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2023 - 2024 Scholastic

Fellows and Mentors

The NASEF Scholastic Fellow Program provides a professional learning community, mentorship, tools, resources and instructional coaching for educators interested in connecting esports and learning in schools and out-of-school time / community-based organizations across the globe.

Scholastic Mentors

Mauricio Aragón
Jeffery Bostic
Jeanna Dawson
Melissa Dent
Julius Edwards
Monica Erwin
Aba Ngissah
Monique Paes
Maggie Robison
Peter Whitmore

Scholastic Fellows

Mario Agudelo
Alvaro Brito
Kaitlynn Bunch
Anthony Casasnovas
Mark Cormier
LaShawn Digbohou
Stephen Jacobson
Marc Joubert
Craig Kerwin
Brian Klebanski
Ariel Koepp
Ranhee Lee
Laurie Lehman
Jennifer Lim
Joshua Martinez
Barry McGuire
Pablo Melgar
Tarrin Morgan II
Nalain Naidoo
Lindsey Neal
Austin Nichols
Noura Nohamed
Thea Patrick
Jose Perez
John Phillips
Nestor Reyes
Ibrahim Salifou Kalla
Batavia Sumlin
Joshua Tabor
Jordan Wissinger
Eugene Woody
Robin Young

Meet the 2023 - 2024 Scholastic Mentors

Mauricio Aragón

Title: Coordinator of digital platforms
School/Organization: Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano
Location: Alajuela, Costa Rica

Mauricio Aragon is a Costa Rican English language educator who has nearly a decade of professional teaching experience. He is currently developing multiple curricula to bring Socio-emotional Learning and Esports together. He also teaches at Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano, a binational language school. Mauricio is an IVLP alumnus taking part in the 2021 program. Additionally, Mauricio has led the Esports Gaming Club CCCN for over 2 years.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor because I want to guide fellows to make the best out of their clubs and initiatives. There are endless possibilities and we can work together to discover them and reach them too."
 
"My favorite game is Halo, for a long time I've said that my favorite game is Life is Strange, but considering the amount of hours I've dedicated to playing halo, I can't choose anything else."


Jeffery Bostic

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

I am the Digital Media Associate of the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County in New York. My Digital Media Learning Lab, imagineYOU, provides patrons with a number of different digital media options. We provide cameras, art tablets, gaming computers, music studios, laser engraving, and more. Last year I started our library esports team in which we were able to compete in tournaments, challenges, and fundraising events.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor because I have a dream to start a New York Public Library Esports League and in order to do that I need to prepare myself to lead other libraries."

"My favorite games are RPG adventure games such as Skyrim."


Jeanna Dawson

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

Jeanna is an Atlanta native that now resides in Michigan. As a life long gamer, she created a youth development program around scholastic esports. Her recreational program has grown over the past 3 years to a national virtual league with over 30 players matriculating through. She works remote for a higher ed advancement tech company and enjoys spending her free time with her family and pets.

"I chose to become a NASEF Mentor because I believe the program will help me grow as a thoughtful contributor to the esports industry."

"My favorite game is Pokemon GO."


Melissa Dent

Title: Grade 7/8 Teacher and Esports Cordinator
School/Organization: Lambton Kent District School Board
Location: Ontario, Canada

I am an experienced educator with a passion for cultivating curiosity, ingenuity, and risk-taking in my students. I love to use technology combined with adventure to immerse students in active learning to become better global citizens. I am passionate about finding new and dynamic ways to facilitate lifelong learners to discover their zeal. I have worked as an educational technology consultant, an esports coach, and an Art, Music and Virtual teacher K-12. I am a committed learner who teaches grade 7 in Southern Ontario with Lambton Kent DSB.

"I chose to become a NASEF Mentor because of the community connections, wealth of shared knowledge and experiences and because I still have a long way to go in my esports journey."

"My favorite game is Minecraft, Rocket League, what ever the kids are into."


Julius Edwards

Title: Esports Director / SSEL VP/ Educator
School/Organization: Palm Beach Lakes / SSEL
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida

Julius is a seasoned high school teacher with seven years of dedicated service in the field of education. Known for his resourcefulness and unwavering commitment to the social and academic development of every student, he stands as a goal-driven professional. In addition to his teaching role, Julius serves as the high school director for the Sunshine Scholastic Esports League. His multifaceted responsibilities include the meticulous maintenance and enforcement of eSports program and arena policies, fostering professional connections with national and regional educational organizations, and ensuring strict adherence to league, conference, and institutional regulations. With a Bachelor of Science degree in business from the University of Phoenix and certifications in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Julius brings a unique skill set to his educational endeavors. He oversees an Esports program catering to 350 students during the school day, with an additional 100 students participating in after-school activities. Julius's passion for education is palpable in his role as an educator. He is characterized by his unwavering motivation, boundless enthusiasm, and an unshakeable dedication to ensuring the success of every child under his tutelage.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor because I firmly believe in the incredible potential of esports as a catalyst for education and personal growth. Esports provides a unique avenue for students to develop essential life skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking while also nurturing their passion for gaming. As a Scholastic Mentor, I am dedicated to fostering this positive synergy between education and esports, guiding my students and my colleagues towards academic success and personal enrichment through the world of competitive gaming. Together, we can harness the power of esports to unlock new horizons in education."

