2022-2023 Scholastic

Fellows and Mentors

Scholastic Mentors

Aidar Abdullin
Melissa Burns
PK Graff
Andrew Gribbin
JuanPablo Larios
James McKowen
Pamela Moreno
Happyson Nyamudeza
Mary Phillips
Yoshiaki Tsuboyama
Ignacio Vargas

Scholastic Fellows

Mauricio Aragón
Taylor Belote
Jeffery Bostic
Jeanna Dawson
Melissa Dent
Julius Edwards
Monica Erwin
Cooper Fiscus-van Rossum
Hirotomo Fukushima
Joey Gawrysiak
Kamini Gill
Enzo Guarini
Shawn Patrick Higgins
Matthew Iske
Juniette Kang'a
Chiae Kitayama
Kevin Le
Jaehyuk (Jake) Lee
Kathrin McGregor
Aba Ngissah
Akil O'Connor
Austin Onwudachi
Monique Paes
Maggie Robison
Mahmud Shehu
Shawn Stern
Bence Tamas
LaQuinn Thompson
Peter Whitmore
Nuriddin Yuldashev

Meet the 2022-2023 Scholastic Mentors

Aidar Abdullin

Title: Grade 5 Homeroom Teacher/Esports Club Manager/ Grade 7 Elective Course Teacher
School/Organization: Al-Bayan Bilingual School
Location: Kuwait

Aidar holds B. Ed. and M. Ed. He worked as an Elementary School Teacher in international schools in Russia, Côte d'Ivoire, and now in Kuwait.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor because I want to bring a significant change into Education.

My favorite games are Rocket League, Minecraft, Online Chess.

Melissa Burns

Title: Chair/Executive Director/Founder
School/Organization: Esports Canada
Location: Niverville, Canada

Melissa Burns is an national award-winning educator and international speaker within the field of scholastic esports. Specialized in integrating arts and technology in education, she is Chair of the Manitoba School Esports Association (MSEA) which offers curricular and competitive gaming, as well as programming that take students beyond the game with a focus on developing global competencies, experience with STEAM, and career exposure in the tech sector. She is also the founder and Executive Director of Esport Canada, a not-for-profit that hosts programming for K12, Post-Secondary, and Amateur Competition, a national federation within the IESF. She is actively involved in esports advocacy and research, and recently published a chapter for the academic research book “Esports Research and its Integration in Education” (IGI Global, 2021).

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor because I wanted to continue this path of professional development, grow and connection to further support my community.

My favorite games are League of Legends and Pokemon Unite (big fan of MOBA).

PK Graff

Title: Instructional Designer
School/Organization: Academies of Creative Education
Location: Cumming, Georgia

PK Graff is a passionate educator and gamer. He has been working and teaching in the STEAM space for the past decade and has developed a passion for how esports engages with so many students in such a variety of meaningful ways. As an Instructional Designer at the Academies of Creative Education in Forsyth County he teaches Esports, Computer Science, and Programming with Python to virtual students across his district and across the State of Georgia. As the Commissioner of Gaming for GSEF (Georgia Scholastic Esports Foundation) PK has led several gamer focused initiatives as well as engaged with key stakeholders at the local, state, and national level to further develop esports into a mainstay Career Technology Education (CTE) content area. PK is focused on a free-to-the-gamer mentality when participating in Esports and learning about the industry and he will be publishing his curriculum towards that end very soon! lastly, PK plays a large role in his gamer community at-large in Forsyth county where he runs a local Esports Arena and coaches "Esports Academy" gamers who are looking to hone their skills outside of the scholastic gaming realm. As a competitive gamer, "Wannabe Pro," PK knows how important it is for *ALL* gamers to learn about things like Positive Gamer Attitude and Resiliency so as to stay safe in the gaming space, and there he is teaching and coaching to those ends.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor because I want to see Esports curriculum and content in classes with EVERY gamer!

My favorite games are League of Legends: Wild Rift, Echo Arena (VR), No Man's Sky.

