BioChuck English has designed, developed, and supported new and innovative programs in schools, school districts and informal education centers in several states. He has worked in museums as an education director and taught science and science education from elementary school through college. As education centers, especially informal education centers, are looking at new ways to engage and inspire their audience, Chuck’s work has evolved into program development, evaluation and strategic planning. In his previous role as Director of Playful Learning at the Science Museum of Virginia, Chuck worked to create programming both inside and outside the Museum to engage families in STEM learning, with particular focus on underserved audiences. In his new role as Virginia STEM Coordinator, Chuck is working to pull together the great wealth of opportunities and experiences across the Commonwealth associated with STEM. Many stakeholders are working hard to create enriching STEM experiences; however, they are often working in isolation. In his role, Chuck is working to ensure sure STEM efforts work collaboratively, sharing experiences, resources and effort.
Dr. Tiffany Jana TMI Consulting
BioDr. Tiffany Jana is the CEO of the TMI Portfolio of companies, a network of socially responsible, interconnected companies that cultivate organizational inclusion worldwide. TMI was the world’s first diversity and equity focused Certified Benefit (B) Corporation. Dr. Jana’s military upbringing, and subsequent predilection towards travel, exposed them to dozens of countries and cultures that made them question whether all of the focus of difference and discrimination was the best use of human energy. As a multiple minority (including race, gender identity, and invisible disability), Dr. Jana has always believed that if they could only help people see the vast depth, complexity, and beauty of the human experience, perhaps people would be kinder to each other. Dr. Jana’s speaking style is inspiring, engaging, high-energy, and relatable. Dr. Jana’s preferred pronouns are ‘they/them’ but ‘she/her’ is not offensive to them.
Mike Doerr Paymerang
BioMike Doerr currently serves as the Vice-President of Public Sector Business Development for Paymerang, a financial services business to business payments automation and outsourcing company in Chesterfield County, Virginia. He also serves on the advisory board for an insurance technology comparison startup called MagicQuote. Mike helped CodeVA enhance its support from the corporate and philanthropic community, helped launch its successful Virginia is for Computer Science Lovers efforts, and was a strong advocate for Virginia becoming the first state in the country to adopt standards on computer science education in its public schools under Governor McAuliffe. He has served in senior staff and advisory roles for a number of prominent Virginia political leaders including Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and Governor Terry McAuliffe.
Fahryka Elliot Henrico County
BioFahryka Elliott currently serves as the educational specialist for business & information technology and marketing programs in Henrico County and provides instructional support to more than 80 middle and high school business and marketing teachers. She has earned degrees from Virginia Union University, Virginia State University, and George Washington University and has also achieved National Board Certification for teachers in 2012. Fahryka has 13 years of classroom experience as a business teacher at Henrico High School and Highland Springs High School and has taught a myriad of business & information technology courses, including Programming, Web Design, and Database Design and Programming with SQL and PL/SQL. As an educational specialist, Fahryka has brought computer science into several secondary business classrooms and works closely with Code VA administration to ensure that her teachers are well-prepared for CS success in their classrooms. Fahryka understands that Computer Science can open doors of opportunity for all students, no matter their economic status or intellectual abilities, and is looking forward to serving on the Advisory Board for Code VA.
Thomas Taylor Chesterfield County Deputy Superintendent
Bio Thomas Taylor is the Deputy Superintendent for Chesterfield County Public Schools, supervising the daily operations of 65 schools with over 61,000 students and more than 8,000 employees in Virginia’s 5 th largest school system. He began his career in public education in 2000 as a substitute teacher in the tidewater area of Virginia. Since then, he has served as a coach, social studies teacher, and administrator in numerous Virginia school divisions. In 2008, Dr. Taylor became principal of Charlottesville High School and in 2012 was named the University of Virginia’s Outstanding Alumni Principal. He was appointed Superintendent of Middlesex County Public Schools in the same year, where he served for nearly four years and was subsequently named the Region 3’s Superintendent of the Year in 2016. Since 2016, he has served Chesterfield County Public Schools various senior leadership roles – Executive Director of School Administration/Chief of Schools, Chief Academic Officer, Chief of Staff, Acting Chief Financial Officer, and now as Deputy Superintendent. Dr. Taylor holds a master’s degree in educational leadership and a doctoral degree in education policy studies from the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and also holds master’s degree in business administration from the College of William and Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business. Dr. Taylor is an adjunct professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Virginia and regularly speaks at national and state meetings for various professional organizations.
James Kearney II Game Developer and Designer
BioJames Kearney is a self-driven developer specializing in gameplay development, design and distributed network systems. James Kearney currently works with ProUnlimited@EA as a mobile software engineer, ASRC Federal Data Solutions, at Kennedy Space Center, as an immersive technology developer, and Deals-2-Find in Melbourne, FL as the CTO. In addition to his engineering and technology experience, James has professional experience with administrative support, client relations, technical writing, project management, and personal experience in robotics programming and controls systems for drones, boats, and electric vehicles.
BioEileen Morrissett is a retired information technology executive at a Fortune 200 company with over 30 years of domestic and international experience, leading large geographically dispersed organizations. An advocate for technology and computer science education, Eileen is one of the founding members for RVATech’s Women in Technology and Data Science conferences. She also served as Chair for the inaugural Virginia Tech Business Information Technology Department’s Advisory Board. Eileen received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Communities in Schools of Chesterfield in addition to her service for CodeVA.