"My favorite games are Ghost Recon, C.O.D. street fighter, MK 11 and 10."


Monica Erwin

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

Let me introduce myself to you. My name is Monica Erwin, and I live in Pittsburgh, PA. Last year, I was a NASEF Fellow. I am not someone you would look at and say, Wow, what a gamer! In fact, the only games I am really good at are the ones on my phone. I will say that I am at a very high level in Toy Blast, and I do have experience with Atari from when I was younger. I could play a mean Kaboom! What I do have is a passion for teens. I have been teaching high school biology for 25 years. Over the years, I have seen the rise of video games, from my students to my own two sons. I can see the passion they had for games such as Minecraft, where one of my sons learned some basic math, and League of Legends, where my other son learned strategy and working with a team. They are my inspiration and have created my passion for bringing Esports to my high school. I see the excitement among the students as they compete, the different types of students who come together to play, and the confidence gained by the students. I can now say I have a passion for gaming!

"I chose to become a NASEF Mentor because I learned so much last year as a fellow and gained so much valuable insight and direction on how to grow my esports program at school that I wanted to be able to help others do the same thing. NASEF is an amazing organization to work with and gives international connections, support and guidance and helps you build your esports program whether you have a club, competitive teams, and/or curriculum. I am excited about helping others with their esports programs just as my mentors helped me."
 
"My favorite games are Minecraft and League of Legends. I am learning Minecraft and my son is really good at League of Legends. That is why I am so supportive of esports. Not because I game myself but because I see the value in the Esports Ecosystem and how it has impacted not only my students but also my two sons."


Aba Ngissah

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

I am a teacher, a CTE advisor, and very passionate about bringing high quality college and career programs to our students in Inglewood Unified School District.

"I chose to become a NASEF Mentor because I want to learn more about the careers in esports and bring opportunities to our students."

"My favorite games are Ms PacMan, Candy Crush."


Monique Paes

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

Monique Moreno-Paes is a Special Education Teacher in the beautiful Bronx Borough of New York City! A Brazilian native raised in Queens, Monique’s immigrant experience cultivated in her a passion to think outside the box from a young age. As a Special Education teacher she incorporates gaming in her pedagogical approach in order to engage students and teach them that fun should also be had in the classroom! Monique founded her schools first Esports Team during the pandemic and is still growing in number and recruitment. She is excited to continue to be part of NASEF as a Mentor this year and hopes to continue to help

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor because the benefits of hearing from others diverse experiences can be so inspirational, moreover, continuing to build a strong chain of mutual interest in the area of gaming and education is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

"My favorite games are Animal Crossing, Spiritfarer, It Takes Two, Splatoon, Valorant."

 


Maggie Robison

Title: Esports Coach  / CTE Teacher

School/Organization: Walnut Grove High School - Prosper ISD
Location: Savannah, Texas

My name is Maggie Robison this is my 17th year in education. I started out as a composite science teacher, but my love for esports has changed the path of my career. I am now a CTE teacher (Video Game Design) and the Esports coach for my district. I am passionate about the connections that kids can form through Esports and their engagement in the ecosystem as a whole. I'm dedicated to pushing forward scholastic Esports in my district as well as my state and helping districts create programs to serve their students.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor because I believe passionately in the benefits that Esports brings to the scholastic community and want to help other schools and organizations establish programs to support and enrich students. Gaming is a universal language for the majority of our kids and giving them a forum to make connections is huge!"
 
"My favorite games are World of Warcraft and Halo."


Peter Whitmore

Title: Coordinator
School/Organization: Moreno Valley Unified School District
Location: Murrieta, California

Peter is married to Sonia and they have three awesome teenage boys: Diego, Henry, and Samuel. An avid gamer in his youth (Pitfall and Mike Tyson's Punch Out), Peter is delighted to move from the amazing Scholastic Fellow program into the role of Mentor. He is excited to interface with Esports leaders from different countries! Moreno Valley USD's Esports program specializes in student-run events. We have also divided our feeder schools into four vertical Esports cohorts, each with their own theme and career foci. Game on!

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Mentor I want to reach more educators and students. I truly love collaborating and can't wait to get started!"

"My favorite games are Pitfall and Mike Tyson's Punch Out."


Meet the 2023 - 2024 Scholastic Fellows

Mario Agudelo

Title: Teacher / Professor
School/Organization:  FEDECOLDE / Universidad del Rosario / Fundacion universitaria del Area Andina
Location: Bogota, Colombia

1. Bachelor degree in Physical education, sports and recreation

2. Master degree in Education

3. Sports Director at Colombian Federation of Esports

4. Professor of Esports at Universidad del Rosario

5. Leader in research group in Esports at Fundacion universitaria del Area Andina

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow to improve my knowledge in Esports and help my community in this growing area."

"My favorite games are League of legends and clash royale."


