The STEM Premier Team
John Welch brings to STEM Premier over 40 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience. He has held senior executive positions in various sectors including vertically integrated energy operations; fiber optic telecommunications networks; weather related risk management services; cloud based software development; and technology evaluation, investment and commercialization. Mr. Welch was directly responsible for over 20 acquisitions and 6 company start-ups, and served as an associate of a Boston based investment banking firm specializing in energy, engineering and environmental services. Moreover, Mr. Welch has spoken both domestically and internationally in areas related to competitive marketing, data retrieval technology and corporate development. He also has been published in various trade journals and served in a corporate advisory capacity and been a board member to numerous companies and organizations. After 21 years of service, he left as President of Equitable Gas Company to launch DQE Holdings into several new, complementary energy related businesses and technology investments. He was instrumental in the founding of the first energy related weather risk mitigation company in the US. More recently Mr. Welch served as the Chief Technology Officer and Director of an engineering and technology commercialization company and the President and CEO of a technology and project development company. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a BS degree in Environmental Resource Management and also completed the Ventures & Mergers Executive Program at Northwestern University.
Donald Tylinski, Ed.D.
President & Co-Founder
STEM Premier President Dr. Donald Tylinski brings with him over 35 years of experience in education. Before co-founding STEM Premier, Dr. Tylinski served as Superintendent of Schools for the Seneca Valley School District in Pittsburgh, PA. Under his leadership, the district was recognized for drastically improving it’s ranking for academic achievement in all of Western Pennsylvania. Additionally, Dr. Tylinski led two other school districts to many accolades including recognition as being National Blue Ribbon Schools and top 100 schools in the nation. During his tenures, Dr. Tylinski has been the recipient of numerous awards with most notable being Superintendent of the Year for Innovation in Instruction and Use of Technology and Superintendent of the Year for Instructional Leadership. Dr. Tylinski holds a Doctorate in Education as well as certifications in Guidance, Secondary and Elementary administration. He also earned a BS in General Science and Elementary Education.
John Drozdowski oversees all financial aspects of STEM Premier. He brings over 34 years of experience and has served in numerous financial leadership roles including CFO of Schoolwires, Stimulus Engineering Services, Inc., NorthTech Partners, Inc. and CombineNet, Inc. Prior to that Mr. Drozdowski held financial management positions with several private and publicly traded service and technology companies. He began his career with Arthur Young & Company where he was a CPA and worked for six years in various audit capacities across a diverse industry group. Throughout his career Mr. Drozdowski has raised over $25 million in private equity and banking transactions, overseen all facets of the accounting, treasury and finance functions, led internal control reviews and performed strategic business planning. Mr. Drozdowski holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University.
COO & Co-Founder
Casey Welch comes from an extensive background in technology and education. Before co-founding STEM Premier, he held leadership positions with NorthTech Partners, Inc. and Stimulus Engineering Services as their Director of Business & Technology Development. Prior to that he served as Lead of Global Policy Management Group at Citigroup. Casey attended Purdue University where he earned his Masters in Engineering/Technology Education and Bachelor of Science in Technology. While attending Purdue’s graduate program, Casey was an instructor for various courses including Manufacturing, Power & Energy, Communications and Construction. Due to his performance, Casey received the Indiana Outstanding Future Educator Award. He also played football for the Boilermakers and earned Scholar-Athlete and All Academic Big Ten honors.
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Channelle brings leadership experience in youth program development and outreach, fundraising, and executive management. She has experience developing, managing, and sustaining collaborative partnerships and outreach education programs for regional, state, and national organizations. Channelle comes to STEM Premier from Project Lead The Way where she served as Director of Student Relations. Prior to PLTW, Channelle served as State Director for Indiana’s Twenty-first Century Scholars program and Executive Director of Southwest Indiana College Access Network. Channelle is passionate about transforming youth into thriving, educated, socially conscious citizens. Throughout her career, she has worked to provide under-represented students access to a college education and expose youth to academic and professional opportunities. Channelle is a graduate of Indiana University Southeast with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Masters of Social Work from the University of Southern Indiana. She also studied education leadership and administration through Brown University and Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation's Leadership Learning Cadre. Channelle resides in Atlanta and remains a committed fan of the Indianapolis Colts.
