Ildikó Stennis, Owner, Camp Director
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 4 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 are launching “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
Goldie Malone, STEAM Jr. Teacher
For the past two summers, Goldie has been a teacher for Captivate STEAM Plus or STEAM Jr. programs. Goldie has a BA in Environmental Studies and an MA in Education from UC Santa Cruz. She currently teaches 6th and 7th grade Science in Santa Clara Unified School District. She enjoys spending time in nature with family, gardening, hiking, camping, and adventuring into the great outdoors. I am excited to be the STEAM Jr. Teacher for Camp Captivate 2020.
Katie Szoboszlay, Explorers Leader
Katie is super excited to be returning to Camp Captivate, after having attended as a camper for 1 year, and being a leader in training for 2 years. She’ll be entering her senior year at Mitty High School, where she plays water polo and swims. She’s interested in pursuing a future career working with children in occupational therapy.
Aaron O’Brien, Floater
Aaron is returning for his 2nd year at Camp Captivate, after being a leader in training. He is about to enter his Junior year at Santa Clara High School, where he enjoys playing tennis. Outside of school Aaron loves taking care of the family pet parakeet named Kiwi as she is mostly green. He also enjoys spending his time relaxing and playing video games.
Sonnet Sparacino, Floater
Sonnet is thrilled to be spending her summer with Camp Captivate! She earned her teaching credential in Science from SJSU, where she is also currently working towards her MA in Science Education. Sonnet is a living embodiment of the power of STEAM, having found her passion for science after majoring in theatre at NYU, and working professionally in the architecture and design fields in New York City. She is passionate about working with kids, and it is downright inspiring to facilitate their plans for creating a better world. When not in the classroom, Sonnet can be found outdoors hiking, or hunkering down with a good book. She is so excited for a summer full of silliness and innovation!
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.
Kevin Sovich, STEAM Jr LIT
Kevin is returning for his role of Leader in Training, after attending Camp Captivate himself for 6 years! He is about to enter his 8th grade year at West Valley Middle School. Outside of camp, he loves to paint, sing, and play the piano.
Chris Haverick, STEAM JR Science 2
Chris has a BS in biology and left after two years in medical school to pursue the passion in his heart- teaching! He is currently working on a masters degree and math credential while substituting in Santa Clara Unified School District. He is the STEAM junior and PE teacher at Camp Captivate.
JC Martin, STEAM Plus 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.
Janos, STEAM Plus LIT
Janos is super excited to be returning to Camp Captivate for his 3rd summer here! He is about to enter his senior year at Bellarmine High School, where he enjoys doing theater tech. In the future he is interested in pursuing a college major in kinesiology or nutrition. Janos loves to spend time working out and appreciates that the campers keep him on his toes!
Angie Murphy, PE
Angie is a PE Paraeducator for SCUSD
Erin Fournier, Art
I have a BFA in Spatial Art from San Jose State University as well as a Single Subject Art Credential. I’ve taught art to students in preschool through middle school, in both public and private schools, and in classrooms as well as camps. Currently, I teach 1st-5th grade through the Community School of Music and Arts, Mountain View. When I’m not teaching, I love to spend time with my family and in my garden.
Elizabeth Unpingco, Art
Elizabeth has a degree and a Master’s degree in Fine Arts. She is currently finishing up her Art teaching credential. In addition to teaching art, Elizabeth is a storyteller and focuses on traditional Japanese storytelling.
Laura Hale, Art
Laura Hale is a 3rd-8th Art teacher at Hillbrook School in Los Gatos. She has spent two decades working in art-related education programs, including several lead teacher roles at schools including Trinity School in Menlo Park, Crystal Springs Uplands School in Hillsborough, Bullis Charter School in Los Altos, Herbert Hoover Middle School and Pioneer High School in San Jose. She has also been involved since 1997 with the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View, the largest provider of arts and music programs in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Laura graduated from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco with a BFA in Painting and Drawing and later earned an MA in Art Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, NY with a focus on curriculum and instruction. She is a celebrated art educator who has strong connections with students and colleagues. She is committed to the value of the creative process and seeks to inspire children to love the Arts and their many connections to Science with Camp Captivate!
Marisol Corton, Monday AM Help
Marisol is pursuing a civil engineering degree at SJSU and competes in track and field