Alvaro Brito

Title: STEAM Administrator
School/Organization: Compton Unified School District
Location: Whittier, California

Alvaro Brito has over 10 years of experience as a teacher, site coordinator, specialist, and administrator. He graduated from UCI with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Education. He has earned a dual master’s degree in Teaching (USC) and Educational Technology (Cal State Fullerton )and is currently enrolled in an Educational Doctorate degree in Educational Technology (Boise State). Alvaro currently serves as a STEAM Administrator at Compton Unified School District. He oversees the district Innovation Labs, FIRST LEGO Robotics Programs, Drones Pilot Program, oversees as the General Manager for the growing Middle School & High School Esports program, STEAM events, and is a leader in supporting teachers in 21st-century teaching and learning. He was awarded the Compton Unified Teacher of the Year Award for the 2020-2021 school year for his distance/remote teaching and innovation leadership. Alvaro is an agent of change and is committed to supporting the local communities he grew up in through equity and social justice.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to empower my students through esports, support my esports coaches and build up our Compton Unified Esports League (CUEL) Community"

"My favorite games are Call of Duty Franchise, Spider Man, Marvel vs Capcom 2, and Super Smash Bros."


Kaitlynn Bunch

Title: GSE Director of Unified Programing
School/Organization: Garden State Esports
Location: Kendall Park, New Jersey

My name is Kaitlynn Bunch I am the Director of Unified Programming for Garden State Esports. I graduated from Seton Hall University with a B.S.E in 2019 and currently teach Self-Contained English as a Second Language 6th-8th in Franklin, NJ. This year I will be completing my certification in multisensory reading. My mission is to build a competitive unified program that can be placed in any district that already has a running esports program. The goal is to have all students (regardless of disabilities) play/compete together with their typically developing peers.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to build an esports program where students with disabilities can be welcomed and accepted as well as have the right equipment they need in order to play."

"My favorite games are Fortnite and Destiny."


Anthony Casasnovas

Title: Ed Tech Project Manager (Teacher Assigned)
School/Organization: NYC Public Schools
Location: New York, New York

A Bronx born & raised Nuyorican and proud product of NYC Public Schools, Anthony is focused on innovative and engaging experiences in (and out of!) the classroom for all students. As a former Career & Technical Education Teacher this was apparent through his implementation of Design Thinking; Project Based Learning; Computer Science; Gaming and authentic real-world experiences for his South Bronx high school students. Through his current role with the Division of Instructional and Information Technology, he continues to partner with organizations such as Games for Change, Urban Arts, Mouse, etc. to ensure such learning opportunities reach every corner of NYC. Along with his like-minded colleagues and the NYC Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment Anthony played a large role in establishing the inaugural Minecraft Battle of the Boroughs Esports competition!

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because being a NYC Public Schools Teacher-Assigned Project Manager situated in the Division of Instructional and Information Technology uniquely positions me to implement programs at a citywide scale and ensure that such opportunities are reaching all students in every corner of NYC. That said, my fellow NASEF colleague and I are currently seeking to leverage Esports in a number of different ways at a K-12 capacity. As voiced by students, free ‚Äúsanctioned‚ÄĚ citywide league play is at the top of mind. Formalizing teams/leagues across all districts (NYC Public Schools is composed of 32 districts) will provide opportunities for all students who wish to participate and the eventual goal is to continue conversations with our Public Schools Athletic League to officially recognize Esports alongside ‚Äútraditional‚ÄĚ sports. Regarding learning experiences - as we did with the inaugural NYC Minecraft Battle of the Boroughs (BOTB), we refuse to allow Esports to exist in a silo. BOTB set a high standard for what our events will resemble moving forward. That event engaged students, school leaders and families by doubling as an opportunities expo that demonstrated all the gaming industry can offer NYC and the future workforce we are developing with our young people at the forefront."

"My favorite games are the types of games that allow me to get wrapped up in some cinematic action/adventure story-telling after a long day's work. Not surprisingly, I also enjoy taking in films! Ghost of Tsushima, the Uncharted Series, God of War, Jedi Fallen Order, Spider-Man are all examples that immediately come to mind. If I've got my brother or some friends over, we're going to do some sort of fighting game."


Mark Cormier

Title: Head of Training and Professional Development
School/Organization: Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano
Location: Miami, Florida

Mark Cormier is an English language teacher and teacher educator with 15 years of experience in the field of TESOL. His professional interests include teacher training and development, materials design, task based language teaching, and online instruction. In his free time he enjoys playing video games, country and bluegrass music, and traveling.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to take on new challenges and support my organization in providing innovative ways to engage our learners."

"My favorite game is Crash Bandicoot 2."


LaShawn Digbohou

Title: STEAM Coordinator
School/Organization: LIFE Male STEAM Academy
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

LaShawn Digbohou is the STEAM Coordinator at LIFE Male STEAM Academy located in Pittsburgh, PA. LaShawn was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Chatham University. After 20 successful years as a project engineer in the construction industry, LaShawn decided to transition into teaching and has never looked back. She has been teaching since 2016, and all of those years have been dedicated to teaching and leading math at the middle school level. She is excited to be a part of the Network of Academic and Scholastic Esports Federations.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to provide the scholars at my school with an opportunity to increase knowledge on the careers related to esports, build student leadership skills, continue to build soft skills such as communication, collaboration, teamwork, creativity, and problem solving, build confidence in their ability to learn and master new skills and knowledge, connect to esports and STEM, increase knowledge on the related health challenges related to esports, and increase knowledge on video game creation, development, etc… to name a few."


