachers of Psychology (MISTOP), (2007–present)
    Literacy Research Association annual conference, San Diego (2014), Carlsbad, California (2015)

Platform Statement

Psychology is more than an elective course in high school – it is a space for students to challenge themselves academically and emotionally, address misconceptions about the human mind and behavior, and take on the role of scientists who aim to better understand the world around them. As high school psychology teachers, it is our responsibility to possess the content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge to make these opportunities and experiences possible. I see TOPSS as an organization which can prepare future teachers to meet these unique demands and promote the development of “life-long” teachers of psychology.

As a high school psychology teacher for the past decade and university adjunct professor, I understand the challenges that both new and experienced teachers face in the classroom. While new teachers are looking for general resources to support their instruction, experienced teachers are looking to modify and enhance their existing resources to promote academic rigor. I see myself supporting and furthering the mission of TOPSS by addressing the needs of all psychology teachers. For example, I wish to facilitate networking opportunities between new and experienced teachers of psychology (e.g., using digital and social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter). Ultimately, our students will reap the benefits through increased test scores and level of engagement.

Because psychology is so relevant to students’ lives, the course provides amazing opportunities for teachers to design inquiry-based lessons where students learn by doing. I would support the mission of TOPSS by promoting “flipped” classrooms – that is, students watch short videos at home, while in-class time is devoted to projects, demonstrations and exercises. This implies creating more digital resources that allow students to learn content and assess their understanding in real-time. I recently started PSYCHademia, an interactive and video lectures series aimed to flip classrooms and improve teacher instruction. TOPSS is a perfect space to promote this type of learning and instruction.

Dana Melone, candidate for member-at-large

Education and Professional Experience

  • Coe College, BA in psychology and education (2003)
  • Coe College, MAT in education (2007)
  • 5 years of teaching at Washington High School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: AP psychology (5 years), general psychology (5 years), and social psychology (5 years)
  • 6 years of teaching at Kennedy High School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: AP psychology (6 years)
  • Extra-Curricular Activities: head dance team coach (5 years), psychology club (5 years)

Professional Activities and Honors

  • AP psychology reader (2007-14)
  • AP psychology table leader (2015-present)
  • Participant in the Iowa Teachers of Psychology Conference (2003-present)
  • Committee member of the Iowa Teachers of Psychology Conference (2014-present)
  • Presented various activities in the teaching of psychology and hosted a small table forum on standards-based grading in psychology at the Iowa Teachers of Psychology Conference (2011-present)
  • Published an activity on fun and quick openers in the Psychology Teacher Network from the American Psychological Association: May 2014,Vol. 24, No. 1
  • Hosted #Psychat on two occasions covering topics on differentiation and standards-based grading in psychology: (2013-15)
  • Created and implemented the annual Advanced Placement Psychology Research Symposium in two Cedar Rapids schools. Students create, implement, research, write and present on human research topics in psychology (2005-present)
  • Nominated for the APA TOPSS Charles T. Blair-Broeker Excellence in Teaching Psychology Award (2015)
  • Iowa Council for the Social Studies Teacher of the Year (2016)
  • Nominee for National Council for the Social Studies Teacher of the Year (2017)
  • Contributing reviewer to the current Amsco publication, Psychology: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination by Chuck Schallhorn
  • Web publication for Teaching With Metacognition

Platform Statement

My journey into teaching high school psychology started when I was in high school myself. I had that teacher, you know the one. The teacher who handed out the worksheet on the brain, you colored it in and you got an A in the course. Everyone was bored, except me. I was fascinated, but I knew the course could be so much more. My goals in my psychology courses have changed throughout the last 12 years but my overall passion for teaching the subject has not wavered. In my opinion there is no other course out there that provides students an opportunity to not only learn the content of psychology, but learn how to become metacognitive. I always tell my students, "I really hope you learn some psychology this year, but I also really hope that you learn about yourself and others, and how to operate in a way that makes you the best you can be." I truly hope that my students walk away with a better understanding of their own body, brain and cognition and I hope that they use that understanding to their benefit in life.

I started teaching AP psychology and general psychology in 2003. Over the course of the last 12 years, I have had the distinct privilege of working with many outstanding teachers in the field and becoming a part of the TOPSS community. TOPSS has led me to an amazing group of teachers that I know collaborate with on many platforms. I strongly believe in the collaboration that this community provides and the support that it provides for its members. I hope to bring my own thoughts on psychology as a true metacognitive course to the community and continue to support the amazing job that TOPSS does.

