Our Team

Aragon Burlingham Founder and President

Aragon has spent the past decade in Silicon Valley in executive management positions at a diverse range of companies taking products from concept to production. He has a multidisciplinary engineering background, touching on fluid mechanics, structures, controls, and mathematical modeling. Prior to forming the We Teach Science Foundation, Aragon served as President of D2M, a product design consultancy in Silicon Valley. Preceding D2M, he was Director of Operations at Speck Product Design, where he managed engineering operations in the Palo Alto and Shanghai offices. Aragon spent six years at RoboToolz, a manufacturer of laser-based measuring tools for the construction industry, managing R&D operations for products from concept development through design and transition to mass production in China. Aragon has a Master of Science in Aeronautics & Astronautics from Stanford University, and a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California.

Cate McManus Operations Director

Cate McManus began her career as a cultural anthropologist and documentary filmmaker working in Nepal for the World Bank and United Nations.  Cate then moved into corporate finance joining E*TRADE Securities.  While earning her series 7, 4 and 24 licenses she also learned back office systems and operations.  During her time at E*TRADE Cate was a trading specialist, technical project manager, and International business analyst working in the UK, Sweden, Germany and France.  Cate then became Director of Operations for E*TRADE Asia.  While living in Hong Kong, Cate helped launch a nonprofit that provided the expat community the opportunity to contribute to regional projects. The organization raised money to build schools in China, a boys’ home in Viet Nam and an orphanage in Hong Kong.  After four years in Asia Cate returned to the US to raise a family.  During this time Cate became very familiar with the public school system through the PTA, classroom volunteer and experience with the special needs children.  Since returning to the Bay Area in 2013 Cate has worked with a variety of organizations such as American Cancer Society, A Safe Place, and Dancing Saved My Life.

Kelly Griffin-Smith Outreach Manager

MeKelly Griffin joins We Teach Science as the organization’s first Outreach Manager of District Partnerships. With over 10 years of experience in educational consulting and outreach Kelly has worked with companies such as Leap Frog Schoolhouse, Scientific Learning, Inc., Kaplan Test Prep as well as outreach coordinator for National University and Ex’pression College for Digital Arts. Kelly shares her passion for education with the world of performing arts. With a background in dance, Ms. Griffin has worked with professional sports teams such as the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Lakers and various Bay Area dance squads. Kelly earned her  Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership at Chapman University. She is excited to be part of the We Teach Science team continuing to motivate and inspire educators and students across the state.

Lucien Wainie Regional Manager

Lucien Wainie is one of two Regional Managers for We Teach Science and he’s responsible for
overseeing several Program Coordinators in Texas and California as well as managing the new
Texas satellite office.  Lucien served as a Program Coordinator for two years before being promoted
to Regional Manager.  Lucien is an accomplished Program Manager who directed a STEM
Education program in Louisiana (Louisiana Engineering Advancement Program – LEAP).  His
primary focus was ensuring that the program met its goal of preparing minority and underrepresented students to pursue careers in STEM fields. Lucien relocated to the Dallas, TX area in 2008.  Lucien earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of New
Orleans and passed the Texas State Teacher’s Certification Content Exam in the area of English
Language Arts and Reading and is qualified to teach ELAR in grades 8 through 12.

Michael Schwerin  Development Officer

SchwerinMichael Schwerin joins We Teach Science as the organization’s Development Officer based in the Dallas, TX area. Michael has over 8 years of nonprofit fundraising, marketing, and educational program development experience, mostly in the arts. Michael has worked with orchestras in Waterbury, CT, and Grand Junction, CO, and most recently with the Greater Denton Arts Council in Denton, TX. Michael has a BA in Mathematics and Music-Trumpet Performance from the University of Minnesota, Morris, and a Masters of Music in Music Theory from the University of North Texas, where he was in the inaugural class of the Priddy Fellowship in Arts Leadership. Michael is excited to join the We Teach Science Team and help inspire students across the country.

Sophia Skowronski Development Associate

Sophia Skowronski joins WTS as the Development Associate in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a recent graduate of UC Berkeley, Sophia was elated to begin her fundraising career at Crisis Support Services of Alameda County, a local health services non-profit that provides immediate crisis counseling to those in need. After securing a promotion to Special Events Coordinator with the successful implementation of two cycles of annual events, she continued exploring the field of development at the intersection of education and society. Alongside her work at We Teach Science, she participates in many vocational science outreach roles, and she is excited to share the message of We Teach Science to connect wider audiences to the impacts of Remote Tutoring and Mentoring in California and Texas.

Tierney Yates Program Coordinator

Tierney Yates joins We Teach Science as a Program Coordinator in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tierney is a recent graduate from San Jose State University where he majored in Political Science and received two minors in Music and Human Rights. Tierney has had a strong passion for youth in education coming from his previous experience working for the South-Valley YMCA and the Cesar Chavez Community Action Center in San Jose, CA. Former Program Coordinator for Strive for College, Tierney supervised college mentors who helped high school juniors and seniors fill out college applications and scholarships. These students were first generation college seekers and Tierney made it his mission that every one of his students got accepted into a four year university. Tierney also has a background working with at-risk youth that promoted success among young men and women in Los Angeles, CA. He prides himself on understanding the social, emotional, mental, and educational needs of each student he comes into contact with. Tierney is very pleased to be joining the We Teach Science team and continuing his passion for education and reaching new goals with the organization.

 

Yesenia Ramos Program Coordinator

Yesenia Ramos joins We Teach Science as a Program Coordinator in the San Francisco Bay Area. Yesenia has spent her career working for educational equality facilitating STEAM programs for students in K-12. She has also worked in providing youth in continuation schools and juvenile halls access to programming centered on social justice and identity formation. Yesenia has received her Bachelor’s degree in Politics and Feminist Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz and has her Master’s degree in Mexican American Studies from San Jose State University.

 

Samantha Narins Program Coordinator

Samantha proudly joins We Teach Science as Oakland’s Program Coordinator. She holds a B.A. from Lehigh University in Earth and Environmental Science and recently completed her M.S. in Teaching with a focus on Adolescent Science Education as a New York City Teaching Fellow. Samantha has spent several years writing curriculum, teaching, and tutoring at various public, charter, and private schools, and looks forward to expanding the reach of the We Teach Science Foundation!