Stephen Jacobson

Title: Professional Educator
School/Organization: TJ Walker Middle School
Location: Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

My name is Stephen Jacobson. I'm 38 years old, and I live in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. I'm getting ready to start my 16th year as a middle school social studies teacher. My wife, Breeze, and I enjoy travelling, playing disc golf, beach days with friends and family, and taking long road trips across the country. When I'm not in school, I'm an avid retro video game collector and I also coach high school football and I'm the head high school wrestling coach for Sturgeon Bay High School.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I have a lot of support from my school district and building principal to expand on our video game club and video game design class and to make competitive esports a reality for our students. I earned my Master's degree in Educational Leadership and School Supervision this past June with one of my capstone projecting being "How to Start a Scholastic Esports Program". I'm at a point in my life where I'm open to new challenges and I'm really looking forward to collaborating with other fellowship members to make Sturgeon Bay Esports a reason why families move their children into our district."

"In no particular order, my favorite games are Legend of Zelda (NES), Castlevania Symphony of the Night (PS1), Haunting: Featuring Polterguy (Sega), and the Resident Evil series. I really enjoy open-world, crafting games like Fallout, Minecraft, and 7 Days to Die."


Mark Joubert

Title: Owner
School/Organization: Ruckus Media Group
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Marc Joubert is a TV Show host, Event host & Gaming enthusiast. My personal aim is to highlight the issues facing young e-sportsmen/women and to develop the platforms to allow them to showcase their skills in their drive to become World Class. I believe strongly that Esports and related activities have a role to play in the educational sphere. My company’s Esports Vision is to build a reputable & respected Esports ecosystem that begins with grassroots development, paving the way forward for kids to build career pathways within the esports industry, while building a sustainable professional segment of players, who are highly marketable and who will represent the country at the highest levels.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because this will help me achieve the vision of building a reputable & respected Esports ecosystem here in SA."

"My favorite games are strategy games and fighting games."


Craig Kerwin

Title: Senior Educator - Diploma in Esports
School/Organization: Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Craig is a passionate educator with 35 years of experience in the profession. He has taught across the full spectrum of year levels from Year 1 to Tertiary as well as spanning classroom, Head of Department, Deputy and Principal roles. Craig has completed studies in education, computing within the curriculum, multimedia, and information technology. He enjoys video gaming, particularly in coding where he can enjoy delving into the mechanics and functioning of a game. Craig is currently the Senior Educator for the Diploma in Esports at QUT in Brisbane, Australia.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I wanted to collaborate with colleagues from around the world who are equally as passionate about incorporating esports into education to allow us to share in our journeys together."

"My favorite games are Rocket League, RaceRoom, and Assetto Corsa."


Brian Klebanski 

Title: High school teacher / esports club manager
School/Organization: Canon-McMillan High School
Location: Finleyville, Pennsylvania

I'm Brian Klebanski. I'm a lifelong gamer and more recently a math teacher at Canon-McMillian High School. Our school started an esports club in 2022. This is when my life changed and I became the esports club manager. Since then, I've gone all in on esports. In addition to running the club and coaching several of our high school teams, I started pursuing my Masters in Gaming and Esports Management and even joined my college's Smash Ultimate team. I love video games, and it's something I've always bonded with my students over. All of these changes in the past 2 years feel like a huge level up in my career. Outside of school and video games, I'm married to my best friend and have the coolest 3 year old soon to be esports all star daughter.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow, because I want to take esports to the next level at my school. I want to continue making improvements to our after-school club and power up our course catalog by developing curriculum in order to offer esports classes at Canon-McMillian."

"My favorite games are too many to name but my big ones right now are Super Smash Bros., and Legend of Zelda."


Ariel Koepp

Title: Elementary Teacher / Head Elementary Esports Coach
School/Organization: Ridge Crest Elementary (MVUSD)
Location: San Jacinto, California

Ariel Koepp. Elementary EducatHER & Esports Coach, GameHER, bookworm, and proud nerd.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to become a better coach and teacher for my students."

"My favorite games are: Animal Crossing New Horizons, Diablo III, and Overcooked: All You Can Eat."


Ranhee Lee

Title: Professor
School/Organization: KSEF with Association of teachers for computing in Korea
Location: Seoul, Korea

I used to teach students at universty for 15 years. Mainly, game programming and game project.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because NASEF's Scholastic program is perfect for young students who want to learn how to communicate, organize, plan, cooperate, etc. It's not learning from only book. Students could be more active and participate in the course. So, I want to help them it."

"My favorite games are Horizon Zero Dawn and Clash Royale."


Laurie Lehman

Title: Budget & Project Supervisor / Esports Manager
School/Organization: Albuquerque Public Schools
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico 

Life has always been an awesome adventure to me. I traveled the world in my youth, lived in the jungles of Panama and New Guinea, and still have the secret skill of how to sleep comfortably in a hammock. Both age and Covid showed me that we have no time to waste, so always be kind. I plan to continue this incredible journey with an open mind, curiosity, and with love.