Andrew Gribbin

Title: Director of STEM Education
School/Organization: Reach Cyber Charter School
Location: McKean, Pennsylvania

I have worked in education for 20+ years, I have been gaming for more than 35 years. I presently work for Reach Cyber Charter School as the Director of STEM Education. I have had the amazing opportunity to teach in different educational settings including Urban and Rural Brick and mortar settings, partial hospitalization, Alternative education and for more than 10 years now, Cyber Education. These experiences have brought a passion for giving students access to the types of education that will connect with them and allow them to learn in their space. STEM opens doors for many students to engage in learning and positions them to see education for a possible future that they have an active part in creating.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor because my experiences as a NASEF Fellow was so helpful in working to create a community around esports and offer students not only that community but a place to engage in competitive esports. I hope to further enhance this at my school and continue to grow the program.

My favorite games are Clash Royale, FIFA, Rocket League.

JuanPablo Larios

Title: CTE Graphic Design Instructor
School/Organization: Villa Park High | Orange USD
Location: Fountain Valley, California

JuanPablo Larios is an experienced educator, creative, and NASEF Scholastic Fellow. Larios spent the first half of his career as an artist for various creative studios working on post-production and design for television shows like The Simpsons and King of the Hill then moved on to become a CTE Graphic Design Instructor at Villa Park High School in Orange County, California. For the last 8 years, Larios has been driven by his passion in providing the best educational experience possible to his students which evolved into developing a unique scholastic esports program in his community. Larios manages multiple competitive teams in Overwatch, Fortnite, League of Legends, and Rocket League while also providing a unique CTE program that blends esports, entrepreneurship, and creative media arts.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor because I want to be the best you have to be better than the best. This right here, NASEF, the program is learning from the best.

My favorite game is do I have to pick just one?

James McKowen

Title: Teacher
School/Organization: Hopatcong School District
Location: Hackettstown, New Jersey

Mr. McKowen is a Computer Science Teacher and Esports Coach at Hopatcong High School, as well as the Director of Career and Technical Education for Garden State Esports. During his time teaching, Mr. McKowen has taught grades 6 - 12 and has developed Math, STEAM, and Computer Science classes. Mr. McKowen has also helped develop GSE's CODEC Curricula series to help introduce Career Pathways to esports programs.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor because I want to help build the future of scholastic esports and provide opportunities for all students to experience the many college and career pathways that intersect gaming and esports.

My favorite game is any good story driven game!

Pamela Moreno

Title: Teacher
School/Organization: Community Health Academy of the Heights
Location: Middletown, New York

I am an NYC innovative teacher who has spent the last few years working on changing the narrative on video games. As someone who has been teaching for over a decade, I have dedicated my time to forming relationships with my students and breaking down barriers that would hinder their social-emotional and academic growth. In my interactions with students, I work to demonstrate creativity along with proactive problem-solving skills, particularly in ensuring that students have spaces to explore and develop their interests and passions. Through the support of the scholastic fellowship program, I was able to provide students with paid internships focusing on executing the 4 pillars of the NASEF system.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor because I  believe I posses the skills to support others and mentor them in this.

My favorite games are Zelda franchise and most indie puzzle games.

Happyson Nyamudeza

Title: Mathematics and Science Educator
School/Organization: Pinagare Secondary School
Location: Taung, South Africa

Mathematics and Science teacher with more than 10 years of experience who goes beyond the classroom to educate the whole person. Believes in giving youths more open opportunities to explore wider scope of life and realize their otherwise hidden abilities.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor because I want to become the change I want to see. To be a pioneer in a revolution that will lead to evolution of how teaching and learning is done. Demonstrate that learners have more unique abilities than can be unlocked by classroom teaching. Lastly, I want to prepare a youth relevant and competent in the future where digital literacy will give a competitive advantage.

