About Us

The Illinois Science Teachers Association is a state chapter of the National Science Teachers Association and is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization run primarily by volunteers. We are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors which consists of five Executive Officers and 14 Regional Directors (two per region) who are elected by current ISTA members. The regions are a set of counties and your region is determined by where you WORK, not where you live.

Region 1: DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Suburban Cook, Will

Region 2: Boone, Bureau, Carroll, DeKalb, Henry, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lee, Marshall, Mercer, Ogle, Putnam, Rock Island, Stephenson, Whiteside, Winnebago

Region 3: Adams, Brown, Cass, Christian, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, Mason, McDonough, Menard, Morgan, Peoria, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Stark, Tazewell, Warren

Region 4: Champaign, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Iroquois, Livingston, Logan, Macon, McLean, Moultrie, Piatt, Shelby, Vermillion, Woodford

Region 5: Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Greene, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Randolph, St. Clair, Washington

Region 6: Alexander, Clay, Crawford, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Marion, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Richland, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White, Williamson

Region 7: City of Chicago

ISTA also has a group of volunteer Directors that are appointed by the Executive Officers and four part-time paid staff members to include our Executive Director, Assistant Executive Director, Treasurer, and Exhibits Coordinator.

ISTA's current membership includes science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.

ISTA conducts state and regional conferences annually. We provide programs and services for science educators, including awards and professional development workshops. We serve as advocates for science educators by keeping its members and the general public informed about Illinois issues and trends in science education.

Executive Officers

All ISTA voting members elect three ISTA officers (President-Elect, Vice-President, and Secretary). When the newly elected officers are seated, the current President moves to Past-President and the President-Elect moves to President.

Past President
Tara Bell

Jason Crean

Josh Rappuhn

Kristin Rademaker

Todd Katz

Regional Directors

Regional Directors are voted in by ISTA members and represent the region in which they teach. Regional Directors can serve 2 consecutive terms.

Region 1
Dr. James O'Malley

Region 1
Kathy Van Hoeck

Region 2
Carol Schnaiter

Region 3
Dr. Don Powers

Region 3
Nicole Vick

Region 4
Jennifer Smith

Region 4
Christine Sewell

Region 5
Justin Harrison

Region 5
Shonna Schrock

Region 6
Cindy Birkner

Region 6
Amy Telford

Region 7
Thomas Vlajkov

Region 7
Rebecca Garelli


Appointed Directors

Appointed Directors are appointed by the executive officers, have no set term length and are non-voting members.

Informal Science
Tara McGill

Informal Science
Michelle Rabkin

Elementary School
Brian Aycock

Middle School
Emily Mathews

High School
Sherri Rukes

Social Media
Mike de Leon

Member Engagement
Mike Jones

PD Coordinator/ Conference Co-Chair
Dr. Meg Van Dyke

PD Coordinator/ Conference Co-Chair
Nancy Nega

Spectrum Editor
Dr. Chris Cunnings

Strategic Advisor
Dr. Michael Lach

Dr. Dina Lemmer

Academically Talented
Clintonia McNeal

College Board Programs Liaison
Jennifer Pfannerstill

Jessica Dietzel


Staff members are part-time, paid members who do not have voting privileges.

Executive Director
Dr. Mary Biniewicz

Assistant Executive Director
Ken Wester

Dr. Bob Wolffe

Exhibits Coordinator
Harry Hendrickson