Five years ago, we began our esports program at APS with less than 100 students in a handful of high
schools. Today, we have over 1,200 students in elementary, middle, and high schools, and our goal of
sustainable growth has shown scholastic esports as a valuable tool to cultivate and capture community
from a learning perspective.

My research and Master’s Degree in Anthropology have taught me that while language, values and
traditions may vary across the globe, people share the same hopes and dreams, and that we have more
in common than we know. Esports can bring us together as we learn, play, and grow in our global
community.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I love helping students follow their passion for esports and discover it offers a platform for educational and personal growth with the skills needed for career and life as global citizens."

"Call of Duty was my favorite game as I played it with my two sons. I am currently looking for another game."


Jennifer Lim

Title: Design Technology Educator / Esports teacher
School/Organization: XCL World Academy
Location: Singapore

In the world of education and esports, I am a unique blend of passion and dedication. While I may not ever be a gamer myself due to vertigo, my journey into the world of esports began when my daughter became a CODm tournament player at the young age of 13. Witnessing her enthusiasm and the vibrant esports community ignited my love for this dynamic field. I proudly hold the title of NASEF Scholastic Fellow and serve as an MYP Design and Technology educator. In addition to nurturing young minds, I am a Service and Personal Project Coordinator, instilling values of open-mindedness, respect, and global citizenship in my students. Beyond the classroom, you'll find me on the softball field and in the Muay Thai gym, always eager to embrace physical challenges. At home, my cats wear the pants, adding a dose of feline whimsy to my life. I am a fervent networker, driven by an insatiable curiosity about the world. My experiences have taught me the importance of slowing down and appreciating the journey. My passion for esports and education knows no bounds, and I continue to be inspired by the limitless potential of young minds.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I see esports as an academic pillar within my community. This decision aligns with the principles outlined in the NASEF ecosystem diagram, which I wholeheartedly endorse. Esports, to me, represents a powerful educational tool with immense potential for growth and development. As an educator, I firmly believe in the importance of creating engaging and innovative learning experiences for my students. Esports offers a unique avenue to capture their interest and harness their enthusiasm for competitive gaming into valuable life skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, and strategic thinking. Being a NASEF Scholastic Fellow provides me with the invaluable opportunity to access a professional learning community, receive mentorship, and gain access to a wealth of tools and resources. These resources will enable me to seamlessly integrate esports into the academic fabric of my school. I envision an incredible future for esports in education, and I am enthusiastic about contributing to its advancement while simultaneously empowering and inspiring my students. Esports possesses the exceptional potential to bridge the gap between traditional academics and the interests of today's youth. By wholeheartedly embracing this platform, I am committed to creating a fun and inclusive learning environment that not only benefits my students but also enriches the wider community."

"My favorite games are games which my community likes and plays."


Joshua Martinez

Title: Director of Esports
School/Organization: SAMSAT
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Joshua started his instructional journey in his early college years as an academy soccer coach. What started off as a flexible job quickly became a full-time job, after 1 year he was already in love with coaching. After college, he pursued his second passion, information technology, and computer hardware. Working 12 years in the IT industry as a technician and a consultant, in 2019 he discovered the intersection of both passions in scholastic esports. With friends who shared the same vision, they founded the Esports in Education Foundation to host esports events in the San Antonio region and award scholarship money to winners. This project quickly became aligned with the greater vision of Port San Antonio to inspire and excite students into pursuing careers in STEM. In 2021, while the current Boeing Center at Tech Port was being built, SAMSAT hired Joshua to create and run a free-to-all-students high school esports league. In the first year of operation, the R20 Premiere Esports League featured 17 schools and 100 students competing in Rocket League and Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Following the move to the new home of SAMSAT's Area 21 museum, the 2022-2023 season followed to the Boeing Center at Tech Port. With increased access to resources, the second year of operation featured 409 students from 31 different area students.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to give myself the necessary resources to create an environment where my students excel."

"My favorite games are League of Legends, Apex Legends, and Valorant."


Barry McGuire

Title: Technology Coordinator
School/Organization: STEM NOLA
Location: New Orleans, Louisiaana

Barry McGuire was born in Houma, Louisiana and attended Tulane University where he received a degree in Chemical Engineering. For the past 5 years, he has worked at STEM NOLA, a non-profit in New Orleans that focuses on K-12 STEM outreach and education. Barry has lead technology summer camp and after school programming for STEM NOLA which covered topics such as python programming, 3D modeling, and video game development. A lifelong gamer, Barry enjoys teaching in a way in which students get to collaborate, compete, and achieve alongside one another.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I am working with my organization to develop a community based esports team that I hope could even turn into a small league someday. The experience that NASEF Mentors have as well as the resources and knowledge that NASEF has as an organization could go a long way in helping grow the eSports scene in New Orleans."

"My favorite game of all time is Okami. My favorite competitive multiplayer game is Marvel vs. Capcom 3."


Pablo Melgar

Title: President
School/Organization: Guatemalan Esports Association
Location: Mixco, Guatemala

Former professional soccer player (18-year career in both national team and clubs). Bachelor of Marketing and Advertising. Founder and President of the Guatemalan Electronic Sports Association since July 2020.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I am looking to expand my knowledge and be able to have a more personalized approach with the gamer community in my country."