Jaclyn Parslow, candidate for member-at-large

Education and Professional Experience

  • Teacher, Los Osos High School, Rancho Cucamonga, California, (2014-present); Courses taught: AP psychology, college prep psychology, world history, peer counseling, government
  • Teacher, Oak Hills High School, Oak Hills, California, (2009-14); Courses taught: AP psychology, college prep psychology, peer counseling, honors world history, AP european history
  • Teacher, Hesperia High School, Hesperia, California, (2003-09); Courses taught: peer counseling, honors world history, world history
  • MA interdisciplinary studies, Western New Mexico University, psychology and English emphasis (2016); 27 graduate level units in psychology
  • CA single subject teaching credential, social sciences (2003)
  • BA, history, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California (2001)

Professional Activities and Honors

  • I Am Psyched! APA Teachers' Advisory Committee (2017)
  • College Board AP reader (2014-present)
  • TOPSS member (2011-present)
  • NCSS Psychology community member (2015-present)
  • APA/ Clark University Psychology Teachers Workshop participant (2012)
  • Organizer of SCATOPSS, Southern California Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (in process)
  • Active participant in #psychat
  • Active contributor to the AP psychology Facebook group
  • Daily Press' 2012 Most Inspiring Woman
  • Teacher of the Year nominee, Oak Hills High School (2012)

Platform Statement

When I became a social studies teacher, I intended to teach history throughout my career. However, I was approached by my administration who wanted to offer AP psychology the following school year and thought I would be a good fit. With some hesitation, I accepted the challenge. I had little background knowledge so I spent most nights reading the textbook and searching online for any resources I could find. Luckily, I came across the TOPSS lesson plans and the College Board's AP psychology listserv. Both resources were my lifelines in a school where I was the only psychology teacher. This experience sparked a passion for psychology as well showed me the importance of organizations like TOPSS.

TOPSS plays an instrumental role in connecting psychology teachers. More often than not, we are on our own. At my previous school, while my colleagues met in their professional learning community groups, I was on Twitter reviewing #psychat or reading the AP psychology Facebook group posts. I was fortunate to attend the APA/Clark University High School Teacher's workshop in 2012 which gave me the opportunity to meet psychology teachers from all over the country. It was awesome to be able to share ideas and talk to people who know the subject matter. Although the spots to attend the APA/Clark workshop are limited, I want people from all over the country to have a similar experience locally. I was inspired to connect with other psychology teachers in Southern California and am in the process of organizing SCATOPSS. I would love to help psychology teachers in other areas to create new TOPSS groups. These local networks help all of us improve instruction for our students.

Another area that I am interested in advocating for is the certification of psychology teachers. In California, there is not a separate psychology credential. Instead, a person who would like to teach psychology in high school has to take an exam that includes history, geography, civics and economics. This exam qualifies them to teach all of the social sciences, including psychology. Although many of us started on this path, recommendations for subject matter competency on a national level will only strengthen our teachers and show state, district and school administrators that psychology is a different, yet valued part of the social sciences. Finally, I would like to promote the importance of psychological education to both high school students and secondary educators. Psychology is in a unique position because it is applicable to every student. Psychology not only helps us to understand ourselves and others but it also opens up essential conversations about topics such as mental health, leading a healthy lifestyle and combating prejudice in society. It also offers unique insight into effective pedagogy that many secondary teachers are not aware of, such as the best ways for students to study and learn. My hope that as a member-at-large for TOPSS, I can work to promote the benefits of psychology to both students and teachers.

Emily Polacek, candidate for member-at-large

Education and Professional Experience

  • Loyola University Chicago - Bachelors of Science: psychology - Cum Laude (2002), minor in history and secondary education; Member of Psi Chi - The National Honor Society in Psychology
  • University of Illinois at Chicago - Masters of Education: instructional leadership with focus on educational psychology (2008)
  • Drake University, St. Xavier University, and Augustana University, 30 graduate credits in instruction with focus on social emotional learning (2010–17)
  • Hinsdale South High School - Darien, Ill., social studies teacher (August 2002-present)
  • AP psychology, psychology 1, AP psychology rise, U.S. history and world cultures

Professional Activities and Honors

Personal Statement

I would be able to support and further the mission of TOPSS especially by continuing to validate psychology as a science by connecting psychology with other subject areas such as statistics. My job as a psychology teacher is to teach scientific research skills, analysis of data and critical thinking. For five years I have worked with the AP statistics teacher at our school to help create a final project where students write, distribute and analyze data from their own survey. This project helps students understand the complexity and necessity for scientific research. High school psychology is what inspires students to obtain degrees in psychology and its many subfields, and I believe this provides evidence of the legitimacy of high school psychology and its connection to the American Psychological Association.

