Virtual Camp Staff for CC2020
Ildikó Stennis, Owner, Camp Director, and Teacher
In response to COVID-19, I have worked with my staff to develop a safe alternative for parents who want enrichment for their kids but are too nervous about attending an in-person camp given the times. We want to support families in the summer of 2020 by offering a half-day virtual camp with live instructors, quality lessons, and custom art and science kits —which you can keep! I am passionate about Camp Captivate and care deeply about offering a quality program to campers. Science Smart Kids and Camp Captivate grew organically from a backyard play group I founded in 2008; at the time, I was staying home full time with my 3 small children, who then ranged in age from 6 months to 4 ½ years. I applied my training and experience as a former middle school and high school science and math teacher to meet the needs of my own younger children and their friends and neighbors. Younger kids have boundless energy and need quick transitions between activities, and the program was custom- designed to meet their needs. My core teaching philosophy (for kids preschool through high school) is hands-on instruction, and I think students learn best when they are engaged in meaningful activities and work in cooperative groups. During the school year, I teach 7th grade science full time at Peterson Middle School in Santa Clara Unified School District, while I am actively involved in Camp Captivate each summer break. At Camp Captivate, we are delighted to offer 3 camp programs with differentiated instruction, and we were thrilled to launch the Captivate S.T.E.A.M. Camp Plus for middle schoolers during the summer of 2017. In the summer of 2019, we piloted “You Go Girl- S.T.E.A.M. Camp for Girls” because we feel it is powerful for girls to be exposed to non-traditional fields led by strong female role models. I think Camp Captivate stands out among other camps programs in the Bay Area because we hire exceptional teachers who are specialists in their fields. In addition, we nurture the whole child, by including team-building, physical activity, and just plain FUN! We appeal to children who thrive at a smaller, more intimate camp environment. My own children thrived at Camp Captivate over the years and I believe your child will thrive too.
Leading up to the Pac-12’s sixth-consecutive football championship game at Levi’s® Stadium on December 6, 2019, the Conference and mascots from all 12 universities surprised 12 teachers throughout the San Jose area with awards — I was honored to be one of them! Read Pac-12 and CFP Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers award over $36,000 to 12 teachers across San Jose area
JC Martin, Science Teacher
My name is Jeanne but most people call me JC. I have a BS in Biology for Science Education from Humboldt State University and am working on earning a teaching credential in science. I have worked at summer camps run by the Girl Scouts of Northern California for four summers before coming to work at Camp Captivate. I appreciate the opportunities for learning and character growth that summer camps provide and am overjoyed to be on the Camp Captivate team. I have been told that my special gift is LOVING working with middle schoolers. I was a leader last summer for Camp Captivate and I am returning this summer as the main teacher for the STEAM Plus program. Can’t wait to meet you! I am excited to be the STEAM Plus Teacher for Camp Captivate 2020.
Elizabeth Unpingco, Art Teacher
Elizabeth has an M.Ed. ITA (integrated teaching through the Arts) and is a certified Integrated Learning Specialist through Alameda County “Art is Education” Program. She is an exhibiting fine artist and is currently finishing up her credential in secondary education from San Jose State University. Particularly interested in social/emotional arts learning, Elizabeth strives to create equitable, developmentally appropriate, and engaging learning environments and activities. This is her second season working with Camp Captivate. “I am gratified to be a member of such a dedicated and innovative team that understands and promotes the critical integration of the arts in STEAM education for our kids.”
Nichole Calabio, Explorers Teacher
The students are so creative and inquisitive! It’s a blast watching the students so engaged in Science and perform experiments. I am looking forward to coming back to camp this year and see how the students solve their STEM challenges! I have my B.S. in Biology from UC Riverside. I got my Credential in Biology and a Masters in Education from Notre Dame de Namur University. I recently when back to school to get my credential in Special Education. When I am not teaching, I love spending time outdoors and painting. Can’t wait to see you at camp! I am excited to be the Explorers Teacher for Camp Captivate 2020.
Hope Oliver, Teacher and Office Manager
Hello, I’m Hope Oliver; a scientist-mom-educator since 1991, dedicated to using the fine arts and technology in my classroom to engage students with interdisciplinary hands-on “Aha!” experiences in math, science, engineering, and our environment. I join Camp Captivate after teaching for the DeAnza College Summer Enrichment and the 49ers Stem Leadership Institute programs. My students earned awards at the Tech Challenge, the Green Ninja Film Festival, and the Synopsys Science Fair. I am an alumna of Scripps College for Women, where I studied BioChemistry, Vocal Music, and Comparative Literature.
Eva Szoboszlay, Math Teacher
My name is Eva and I am excited to join Camp Captivate as a Math Tutor/Instructor for the STEAM Jr. grade band. I believe that all kids have the capacity for curiosity and excitement about learning through hands-on exploration. This philosophy guides me to build kids’ confidence as well as mastery of skills and concepts. I love working with kids and aspire to be a children’s book author and illustrator. I have three years of experience as a camp counselor for grades K-5, and have additional experience tutoring college level lab science and volunteering at my high school library. During the school year, I am a junior at Lewis & Clark College double majoring in Sociology/Anthropology and Studio Art. I can’t wait to meet you and your student this summer!
Rachel Hilario-Pigg, Math Teacher
Rachel has been an educator for over 20 years. She has taught both science and math over the course of those years. She holds a BS in Biology from Santa Clara University and a teaching credential in Biology & General Science. During the school year, she teaches 6th grade science at Peterson Middle School in Santa Clara Unified District. She has been a part of the Camp Captivate staff on and off for many years. Her two boys have enjoyed participating in Camp Captivate when they were younger. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, music/dance, reading and the outdoors. She is excited to be the STEAM Plus Math Enrichment teacher for Camp Captivate 2020.