"My favorite game is COD and eFootball"


Noura Mohamed

Title: CEO
School/Organization: 
Location: Suez, Egypt

My name is Noura female gamer, streamer and coach. I was the first female streamer in Egypt and the CEO for the first organization just for girls.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want everyone in my country to know about the importance of esports and make more girls compete in it."

"My favorite games are CSGO, Valorant, MLBB, LoL, COD, and a lot"


Tarrin Morgan II

Title: CEO / Founding Esports Director & Head Coach
School/Organization: REAL digitizED / Morgan State University Esports Program
Location: Neptune, New Jersey

Tarrin Morgan is a seasoned educator, mental health advocate, and videographer.  In 2017, he fused his passions of education and videography and founded the REAL digitizED. Through his community-focused organization, they provide REAL education for the digital age by creating unique pathways into STEAM fields via esports.  They also produce easy-to-digest and culturally-competent content/resources that caters to the advancement of Black communities. Tarrin currently works at Morgan State University as the Director of Marketing & Digital Engagement for the Office of Residence Life & Housing in addition to being the Founding Esports Director & Head Coach and Esports Professor. In October 2020, he led Morgan State University into the esports space when he was tasked with virtually engaging students since COVID prevented them from being on campus.  Fast forward to today where Morgan State University is a trailblazer for HBCU esports with over 220 members, 11 championships, and they secured around $350,000 in donations, scholarships, and winnings. Tarrin holds a Masters degree in Higher Education Administration from Morgan State University, a Masters degree in Administrative Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a Bachelors degree in Communication from William Paterson University.  He also was initiated as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc by way of the Iota Rho chapter in 2007.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because you can only think to the level you have been exposed to. Unfortunately in the Black community we aren't aware that video games are a multi-billion dollar industry but are told that they are a waste of time. My goal is to provide education directly to the community while creating unique pathways into STEAM fields via esports which will spark generational transformation."

"My favorite game is ZELDA!"


Kunaal Namashivaya

Title: Tennis Coach
School/Organization: Tenniskoulu Hedman Oy
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Hi! I'm Kunaal but my friends call me Kal, nice to meet ya! I'm a tennis coach out of Helsinki, Finland and a former Tennis Pro. I enjoy reading, gaming and fishing. I'm most passionate about people and their stories. As every story is unique, I always am looking forward to the next one!

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I strongly resonate with NASEF's Mission and Values. I am also interested in seeking new ways to educate and teach skills. With the world becoming increasingly more digital, I believe NASEF has opened the doors for advancing learning possibilities, techniques and practices that can potentially help us grow not only as people, but as a community. I'd like to be a part of that journey, and hopefully do my part along the way!"

"My favorite games are Cyberpunk 2077, Destiny 2, Minecraft, Zelda BoTW and Totk, Pokémon (Gameboy Versions)."


Nalain Naidoo

Title: CEO and Founder Swiss Quality Events
School/Organization: AISTS
Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Nalain’s original profession was as an engineer, but she soon found her passion in global sport sponsorship and marketing. She has since lead multiple high-profile projects and campaigns for brands including Coca-Cola, Dow, ABB, Virgin and McDonalds. These include brand activations and sponsorships at the FIFA World Cup 2010 and building Dow’s ongoing relationships with OCOG for future summer and Winter Olympic Games (Brazil, Korea, Japan). With over 15 years of experience she has an extensive range of business contacts across the sporting world, and her highly developed network spans over APAC, EMEA and North America and with special focus on relationships between IOC and FIFA TOP Partners. Nalain helps clients identify synergistic partnerships, and develop strategies that deliver real ROI through sponsorships.


"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I see the issues Governments and parents currentrly face and would like to assist them in better understanding the positive solutions surrounding esports through the NASEF program."

"My favorite games are CSGO and Netflix Trivia."


Lindsey Neal

Title: Teacher & Head Esports Coach
School/Organization: Fox Senior High School
Location: Arnold, Missouri

Lindsey Neal moved from being a veteran English teacher to a brand new computer science teacher in 2022. She is the head esports coach/general manager for her school's program and also serves on the school district's Educational Equity Committee. She brings her passion for esports and equity to her new role as the Missouri Scholastic Esports Federation's DEI Consultant and also serves as their League of Legends TO. 

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I believe that esports creates opportunities to grow for students who otherwise might not have a chance to be a part of a team or community. Becoming a Fellow allows me to better serve the young folk I encounter by continuing my own journey of learning and growing."

"My favorite games are zombie survival games like Project Zomboid and 7 Days to Die. And League of Legends, which sometimes feels like a zombie survival game. I also love the Final Fantasy series and farming sims. And Resident Evil."


Austin Nichols

Title: Teacher / Esports Facilitator
School/Organization: Academies of Creative Education
Location: Dahlonega, Georgia

I possess expertise in communication and acumen for maximizing performance and inspiring students. I am able to visualize success and identify unconventional yet highly effective strategies to help promote student growth. My innovation supports my professional growth to provide students with the confidence, knowledge, and the skill set needed to succeed both within, and beyond, the esports and classroom setting.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I am looking to connect to a community of esports innovators who share the common goal of changing the world."