I have shown the ability to recruit and retain diverse students in my psychology classroom. My strength as a teacher is in helping a diverse set of learners that includes multiple ages and skill levels, a broad socioeconomic range, and ethnic diversity succeed in increasing academic rigor and an in-depth understanding of psychology. My AP psychology program has continued to grow and our scores consistently are above the national average. Not only do I teach the required curriculum standards, but I also focus on study skills, reading skills, and social/emotional skills. I believe the success of my students can be traced back to the broad scope of my course.

I am a lifelong learner of psychology and I believe I can help promote professional development of high school psychology teachers especially teaching social-emotional skills. TOPSS is what helps guides excellence in classroom teaching and I would love to be able to make a contribution.

Daria Schaffeld, candidate for member-at-large

Education and Professional Experience

  • Prospect High School, Mt. Prospect, Illinois (August 1996) ­present ­ AP psychology and psychology 1 teacher
  • Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana Bachelor of Science in social studies secondary education ­ (May 1995)
  • Roosevelt University, Schaumburg, Illinois Master of Arts in teacher leadership ­ (May 2001)
  • Saint Xavier University , Chicago additional coursework in psychology ­various topics (2002­-11)

Professional Activities and Honors

  • National Council for the Social Studies ­ psychology community chair (2004­-present) and presenter (2001­-17)
  • American Psychological Association APA Summit on High School Psychology Education steering committee (2014­-present)
  • Westmont High School AP consortium presenter (May 2017)
  • Chicagoland Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools meeting ­ p articipant (1996­-present) and presenter (2000-­present)
  • Rockford Area of Psychology Teachers in Secondary School participant and presenter (May 2012)
  • The Midwest Institute for Students and Teachers of Psychology participant (MISTOP) (February 2011)
  • American Psychological Society Annual Conference participant (fall 1998)
  • Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools member
  • Prospect High School honors, Mt. Prospect, Illinois (August 1996-present)
  • District 214 Outstanding Contribution to Education Award ­ (2001, 2008)
  • District 214 Special Recognition Award ­ (2001, 2017)
  • District 214 Principal's Award (­2011)
  • APA TOPSS Charles T. Blair ­Broeker Excellence in Teaching Award recipient ­ (2017)
  • Illinois State Board of Education, Bloomington, Ill.­ (June 2017)
  • Honored by state superintendent for APA TOPSS Charles T. Blair ­Broeker Excellence in Teaching Award

Platform Statement

When I was hired to teach psychology 1 in the fall of 1996, I had strong content knowledge but knew that I needed support to create dynamic and engaging lessons for my students. Though I always enjoyed writing and delivering (still do) a good lecture, I wanted to be sure that my students “lived” psychological science as opposed to sitting there listening to me talk about it. Therefore, I approached my division head and asked if there was a conference that I could attend. He gladly sent me to my first National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Conference in the fall of 1996 and it has been a staple of my teaching career ever since. I went to the conference for several years and was a total sponge. I immersed myself into the world of the “Psych SIG” (Psychology Special Interest Group) by reading their newsletters and staying in touch with the teachers I met each year at the conference. I felt as if I found “my people”, especially two incredible mentors, Jim Matiya and Dale Kinney.

Then, in 2001, I began to present alongside my mentors. During these early years of my career, I had no idea that there was “another” professional organization for psych teachers! I had no knowledge of TOPSS, and my school did not have AP yet, so NCSS was my entire life. However, with Jim and Dale retiring from teaching and the SIG (old name for the NCSS Psychology Community) in 2004, I was elected to serve as chair . It was at that time that an entirely new world was opened to me. As I ushered in a new and fresh era of leadership within NCSS (one without old tensions and loyalties), new faces began to pop up at the conference: Amy Fineburg, Randy Ernst, Charlie Blair­Broeker, Alan Feldman and Rob McEntarffer to name a few . My mind was blown. How had I spent the past eight years not knowing these incredible educators? And what the heck is TOPSS? I knew then that no one should miss out on their expertise and was so thrilled that they began to present each year at NCSS. It was time also for me to connect to that “other” group. It was then that I learned about TOPSS and the amazing work that it did for psych teachers. I do not want any other teacher to miss out like I did and as member­-at­-large I hope to work to facilitate networking among teachers from all teaching levels of psychology.

