2020 NSELA Board Candidates

Below are the biographies for the 2020 NSELA Candidates. 

President-Elect (2 Candidates)

Linda Cook

  • Biography: I recently retired as the K-12 Director of Science for the Coppell Independent School District. I served as director for 15 years following 22 years as a secondary science teacher. As the district’s Director of Science, I provided professional learning, developed teacher leaders, facilitated the writing of district science curriculum and assessments, and supported inquiry-based science teaching in K-12 science classrooms. I also taught college classes in Project Based Instruction, Differentiation Through Inquiry Science, and Secondary Science Methods. I have earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas Tech University, a Masters of Arts in Science Teaching from the University of Texas at Dallas, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Stephen F. Austin State University. I have been a member of NSELA since 2009. I have participated in Summer Leadership Institutes and Leadership Summits from which I brought back trainings and information for the science teachers within my district and science directors across my region and state. I am currently a member of the NSELA board as the Region D Director. I completed a 3-year appointment to the NSTA Committee for Coordination and Supervision and currently serve on the advisory board for The Science Teacher Journal.

Tom Keller

  • Biography: Current Employment Information/Degrees Received: Thomas E. Keller; Founder and Director; STEM Education Strategies LLC; Newcastle, Maine; 2018-Present; BS in Zoology, Texas A&M University, Ed.D. in Science Education, University of MassachusettsNSELA Activities: member since it was NSSA though not continuous; Region A director; Chair, Task Force to Develop ED and Board Evaluation ProcessAdditional Activities/Honors: 2012-2013 – Senior Research Scientist, Maine Math and Science Alliance; 2009-2012 – Senior Program Officer, National Academy of Sciences, Board on Science Education (BOSE); Maine State Science Supervisor for 18 years; former high school science teacher and district administrator. Co-directed development of The Framework for K-12 Science Education, provided professional development using the Framework, Taking Science to School, Ready, Set, Science, and Learning Science in Informal Environments. Member, former president and treasurer of Council of State Science Supervisors (CS3);Honors- CS3 honorary life membership in 2012; Maine Science Teachers Association, Phillip Marcoux Award for Non-formal Science Education, 2011; National Academy of Sciences, Annual Group Staff Award for work on the Committee on Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards and (second award) Annual Group Staff Award for work on the Workshop on Highly Successful Schools or Programs for K-12 STEM Education, 2011.


Treasurer (1 Candidate)

Shane Woods

  • Biography: I am the Director of the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas STEM Center of Excellence which is a 92-acre living laboratory where girls of all ages can explore and develop their competence and confidence in science, technology, engineering and math – all while cultivating essential skills such as confidence, resilience, leadership, risk taking, and problem solving. I also had the pleasure of working in Fort Worth ISD for over 16 years. During my tenure as the K-12 Science Director, I managed a multi-million-dollar budget that ensured every student had access to a properly outfitted science lab and learned a standards-aligned curriculum taught by teachers who were supported with on-going professional learning. I hold a Master’s degree in Middle Grades Science Education. I extended my learning to include educational administration and project management. I continue to serve the science community by serving as a member of several local and state committees. I also take a more active role in the Fort Worth Regional Science Fair and Women Leading Technology Sorority as a board member. For the Texas Science Education Leadership Association, I served two terms as the President from 2017-2019.


Region E Director (1 Candidate)

Betsy Barent

  • Biography: Betsy Barent is the Digital Learning/STEM Coordinator for Lincoln Public Schools. She spent 18 years in the classroom as a middle and high school science teacher. After earning her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Biological Sciences, Betsy realized she wanted to create authentic and equitable learning opportunities for youth; this lead her to pursue a career in education. Betsy is the current Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science (NATS) President, and is a two-time state-finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Furthermore, through the Keep Improving Content Knowledge and Skills grant, and the NATS Professional Learning Network, Betsy leads professional development about Nebraska’s Career and College Ready Standards for Science and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In addition to leading Nebraska educators, Betsy contributed to the Understanding Science website developed by the University of California Museum of Paleontology and co-authored the iTunes University course, How Science Works.