NASEF Expands Support for Innovative Teachers Using Esports for Education with Growing Group of Scholastic Fellows and Mentors

Top classroom and out-of-school time educators chosen by North America Scholastic Esports Federation for elite development program

(Orange County, Calif. – October 1, 2020) – The North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) has selected a group of educators from around the world as scholastic fellows and mentors that will collaborate to create, test, and refine teaching methods that leverage esports for education on career readiness and life skills.

Scholastic fellows were chosen through a competitive process that brought in applicants from across North America and affiliates around the world. Scholastic mentors successfully completed the fellows’ program last year; they will apply their experience as they work individually with this year’s fellows to guide them to greater success. See the full list and bios of each at NASEF.org/learning/SF.

The 2020-21 scholastic fellows represent the United States, as well as Mexico, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. They work with students in middle and high school. Many are classroom teachers or technology specialists, and others represent out-of-school time (OST) programs like libraries or the local YMCA.

Research from UC Irvine demonstrates that NASEF successfully connects massive youth interest in competitive video gaming for STEM learning, social-emotional development, and career exploration. That is accomplished in many ways: by using NASEF’s classroom curriculum for a range of topics and grades; through afterschool clubs that are run like small businesses; and by involvement in huge tournaments in popular game titles. All programs and supports are offered completely free to make them available to as many students as possible.

“NASEF is striving to equip educators to connect kids’ passion for gaming with meaningful learning,” said Tom Turner, chief education officer at NASEF. “By sharing ideas and working together, the fellows will collectively improve the impact of this teaching platform. Then NASEF will freely share their work with others around the world, so that more students can learn in an environment that is exciting and meaningful to them.”

John Shoemaker is one of the new fellows and an Educational Technology Specialist in West Palm Beach, Florida. He said, “I am interested in connecting with my peers across the world to build a knowledge base on how to roll out esports teams and help spread the positive, relevant message that the esports ecosystem can bring to today's students.”

Mary Atherton, a new fellow who is a math teacher in the United Kingdom, said, “The program provides a superb community of like-minded teachers, determined to provide opportunities for our students.”

Last year’s Scholastic Fellows designed unique curriculum modules that reflect the lesson plans and activities they facilitated with their students during the academic year. Visit the NASEF Community Library to see them. Modules can be sorted by grade, subject area, standards, length of course, and state. At the end of this academic year, new modules from the 2020-21 fellows will be added to the collection.

Learn more about the program and each participant at NASEF.org/learning/SF. Here are the names of each:

Scholastic Mentors

Chris Aviles, Toms River, NJ

Shayla Baldwin, Las Vegas, NV

Ryan Friederich, Spirit Lake, IA

Angelique Gianas, La Mesa, CA

Ivet Gonzalez, Santa Ana, CA

Tyler Hahn, Cherokee, IA

Joseph Williams, Laveen, AZ

James Wood, Gridley, CA

Scholastic Fellows

David Amaro, Toluca, México

Mary Atherton, Darlington, United Kingdom

Randall Deich, Lauderhill, FL

James Fraser-Murison, Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Aldo Fuentes, Ciudad de Mexico, México

Alexander Gibson, York, PA

Mark Godinez, Homestead, FL

Jenny Gonzales, San Juan Capistrano, CA

Bradford Harris, Spring, TX

Miles Harvey, Albuquerque, NM

Steve Isaacs, Basking Ridge, NJ

Garikai Kajau, Vereeniging, South Africa

Alex Keeler, Fort Pierce, FL

Clint Kennedy, Mystic, CT

JuanPablo Larios, Villa Park, CA

Dalton McGhiey, Springfield, IL

Lindy Meiser, Pottsboro, TX

Laura Rubi Meneses Adams, CDMX, México

Maria Nadal, Lake Forest, CA

Corrine Perrella, Annapolis, MD

Nick Rider, Carey, OH

Regina Schaffer, Middletown, NJ

Ashley Sheehan, Windsor, United Kingdom

John Shoemaker, West Palm Beach, FL

Matthew Smith, Redondo Beach, CA

Travis Whitt, Racine, WI

Taylor Yazel, Anaheim, CA

About the North America Scholastic Esports Federation

The North America Scholastic Esports Federation is on a mission to provide opportunities for ALL students to use esports as a platform to acquire critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills needed to thrive in work and in life. Matches are streamed live on NASEF’s Twitch channel. Join online conversations on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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These two videos provide snapshots of the experience of last year's Fellows.