In 2009 Teachers in Space conducted a rigorous national competition to select its first group of teachers to fly in space. We call them our ‘Pathfinders.’ This exceptional group has been very busy since their selection, receiving training for suborbital spaceflight, developing and leading NASA sponsored workshops and sharing the purpose of Teachers in Space with groups of colleagues. Their dedication to the TIS team’s activities reflects their passion for space, commitment to their students, and of course their strong desire to experience the thrill of spaceflight.
Jim is a 6th grade Earth Science teacher from Syracuse, NY. James applied for the original NASA Teacher in Space program in 1985 and was a finalist for the NASA Educator Astronaut program in 2004. He has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Education and serves on the board of directors of the Science Teachers Association of New York State.
Lanette is an elementary science specialist from San Antonio. Lanette is a Golden Apple Award winner, a Texas Space Grant Scholarship winner, and one of four teachers selected by the Texas Space Grant Consortium to fly aboard a NASA microgravity flight in January, 2009.
Rachael Manzer is a STEM Coach at the Annie Fisher STEM Magnet School in Hartford CT and is the Past President of the Connecticut Science Teachers Association. She is the 2013 Region #1 Magnet School Teacher of the Year, 2010 Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Educator of the Year, and 2010 National Space Club Educator Award. She has also received 2009 Achievement Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and in 2005 received two Group Achievement Awards from NASA Langley Research Center. In 2004, she was a finalist for NASA Educator Astronaut position.
Chantelle is a science teacher at Graham High School in St. Paris. She was the Air Force Association 2006 Ohio Teacher of the Year, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers 2007 Ohio Earth Science Teacher of the Year, and the Scott Crossfield Foundation 2008 Aerospace Teacher of the Year. She was a finalist for the NASA Educator Astronaut selection in 2004.
Robert “Mike” Schmidt
Mike is a second-generation teacher, Schmidt teaches math to grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 at University High School, in the Tucson Unified School District I Tucson, AZ.. An 8-year education veteran, he found out about Teachers in Space while attending a National Science Teachers Association meeting.