EDUCATION • M.S. in Instructional Media with a STEM endorsement Wilkes University • B.S. in Education Bloomsburg University
ENROLLED • Cohort 5
LOCATION • Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Born and raised in northeastern Pennsylvania, Jessica Cordaro has had nature in her backyard for all of her life. She would frequently play in the woods as a child, exploring local trails and swimming spots. Nature became her comfort zone. After spending a long portion of her life making decisions that were destructive to her own well-being, she began to practice yoga, which helped to shift her mindset from one of hopelessness and lack of control to one of confidence and independence. While traveling many places and seeing the negative impacts of humans on the planet, she began making choices with the well-being of herself, others, and the environment in mind. Jessica’s love of nature continues to today, as she enjoys trail running, hiking, skiing, biking, and kayaking with her husband. She also is motivated to be a positive influence on the lives of her two nephews now, and also in the future. She wants the world they grow up in to be one that’s resilient and thriving, and bases her everyday actions with that in mind. Her philosophy of sustainability is taking care of the needs of the planet and its inhabitants today, while keeping the future in mind. It is thinking about how your actions not only benefit you, but the impact or ripple effect they have on other beings as well, not only today, but years from now as well. Living with this mindset provides every day with purpose, and can have a positive impact on people and the environment. Jessica’s philosophy of education is to teach students the skills they will need to thrive in the future, and to create an environment where they feel valued, empowered, and equipped for the challenges placed before them. Her professional background as a middle school emotional support teacher led her to understand the importance of creating engaging, relevant, hands- on, project-based learning experiences for students. Allowing students to play, create, and solve problems will enable them to construct a deep understanding of concepts, and provide alternate means of assessment. Currently, Jessica is a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) coach at an online K-12 school serving students from across Pennsylvania. During her four years in this position, she has led several sustainability-focused projects for her students, including a virtual cooking camp that focuses on understanding the environmental, economical, and societal impacts of food waste, while empowering students to take action. Jessica is interested developing sustainability-focused programs for formal education settings, particularly in cyber schools. She would also like to explore the concept of connectedness in the virtual learning environment, and how to establish meaningful relationships while learning online.
Ed.D. in Educational Sustainability
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