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Who are we?

Photo: Amanda Parker

Laurel Aguilar-Kirchhoff

Laurel Aguilar-Kirchhoff, MS.Ed., is a former history and science educator now serves as a digital learning specialist, consultant, and adjunct university professor. Her areas of expertise include digital citizenship, media literacy, blended learning, curriculum instruction and design, as well as educational technology and innovation in the classroom. Laurel is a Google Certified Trainer, a Leading Edge Certified Online Blended Teacher, and holds many EdTech platform certifications. Laurel is a proud member of the National History Day-California State Leadership Team. Laurel has volunteered as the incoming co-president of ISTE Digital Citizenship PLN Leadership team and continues as a ISTE Community Leader. She was recently recognized with the ISTE Volunteer Service Award in 2022. Additionally, she serves as the VP of Events for Inland Area CUE as part of the Board of Directors. In addition, Laurel provides instruction and best practices to educators across the world as the facilitator for the ISTEU Digital Citizenship graduate level course.

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Photo: Amber Nuvalli

Karalee Wong Nakatsuka

Karalee Wong Nakatsuka, MA. Ed., has taught middle school US History students since 1990. She is passionate about using technology to engage students, focusing on building community in her classroom, and helping students to see themselves in the story of America as they develop into empathetic and informed critical thinkers and citizens who make a difference in the world. This summer, Karalee was recognized in a Teacher Tribute by the Ford's Theatre Society at their Annual GALA; as an honoree she was invited to the White House where she and her fellow tribute teachers had the honor of meeting President and Dr. Biden. She was named the 2023 California Council for the Social Studies Middle School Social Studies Teacher of the Year.  In 2019 she was recognized as the Gilder Lehrman History Teacher of the Year for California and was a top 10 finalist for the national award. She serves on the Educating for American Democracy Teacher Leadership Taskforce, the iCivics Educator Network, the American250 Civics, History, & America's Future Advisory Council, and the Gilder Lehrman Teacher Advisory Council. Karalee was honored to be featured in The New York Times' August 2022 multimedia and newspaper piece "What's Actually Being Taught About U.S. History" and in Time Magazine’s September 2021 issue “From Teachers to Custodians, Meet the Educators Who Saved a Pandemic School Year.” When she’s not teaching, she can be found enjoying history vacations with her family, collaborating with fellow history teachers locally and across the country, attending and presenting at conferences, and hanging out with her fellow social studies teachers somewhere on social media. She is the coauthor of "Bring History and Civics to Life, Lessons  & Strategies to Cultivate Informed, Empathetic Citizens" published by ISTE.

 

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Photos: Karalee Wong Nakatsuka, unless otherwise stated

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