My favorite games are Rocket league and chess

Mary Phillips

Title: STEM Teacher
School/Organization: North Shore Elementary, South Haven Public Schools
Location: Watervliet, Michigan

I am an elementary STEM teacher for South Haven Public Schools in South Haven, MI. I earned both my undergraduate and master's degrees from Western Michigan University. As a STEM teacher, I use career pathways as a way to introduce students to design thinking and expose them to careers they could pursue. I use esports in my STEM class to teach healthy gamer habits, digital citizenship, and how to collaborate with others. I am a maker and adventurer. I enjoy working with my hands and exploring new places. A few of my hobbies include woodturning, gardening, sewing, and camping.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor because it's time to spark a global discussion about esports in elementary. Scholastic esports teams are rooted in healthy diet and exercise, digital citizenship, good sportsmanship, emotional regulation, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. By the time students start school, many of them are gamers. I believe that our conversations about healthy gamer habits should begin as soon as they begin gaming. While our youngest generation may have the greatest number of gamers, their parents and guardians are the next largest group of gamers in the world. Our shared love of gaming offers powerful opportunities to start healthy habits early and learn from one another. As a NASEF Scholastic Mentor, I look forward to starting a global discussion about elementary esports and how our youngest gamers can benefit from video game play in school.

My favorite games are Super Mario Bros 3, Yoshi's Crafted World, and anything Kirby.

Yoshiaki Tsuboyama

Title: Esports Scholastic Director
School/Organization: NASEF Japan
Location: Tokyo, Japan

After graduating from a university in Japan, I have studied athletic training in California. I then worked as an athletic trainer and physical education teacher at a Japanese high school in New York for 10 years. At that time, I was looking for some new tools for online classes, and I came across e-sports and thought that e-sports could be a tool for education. After returning to Japan, I have decided to get involved in the field of e-sports and education, and have been involved with NASEF JAPAN since its launch. Currently, I am working with high school teachers all over Japan, hoping to introduce e-sports into schools and help develop digital human resources.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor because I would like to connect with people around the world through e-sports. In particular, I would like to connect with people in the education field and bring back to Japan the situation in the education field in each country. 

My favorite games are FIFA21, MARIO KART 8 DELUXE.

Ignacio Vargas

Title: Coordinador of the Center of innovation and Teaching Excellence
School/Organization: Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología (ULACIT)
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica

I was born in a townish city outside the Greater Metropolitan Area of Costa Rica, where I would live for six years before moving with my parents and siblings to Salamanca, Spain. To this day, I treasure fond childhood memories of traveling and camping around Europe in the summertime. I came back to Costa Rica to finish school and continue my university studies. I majored in English Language Teaching and enrolled in a master’s program in English Literature and another one in English Teaching with Emphasis on Direction and Evaluation of English programs. As of September 2022, I work as Coordinator of the Center of Innovation and Teaching Excellence for the Faculty of Education at ULACIT.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor because I believe that scholastic esports are an innovative approach to conventional education and because I have also gained valuable experience as an scholastic fellow that can be of great help to other NASEF starters when setting and running their clubs. Finally, I chose to become a mentor because I would like to promote scholastic esports in Costa Rica and Central American countries.

My favorite games are RPGs with elements of strategy. The Final Fantasy franchise or the Pokemon videogame series would be excellent examples of what I enjoy playing. I’m also into action-adventure games. What matters the most to me is that the videogame tells a solid plot.

Meet the 2022-2023 Scholastic Fellows

Mauricio Aragón

Title: Resource Teacher
School/Organization: Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano
Location: Alajuela, Costa Rica

Hi! I'm Mauricio. I live in Costa Rica and I work at CCCN. I like my classes to be dynamic and entertaining. My class follows the principles shared by Francisco Ferrer in his texts, so I like my classes to be horizontal-structured and based on mutual aid, respect and the practice of critical thinking skills. As for me, I love to read. I am a huge Tolkien fan. I'm also an avid gamer, and practice Choy Lee Fut in my free time.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want my students to have the best opportunities I can give them.
My favorite game is Life is Strange. I felt very personal, and it was a game the represents decisions I may have taken irl.

Taylor Belote

Title: Esports Coach/Advisor
School/Organization: John R. Rogers High School
Location: Spokane, Washington

Taylor Belote is the Instrumental Music Director at his Alma Mater, John R. Rogers High School. He is a top working percussionist in the area, having been the principal percussionist with the Coeur d'Alene Symphony, a regular in theatre orchestra pits throughout the region, and performs in various gigs as a solo steel pan artist. Taylor holds a Bachelor's Degree in Instrumental Music Performance, and a Master's in Teaching from Whitworth University. In 2021, he started not only the 1st high school esports program in Spokane Public Schools, but in the entire greater Spokane area. He is looking forward to growing his program and continuing to learn and promote esports.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to continue to learn, grow, and promote esports in my region. I can learn skills that will help me to raise the bar of my own high school program, and also help other schools to adopt esports programs of their own.