"My favorite games are Bioshock, Fortnite, Halo, and Rocket League."


Thea Patrick

Title: Instructional Technology Coordinator
School/Organization: Loomis Union School District
Location: Loomis, California

Thea Patrick is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for Loomis Union School District, outside of Sacramento, California. She has been an educator for 20+ years - serving the last half of her career in the Ed Tech world where she's enjoyed supporting teachers and students! Thea is a a CAP CUE Board Member and a National Board Certified Teacher.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to improve our school district's current esports program and I believe finding others with similar experiences will help us improve."

"My favorite games are Tetris (as a kid), Super Smash Bros. (as a coach), and Catan (as an adult, non-videogame)."


Jose Perez

Title: Deputy Director of Instructional and Enterprise Technology
School/Organization: New York City Public Schools
Location: Lynbrook, New York

Jose embarked on his career as a Special Education Teacher, combining his expertise in instructional technology to create inclusive and innovative learning environments. After six years in the classroom, he transitioned to roles as a school-based instructional technology coach and later as an instructional technology Coordinator for the NYC Magnet Schools Assistance Program, where he empowered educators to leverage technology effectively. In February 2020, Jose joined the Department of Education's Division of Instructional and Information Technology (DIIT) as an Ed Tech Implementation Manager, supporting schools citywide in seamlessly integrating technology with instruction. In September 2021, he assumed the role of Deputy Director within the Instructional & Enterprise Technology Team, focusing on teacher engagement with Enterprise tools and professional development. Jose's unwavering commitment to enhancing education through technology continues to make a significant impact in the field of instructional technology.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I am passionate about empowering young minds through the intersection of esports and education, ultimately preparing them for college and career readiness. This unique program allows me to combine my love for gaming with my dedication to fostering academic growth and personal development in students. By serving as a NASEF Scholastic Fellow / Mentor, I can inspire and guide the next generation of gamers, helping them discover the immense potential that lies within the world of esports while ensuring they excel academically and build valuable life skills, all of which are crucial for their future success in college and career pursuits."

"My gaming journey has spanned decades, from the days of the Atari 2600 to the modern era, and I've had the pleasure of enjoying numerous incredible titles. While it's difficult to pinpoint my top 10 favorites at this very moment, some of the games that have left a lasting impression on me include Call of Duty Warzone, No Man's Sky, Minecraft, Fortnite, Mario Kart, Valorant, and many more. Each of these games holds a special place in my gaming heart, offering diverse and thrilling experiences that have kept me immersed in the world of gaming throughout the years."


John Phillips

Title: Technology & Innovation Consultant
School/Organization: Berrien RESA
Location: Watervliet, Michigan

John Phillips, Technology & Innovation Consultant for Berrien RESA, values the power of technology and innovation in changing learning for all. As a co-founder of SWMI Esports League, project manager of Esports Amplified for the REMC Association, and a sought-after presenter at conferences nationwide, John seeks to share his knowledge and work alongside those who wish to innovate wildly. Having taught everything from Kindergarten to College, John has a vast knowledge-base to put into action to help your organization succeed today!

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to continue to share the benefits and opportunities that schools can unlock through the use of scholastic esports!"

"My favorite game are the Zelda series."


Chris Poirier

Title: Founder / Game Master
School/Organization: Columbus Got Game
Location: Columbus, Georgia

Chris Poirier is the Founder/Game Master of Columbus Got Game, a Senior Advisor and Board Member of UknightedXP, an Esports Subject Matter Expert for the Georgia Alliance of YMCAs, and serves as a catalyst for all things Esports and Tabletop gaming throughout the US and beyond. Chris also is the co-host of The Pull List Podcast for Love Thy Nerd and a connoisseur of nearly all things considered even remotely nerdy. When not reading comics or playing video games he and his wife Rebekah seek out all that can be found on the nerd scene by hunting for vintage toys, finding the most epic comic shops, and getting their tabletop on. In the hours that remain, Chris serves as a missionary for Love Thy Nerd at conventions across the US and as a volunteer with the Georgia Scholastic Esports Foundation. Currently, Chris is focusing on providing more pathways to the youth of Columbus to become more involved with both esports and traditional sports through aligning with organizations who focus on youth engagement, learning to play, and beyond. Previously, Chris served for almost a decade as a Program/Project Manager for the US Government, handling multiple high-value, high-impact National Security Programs/Projects.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because esports is not only important scholastically in the development of our youth, but is also a major component of building community in many underserved groups."

"My favorite games are Call of Duty, Apex Legends, Valorant, Fortnite, and what ever is being played and needs another to squad!"


Nestor Reyes

Title: Teacher / Esports Director
School/Organization: Valley View High School
Location: Perris, California

I am currently the Esports director at Valley View High School. I teach Chemistry and one section of Esports. My program is starting its third year and I am very motivated and would to learn as much as possible to better teach my students, and help lead the integration of Esports at the high school level.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I would like to influence the Esports community in a positive manner. I would also like to learn as much as possible to better help my students and strengthen my program."

"My favorite games are Fortnite and League of Legends."


Ibrahim Salifou Kalla

Title: Volunteer English teacher
School/Organization: American Corner Maradi
Location: Maradi, Niger


"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I want to acquire much more knowledge which will enable me to have intercultural experience, having expertise in Art performance and having a career development."