Up until this point, I've always wondered how the NCSSPC and TOPSS could unite in an effort to promote the highest standards in teaching of psychology and promote professional development for high school teachers of psychology. I now have a vision as to how that can happen. Over the past two years, I've had the great pleasure of serving on the steering committee for the first ever APA Summit on High School Psychology Education. This time period has truly been the most professionally rewarding of my entire career. It would be my honor to serve as member­-at­-large in order to see through the goals of the summit. Some of the deliverables of the summit will need constant monitoring and updating as the months and years tick on and it is my hope that the NCSSPC and TOPSS can work together to ensure the vision of the summit continues into the future to support the success of current and future psychology educators. It is a wonderful time to open up new leadership opportunities for teachers. I also look forward to expanding the social media presence of TOPSS while also working to update and expand the lesson plans. I hope the lesson plans can focus directly on psychology as a STEM discipline. I look forward to continuing to provide quality professional development opportunities and creating supportive networks for all teachers of psychology.

Joseph Swope, candidate for member-at-large

Education and Professional Experience

  • PhD in psychology from Walden University, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2013)
  • Studied the effects cognitive processes on autonomic responses
  • MA in teaching from Trinity University, Washington, D.C. (1996)
  • BA in psychology, Catholic University, Washington, D.C. (1993)
  • National Board Certified teacher, Arlington, Virginia (2011)
  • AP psychology teacher, Northwest HS 13 years, Germantown, Maryland
  • On-level psychology teacher Northwest HS 5 years, Germantown, Maryland
  • Adjunct professor, Montgomery College 5 years, Germantown, Maryland
  • AP Psychology Reader 7 years Kansas City, Mo.; Tampa, Florida

Professional Activities and Honors

  • Recipient of the APA TOPSS Excellence in Teaching Award (2014)
  • A college psychology course is based on my psychology novel, "Need For Magic"
  • FYS 102 at the University of Maryland Baltimore campus
  • Collaborated with APA on lesson plans and performance indicators for TOPSS
  • Partnered with Ideaworks.com on software that improves the writing of psychology students
  • Partnered with Learnerator.com to helps students with the AP Psych Exam
  • Created and shared Swopepsych.com – large collection of videos and teaching resources
  • Presented at MAToP conference using technology in the psychology classroom (2011)
  • Presented at ACToP conference using technology in the psychology classroom (2011)
  • Presented at APA/Clark University Workshop for High School Teachers (2017)

Platform Statement

I was lucky enough to trip into a psychology teaching position 13 years ago when the current (at the time) psychology teacher changed jobs unexpectedly. Throughout the first few years of teaching on-level psychology and AP psychology, I had plenty of helpings of humble pie as I learned how much I didn't know. Still, as many psychology teachers can attest, the psychology teacher community is quick to help and share. It was because of many colleagues I was able to survive and even grow as a teacher.

Psychology is a broad field. From esoteric ideas such a ‘Where is the mind?' to the precise definition of experimental variables, psychology demands much from its teachers and students. Still, even as the ever-increasing bank neuroscience knowledge demands more attention, the ever increasing availability of teaching resources allows us to not only keep pace, but to weave the latest science into our classrooms and hopefully into our students' lives.

TOPSS has an excellent tradition of fostering collaboration between its members. TOPSS can go further by streamlining the collaboration process. Right now there are enough blogs, sites, tools and resources that it is daunting to keep track of it all, even for experienced teachers. TOPSS can and should be the first site teachers turn to when they are in search of ideas and tools. This will not only be good for TOPSS, but it will be good for each and every member. Teachers' time is valuable and limited. By harnessing and streamlining existing resources and by providing time-saving training, TOPSS can help its members deliver the best instruction possible without having to over-plan, over-grade or reinvent any wheels.

I seek the honor of serving my fellow psychology teachers as a member-at-Large. I think my experience in teaching, my facility with integrating technology and my passion for psychology will allow TOPSS to continue its record of supporting teachers.