My favorite games are competitive fighting games like Super Smash Bros, fun beat 'em up games, and any solo games with interesting story lines.

Jeffery Bostic

Title: Digital Media Associate
School/Organization: Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County
Location: Irondequoit, New York

Jeff Bostic grew up in Geneva, NY. After graduating from Geneva High School, he attended the Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. In 2009, Jeff graduated with a degree in Television-Radio, and later worked as a Production Assistant at ESPN. In 2015 Jeff was inducted into the Geneva Sports Hall of Fame for Basketball. In 2021 Jeff was inducted into the Ithaca College Hall of Fame for Basketball. Jeff has been the Digital Media Associate at the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County since 2018. He operates the only free Digital Media Lab in New York, offering a place to learn and practice photography, videography, music production, digital Art, graphic design, esports, and more. This fall, 2022, Jeff will launch Central Library's esports team.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to learn as much as I can to help my esports team and share what I have learned as a Digital Media Associate.

My favorite game is Skyrim.

Jeanna Dawson

Title: Owner
School/Organization: Eastside Esports League
Location: Fremont, Michigan

Jeanna Dawson created Eastside esports league in August of 2021 to create education and community around gaming for kids. She works with youth ages 8-17 virtually providing a holistic approach to gaming. Other than gaming Jeanna enjoys spending time with her husband and 4 kids, traveling and shopping.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to be part of the growth in esports in my community.

My favorite game is Pokemon!

Melissa Dent

Title: Teacher
School/Organization: Rosedale Public School
Location: Ontario, Canada

Melissa Dent is an talented, experienced educator who encourages curiosity, creativity and risk taking in the learning process. Melissa loves to use technology combined with adventure to immerse students in active learning to become better global citizens. She is passionate about finding new and dynamic ways to facilitate lifelong learners to discover their zeal. She has worked around the world as a botanical illustrator, a scientific research assistant, an educational technology consultant, an esports coach, as well as an Art, Music and Virtual middle school teacher K-12. She is a committed learner who currently teaches grade 7 in Ontario, Canada with Lambton Kent DSB.

I chose to become a NASEF Fellow because I am excited to work with other educators to learn how to better bring esports to our students and ensure that they have equitable access to as many learning opportunities/adventures as possible.

My favorite game is any that involve collaborative problem solving whether that be rocket league, or minecraft.

Julius Edwards

Title: Teacher/esports coordinator
School/Organization: Palm Beach Lakes High School
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida

My name is Julius Edwards. I currently teach at a urban high school located in West Palm Beach, FL. I have been teaching digital design for the past 6 years and love every minute of it. I am also a coach for several sports and started a esports club a my high school.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to learn from others and network with fellow teachers around the nation. I want to be able to share my knowledge with my colleagues and bring back innovative ideas to my students.

My favorite games are CoD and Ghost Recon.

Monica Erwin

Title: Teacher/Esports Club Sponsor
School/Organization: Upper St Clair School District
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Hello, my name is Monica Erwin, and I am a 9th grade biology teacher at Upper St. Clair High School located near Pittsburgh, PA. I am in my 24th year of teaching. For the past two years, I have been the Esports Club sponsor at my school. I have been married to my wonderful husband for 26 years and we have two sons. My oldest, 20, is an apprentice electrician and my youngest, 18, is a freshman at Miami University in Ohio studying chemical engineering. At home we also have 3 dogs, which take up a lot of my free time. I also love to bake and help out with my church youth group on the weekends.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I see an amazing future for esports at my school but I need help with how to get it to that future.
My favorite games are the ones my sons play which are League of Legends and Minecraft.