"My favorite games are Arts game, poem and Sketch."


Batavia Sumlin

Title: Computer Science Instructor
School/Organization: Paul Duke STEM High School
Location: Hampton, Georgi

Batavia Sumlin is currently a Computer Science instructor for Paul Duke STEM High School in Gwinnett County Georgia with 17 years of teaching experience. Her love for all things tech began during her service in the US Army were she was an Information Systems Operator. In her spare time, she is often making TikToks, playing video games with her three children, volunteering for 100 Girls of Code, Worldwide, or learning something new about technology or history.

"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I am passionate about nurturing the next generation of esports enthusiasts, especially among underrepresented groups like people of color (POC), girls, and non-binary individuals. I believe that by combining the excitement of esports with a strong foundation in STEM, I can inspire these students to pursue diverse educational and career opportunities, breaking down barriers and fostering inclusivity in the gaming and tech industries."

"My favorite games are Street Fighter, Smash Brothers, Among Us, Centipede, PacMan."


Joshua Tabor

Title: Digital Learning Specialist / District Esports Lead
School/Organization: Denton Independent School District
Location: Denton, Texas

Dr. Joshua Tabor is a digital learning specialist and district esports lead in Denton Independent School District in Denton, Texas. His roles include working with teachers on effective technology integration and overseeing and building the district esports program. He has been in education for over 22 years where, prior to his current role, he taught high school social studies and coached volleyball and softball. His research fields include effective online learning, blended learning, and gamification. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas in the department of Learning Technologies. Joshua lives in McKinney, Texas with his wife, Amanda, son, Braxton, and four furry children. (2 cats, 2 dogs).


"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I believe in the power of gaming and want to learn everything I can to help students have positive, exciting futures."

"My favorite games are ones that have rich storytelling, engaging characters, and fun combat."


Jordan Wissinger

Title: Instructional Technology Coach
School/Organization: Hartford Public Schools
Location: Hartford, Connecticut

After dedicating over a decade to teaching English Language Arts (ELA), I found myself at a pivotal moment when the pandemic swept across the globe. Recognizing the transformative power of technology in education, I seized the opportunity to immerse myself in the world of instructional technology. It was a revelation; I discovered my true passion lay at the intersection of education and technology. By 2021, I had made a significant career pivot and assumed the role of an Instructional Technology Coach. In this capacity, I played a pivotal role in Hartford Public Schools, including leading the charge in implementing scholastic esports. This groundbreaking initiative reached its rollout in August 2023 with our pilot year, enriching the educational experience for countless students within 11 high schools and 18 middle schools, as well as countless elementary schools. My driving mission is to empower students to navigate the digital landscape with confidence and proficiency, ensuring their safety and fostering their engagement. Through the fusion of instructional technology and technology education, I aim to equip the next generation with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in our ever-evolving digital world.


"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because because I wanted to further nurture my passion for scholastic esports, recognizing the immense potential it holds for students, particularly those who often feel marginalized and overlooked. For them, esports offers a sanctuary‚ÄĒa place where they can find their voice, be seen, and experience a secure environment for learning and personal growth. It not only brings students together but also elevates engagement, fostering a sense of community and enthusiasm in their educational journey, which in turn heightens learning across all disciplines."

"My favorite game is Rocket League due to its inclusion of essential elements found in commonly utilized scholastic esports titles, such as teamwork, critical thinking, strategy, and collaboration. However, it stands out as an excellent introductory game, as it offers these qualities without the intense skill level required by other titles."


Eugene Woody

Title: Teen Tech Coordinator
School/Organization: Boy & Girls Clubs of Hudson County
Location: Newark, New Jersey

Eugene G. Woody Is the Teen Tech Coordinator for the Boys & Girls Clubs Of Hudson County in Jersey City, New Jersey, as Well as Coach Of the Esports Team. In addition to being a lifelong Gamer, Eugene .G Woody is also Creator and CEO of Amethyst Rockstars LLC, A lifestyle Apparel Brand and media Creation Company.


"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I have a passion for learning and teaching! I also want to help people like me."

"My favorite games are The Legend of Zelda-Tears of the Kingdom, Street Fighter 6, Final Fantasy 7."


Robin Young

Title: Instructional Technology Specialist
School/Organization: Round Rock ISD - Ridgeview Middle School
Location: Round Rock, Texas

Robin Young, an accomplished educator, embarks on her 30th year in the field of education. Her journey began as a middle school history teacher, and for the past 22 years, she has served as an Instructional Technology Specialist at Ridgeview Middle School. During this time, she has dedicated herself to collaborating with teachers, ensuring the thoughtful integration of technology into their classrooms. Notably, Robin has been a strong advocate for the incorporation of Minecraft into educational settings and has overseen a Minecraft Club for nearly a decade. Her dedication ultimately resulted in the establishment of the first middle school esports teams in her district in 2020.


"I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I'm eager to further expand my knowledge of esports. My goal is to contribute to the development of esports in my district, creating additional opportunities for students to connect and thrive within the school environment."

"My favorite games are Minecraft, any card game or strategy board game."