Cooper Fiscus-van Rossum

Title: Adjunct Professor
School/Organization: Georgia Film Academy
Location: Tucker, Georgia

Cooper Fiscus-van Rossum is a former High School esports coach who now works as an adjunct professor for the Georgia Film Academy teaching courses in esports industry, casting, and broadcast. He is also the commissioner of the Georgia Esports League, working to collect, connect, and grow the collegiate esports ecosystem in Georgia - and by association provide visible pathways for scholastic programs and their students.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to see more students confidentally producing high-quality broadcasts.

My favorite games are city simulators, RPGs, and Rocket League.

Hirotomo Fukushima

Title: Teacher / Chief of Esports section
School/Organization: Clark Memorial International High School
Location: Sapporo, Japan

English teacher of High School with two years working on eSports education. Speciality in public relations and advertisement production. Keen developer for eSports use for SEL and STEAM education. Music lover and music creator with vocalist.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow becauseI believe fully in the career and college potential the gaming industry has in store for people from all walks of life. It is our responsibility to open as many doors as possible for others to be able to succeed.

My favorite games are Halo, WoW, Super Smash Bros, MultiVersus.

Joey Gawrysiak

Title: Director and Professor of Esports
School/Organization: Shenandoah University
Location: Stephenson, Virginia

Dr. Joey Gawrysiak is the Director of Esports and a Professor of Esports at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. A former competitive gamer in college, Dr. G started the esports competitive teams in 2018, which now consists of 8 varsity game titles and over 60 students competing in the Esports Arena at Shenandoah University. He wrote one of the first esports curricula in the world with academic programs and certifications across the field of esports at the undergraduate and graduate levels of study. In 2019, Gawrysiak co-founded EDGE consulting with two partners to consult professional and academic entities on a variety of esports implementation strategies. He currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) as well as the Board of Advisors for the North American Scholastic Esports Federation, while also being named the NACE Program Director of the year in 2021 and NACE Hero in 2022. Gawrysiak has written several articles and book chapters on esports as well as providing professional development for students working in event management, broadcast production, and social media marketing.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to help build scholastic esports holistically and be part of a learning community looking to further what esports can be for students.
My favorite games are Halo CE, Skyrim, and RBI Baseball.

Kamini Gill

Title: CAO
School/Organization: New Horizons Alliance Private Limited
Location: Mumbai, India

I have long standing teaching experience which is essentially science and mathematics based which will come in handy given that STEM is a such a large part of the NASEF curriculum. I also have large exposure to India’s gaming community on account of being IESF’s local partner for the IESF Asia Open.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I would like to facilitate a spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation in the young population of India so that our young can create jobs rather than only seeking them. This Program can open up many new doors for our students in the creator economy and the digital world.

Enzo Guarini

Title: Esport Course Leader / Pathway Leader
School/Organization: Barnsley College: Higher Education
Location: South Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Course Leader for Esports at College College and Pathway Leader for Barnsley College: Higher Education. MSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Premier League Educator.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I wanted to share my current Esport knowledge and understanding with others, alongside of network with other professional all over the globe!

My favorite games are FIFA, Super Smash Bros, Pokemon and YuGiOh.

Shawn Patrick Higgins

Title: 6th-12th Game Making Teacher
School/Organization: ORCA
Location: Portland, Oregon

Shawn Patrick Higgins is a Portland, OR based CS and Media Arts teacher with 12 years experience working with youth in creative technology; specializing in a project-based curriculum that focuses on digital art, animation, audio, coding, and games as creative pathway to student success.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to not only MAKE great games with my students, but help them BE the BEST game players, teammates, and people they can be!

My favorite games are Rocket League, Souls+, Perfect Dark, The Witness, Banner Saga

Matthew Iske

Title: Founder
School/Organization: Unified Esports League
Location: San Diego, California

I am a business owner, non profit founder, and California State teacher. Having barely graduated high school and eventually dropping out community college, I have found that the "golden road" of mainstream and education is not designed for everyone. Lack of opportunity is the greatest contributor to individuals finding themselves in terrible life circumstances. It is my purpose to utilize my skills in business and communications to help bring more opportunity to more people in the world.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to share ideas and practices of eSports education widely.

My favorite game is League of Legends.

Juniette Kang'a

Title: Homeschool teacher and leader
School/Organization: Homeschool group
Location: Clovis, California

Juniette Kang’a is a creative, marketing, professional and mom with a passion and commitment for the next generation. She has 16 years experience in pharmaceutical commercialization creating programs, advocacy, education and access during which she was the recipient of the PM360 award. She recently launched a business consultancy to support customer experience marketing in corporations through market research. She applies market research and personal branding principles in guiding parents to understanding their neurodivergent or twice exceptional children. She holds a Masters in Design Management and is currently pursuing a doctorate in cognitive diversity at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive diversity. She also runs faith based education programs to support 3rd culture families in life-stage transitions. She is a SENG trainer, a homeschooling mom and co-founder of the first official homeschool esports team in California. Her desire is to engage in and building programs that support homeschoolers, twice exceptional enrichment and strength-based, interest focused parenting to realize the potential future of 2e children from all cultures and backgrounds.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I am currently interested in helping unique populations experience interests-based learning which is proven to increase engagement, exploration and more. In particular, I would like to form a neurodivergent community.

Surprisingly, my life is so full I don't play games, actually, I have no time even for watching things I enjoy - but I have promised myself to learn team games enough to provide coaching to our team to blaze on - building leadership skills and giving autonomy to lead.

Chiae Kitayama

Title: Community of Schools Administrator
School/Organization: Los Angeles Unified School District
Location: Pasadena, California

Dr. Chiae Byun-Kitayama is currently a Community of Schools Administrator (CoSA) for the Los Angeles Unified School District. As a CoSA, she supports 18 schools in grades PK-12 in the Koreatown and Pico Union communities. She supervises instruction, school operations/safety, professional development, budget, parent engagement, community partnership, and principal selection and evaluation in order to prepare over 12,000 students in the Koreatown Pico Union Community of Schools to be college, career, and life ready.

I chose to become a NASEF Fellow because I want to learn more about to the esports to support my schools.

My favorite games are Ms PacMan, Candy Crush.

Kevin Le

Title: Math Teacher/CTE Esports Instructor/OCCUE Outreach Equity Chair
School/Organization: Lathrop Intermediate/SAUSD/Orange County Computer Using Educators (OCCUE)
Location: Cypress, California

Kevin Le. Math Teacher and Esports Coach and Advisor by day, Krumper by night. Also the OCCUE's Equity and Outreach Chair. My mission is to equip students and schools with tools and skills to be college ready, career, and to obtain Esports Scholarships.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to better equip my esports club and classes to become aspiring college attending, career exploring, and competitive gaming individuals (or involved in the gaming industry). I also want to be able to integrate Esports into my math curriculum.

My favorite game is Super Smash Bros Ultimate, but Melee and 64 will always hold a special place in my heart beyond all smash games.

Jaehyuk (Jake) Lee

Title: Senior Director
School/Organization: Elite Open School
Location: Seoul, South Korea

Born in Seoul, ventured in Atlanta, married in Los Angeles, re-establishing career in Seoul again with Elite Open School. Partnering with Gen.G Esports, found a new pathway in the esports industry and trying to build better esports eco-system in Korean education system.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because it is the best pathway for me to connect and develop myself in the esports field I am currently involved with.
My favorite games are Tekken, FIFA, Asphalt 8, and Tetris!

Kathrin McGregor

Title: EBRPSS Dept of Technology Services R&D, Scholastic Esports Lead for EBRPSS
School/Organization: East Baton Rouge Parish Schools- DTS Central Office
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

18 year Teacher turned District Scholastic Esports Lead EBRPSS BR,LA.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I am fully invested in Scholastic Esports and want to network & practice implementing my gained knowledge with our competitive teams & clubs at our middle school DATA magnet.
My favorite games are Mario related- Especially Dr.Mario, Oregon Trail, & Duck Hunt!

Aba Ngissah

Title: CTE Advisor
School/Organization: Inglewood Unified School District
Location: Hawthorne, California

Dr. Chiae Byun-Kitayama is currently a Community of Schools Administrator (CoSA) for the Los Angeles Unified School District. As a CoSA, she supports 18 schools in grades PK-12 in the Koreatown and Pico Union communities. She supervises instruction, school operations/safety, professional development, budget, parent engagement, community partnership, and principal selection and evaluation in order to prepare over 12,000 students in the Koreatown Pico Union Community of Schools to be college, career, and life ready.

I chose to become a NASEF Fellow because I want to learn more about to the esports to support my schools.

My favorite games are Ms PacMan, Candy Crush.

Akil O'Connor

Title: Director
School/Organization: Scholastic Esports Research Center (SEsport)
Location: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Akil O’Connor is a Director at Scholastic Esports Research Center and a Primary School teacher. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Education. His Esports career in Trinidad and Tobago began in 2003 by being a core member of his Secondary School gaming clan named Federal Intellectual Assassins (F.I.A.) In 2007, he was a part of the Java Internet Café Gaming Team, which was one of the first sponsored Esports teams in Trinidad and Tobago and went on to become the Call of Duty: United Offensive National champions of the same year.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow / Mentor because I wanted the education and experience to englighten people and organizations in my country about the benefits and opportunities available from Esports and Scholastic Esports.
My favorite games are Life are Street Fighter (All), Guild Wars 2 and Super Smash Bros Ultimate.

Austin Onwudachi

Title: Computer Science Educator
School/Organization: Igotcoderz
Location: Northridge, California

Mr. Onwudachi also know as Mr. O, is a Computer Science educator. He teaches Advance Placement Computer Science Principles, Advance Placement Computer Science A, and Video Game Design and Development. He has an Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science, a Master's degree in Public Administration, and Career Technical Education Credentials in Information Technology from the state of California Commission on Teaching Credentialing.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I would like to create an environment which prepares students to be successful in any career.
My favorite games are Counter Strike, Half Life,Quake III and Unreal tournament Punchout.

Monique Paes

Title: Special Education/Literacy Teacher
School/Organization: Bronx River High School
Location: Middletown, New York

Monique Paes was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and emigrated to the USA at 7. She grew up in Queens, NY and received her first gaming console (Nintendo!) for her 9th birthday. The thrill of mastering Dark-Wing Duck, Mario Bros, and beating Ursula in The Little Mermaid was just prologue for what was to come. She attended Mount Holyoke College and majored in English and became a teacher in Bronx for the NYC Dept of Education. Her love of gaming was sparked through her wife who is also an avid gamer and pushed her to create an E-Sports team with her "Gamerz Club" students during the pandemic. The pandemic really allowed Monique to delve into the mechanics of gaming and the world of gaming with her students virtually. Monique is a life-long student, always yearning to learn new and creative ways to teach and engage with her students.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because the NASEF Fellowship will bring me closer to the community of teachers and other individuals who are passionate about teaching, gaming and fostering spaces where people can connect through a shared passion for E-Sports.

My favorite games are Animal Crossing, Ori, It Takes Two, Splatoon, Spirit Wayferer.


Maggie Robison

Title: Teacher (CTE)/ Esports Coach
School/Organization: Rock Hill High School Prosper ISD
Location: Prosper, Texas

My name is Maggie Robison. This is my 16th year in Education. Prior to the this year, I have been a Composite Science teacher in the state of Texas and have now gotten an additional certification to move to CTE. I have a huge passion for gaming as I have been a gamer my entire life and look forward to supporting my students love for them as well. I have been an Esports Coach for two years and absolutely love every facet of my job.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I am fully invested in Esports and believe it has a fundamental place in schools. I want to grow to personally in hopes to expand the Esports program in my school as well as my State.
My favorite game and the one I have played the longest is World of Warcraft. I have currently been playing Halo Infinite as well.

Mahmud Shehu

Title: Teacher/Vice Principal Academic
School/Organization: Government Girls Day Secondary school, Runjin Sambo, Sokoto
Location: Sokoto, Nigeria

Mahmud Shehu is a graduate of Physical and Health Education, an advocate of Education for sustainable development, the CEO of Resource Connects for Education Initiative, and the Vice-Principal Academic at Government Girls Day Secondary School, Runjin Sambo in Sokoto. As a Teacher and Social Entrepreneur, he has piloted several programs like the MTN Foundation Peer-Educator Teachers Trainee Program, the Multi-Choice Educational Bouquet Teachers Program, one time Secretary School-Based Management Committee, he also served as a Link-Teacher with Ellesmere College Leicester-City in UK for London 2012 International Inspiration Program, awarded 2017 Maltina Teacher of the Year. In 2018 he founded Resource Connects for Education Initiative, a community-based non-profit organization inspiring and connecting people with resources, skills and knowledge to address community challenges in poverty, hunger, access to quality education, gender equality, etc.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to make esport a household academic activity in my school, create fun in my community, empower and provide an avenue for the youths to make good use of their leisure hours, as i give back to my school and community the experience and knowledge from the fellowship. To me, esports is an academic fun-activity for the next generation, you rather be in than out, because it holds a lot both socially, economically and academically -" this is 21st century academic-fun".
My favorite games are Football, Basketball, volleyball, Handball, Table Tennis and Athletics.

Shawn Stern

Title: CTE Director/Teacher
School/Organization: Ilwaco High School
Location: Ilwaco, Washington

I 52 year old music aficionado that hasn't out grown his punk stage.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want learn how to move esports program to the next level. 

My favorite game is Dungeons and Dragons.

Bence Tamas

Title: Adjunct Professor
School/Organization: Thirdwave co., Japan
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Living in Japan since 2009, and still loving it! I worked with children and adults, teaching English language, communication skills, presentation, and international business skills. I am a certified English and Japanese teacher and have a PhD in applied linguistics. My hobby is language learning, and -no surprise- games!

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I would to help building and expanding the NASEF mentality in Japan, for students, teachers and parents, to realize the real-life values they can learn through Esports. Just as parents expect their child to learn teamwork and fair-play by joining a baseball team, I want to help building a similar culture around Esports in Japan.

My favorite games are Morrowind, D&D, Diablo, Monster Hunter, Minecraft, and many more.

LaQuinn Thompson

Title: Founder
School/Organization: The BEAST Initiative
Location: York, Pennsylvania

Born and raised in York, PA, LaQuinn Thompson graduated in 2016 from Pennsylvania College of Technology with a BA in Human Services. He has 14 years of experience with York City Youth. Thompson is a board member for the School District of the City of York. He is a recipient of several awards including the York County Economic Alliance 2021 Change Maker Award, 2021 Penn Tech Alumni Achievement Award, and the 2021 York Rotary Service Above Self Award. He is the founder of The BEAST Initiative youth esports and gaming program.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to expand my knowledge about the ever-expanding college and career opportunities surrounding the esports and gaming industry. With this knowledge, I am committed to inform and educate the youth in my community so that they have the opportunity to thrive in the industry they love and embrace so much.

My favorite games are Call of Duty, The Sims, Super People, Apex Legends, Knockout City, and City of Heroes.

Peter Whitmore

Title: Coordinator - Technology, Innovation, & Assessment
School/Organization: Moreno Valley Unified School District
Location: Murrieta, California

Mr. Whitmore has served in education since 1999 as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, site administrator, and district administrator. For three years in between, he worked for a private educational technology company, traveling across the United States to help educators use assessments and data to transform their instruction for students. He is married to Sonia, his college sweetheart. Together they have a brood of three boys, two cats, three chickens, and a crested gecko. The family has traveled to Maine, New York, Arizona, Las Vegas, and up and down the California coast twice. Mr. Whitmore has been an avid sports card collector since 5th grade. Nerd alert!

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I have a TON to learn and much to give when it comes to esports. Our district's program is only a year old as of this writing, but we've been able to stand up Esports competitive Esports programs at all 6 of 6 middle schools, 4 of 4 traditional high schools, 3 of 3 alternative ed schools, and 8 of 23 elementary schools (our focus for this year). I would love to share what has worked for MVUSD with the world, and also learn in return!

My favorite games are Red Dead Redemption II, Pokemon Go, and Mike Tyson's Punchout.

Nuriddin Yuldashev

Title: Director
School/Organization: American Corner Namangan
Location: Davlatobod tumani, Uzbekistan

I am a dreamer who is on his way to make better future for himself and for his nation. In order to achieve my dreams I run a small business and work as a director in American Corner Namangan, Uzbekistan.

I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want my community to take part in worldwide events.
My favorite games are I have never played online games.