National Director of Engagement
Shea Tighe is the "Jack-of-all trades" for STEM Premier. His experience in a diverse array of industries - marketing, planning, design, and public relations - allow him to wear many different hats. Shea currently directs the sales division of STEM Premier, leads all marketing efforts, supports the leadership team in strategic planning, and is involved in K-12/post-secondary engagement nationally. He's also a big-time culture enthusiast and strives daily to make STEM Premier the best place to work in the world...yes, he knows that's ambitious. Prior to joining STEM Premier, Shea held marketing and design positions with creative firms across the Southeast - the most recent being an Urban Designer with a land planning firm in Charleston, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 2008 - Go Dawgs! When not collaborating with his much smarter colleagues at STEM Premier HQ, you can find Shea surfing out on Folly Beach or making his next cup of coffee. He loves coffee.
Valerie attended the College of Charleston, where she studied English and French. Her account management experience comes from the world of book publishing, but her true passion is empowering students and increasing access to quality education! On the weekends, you can find her lying on the beach, doing poor improv, reading, or (very occasionally) exercising .
Rebecca comes from a family of educators and hopes to continue her parents’ legacy of helping students reach their full potential. She received her Bachelors in English from the University of Illinois and her Masters in English from The Citadel-College of Charleston. While in graduate school, she began teaching developmental English and Composition at Trident Tech, spent a few years doing the same at The Citadel, and although primarily focusing on a career in educational publishing and media, has continued teaching in some vicinity throughout the past eight years. Her favorite thing is connecting with people and learning their stories, so she loves working at STEM Premier where she gets to collaborate and work with all those committed to student success and opportunity. Above all, Rebecca’s heart lies with working with students and finding inspiration in watching them grow and prosper. She was also born and raised in Chicago and thus will want to feed you, talk sports, and become best friends. It’s best just to let her do it.
Sarah graduated from Florida State University and majored in history and anthropology - go Noles! She was so excited to live in a historic city that she moved to Charleston on the very day she graduated. Sarah joins STEM Premier with a background in educational software and customer support. She is a true people person and thrives when on the road meeting new people! Growing up with a family full of educators, she enjoys nothing more than being in the classroom, engaging with students. When out of the office, you will typically find Sarah chasing her Vizsla, Charlie, or in the kitchen cooking up something new for friends.
Senior Software Architect
Stokes thinks in ones and zeros. He started his love of software on an Apple IIe in elementary school in the 80s and never looked back. Stokes went on to receive a BS in Computer Engineering from Clemson University. He thought he would end up in a big city in the southeast, but was lucky to land a job in Charleston after graduation. Since then, Stokes has enjoyed watching the tech scene in Charleston explode. Coincidence? He has worked on everything from messaging systems for the military to enterprise level data exchange software. Stokes now leads the development of the STEM Premier platform with a super-talented team. He enjoys getting a run in when he can and would love to put his private pilot license back to good use. Most weekends you will find Stokes acting silly at a playground or the beach with his wife and two young sons.
Francis Ani worked for nearly 3 years as a software developer for ICF International before joining the STEM Premier team in February of 2014. He was drawn in by the idea of STEM Premier because if it existed when he was in high school, he may have studied somewhere else other than in the car during the 12-minute ride to school. He gets instant gratification from bug fixes and loves to solve problems -- so much so that he likes to call himself "The Exterminator." No one else calls him this. Sixty percent of the time, he fixes the problem every time. He is most experienced with Java -- the programming language, not the drink. Francis served 6 years in the US Navy as a Nuclear Machinist's Mate before earning a BS in Computer Science degree in 2011 at the College of Charleston. He would enjoy long walks on the beach if it weren't for the sand. His favorite movies include: When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride, and Whiplash. He does rock, rap, and pop karaoke with friends on the weekends.
Jacob Mishler handles a majority of the technical support and testing for STEM Premier. He also brings young blood and insight to the college student of today. He recently graduated from the ECPI University with a bachelor degree in software development. He enjoys night walks on the beach under the pale moonlight and a great night for him is sitting at his computer play some good old League of Legends or watching a movie. He is a Scorpio so that should tell you enough about his personality. He is so mysterious that big foot takes pictures of him. He once won a fist fight, only using his beard.
Regional Sales Manager
Ben brings 7 years of educational and sales management experience to the STEM Premier team. After graduating from Clemson University with a bachelors degree in History, and a minor in Secondary Education, Ben moved back home to the Pittsburgh area where he began his career. He has held positions ranging from High School teacher to Advertising Sales Manager. Most recently, Ben held the position of Educational Outreach Manager, where he managed a group of inside and outside admissions representatives at Rosedale Technical College in Pittsburgh, PA. Ben has experience developing customized training curriculum for audiences ranging from high school students to corporations needing additional training. Ben thrives on growing a business and seeking new avenues to expand their market. He has developed and managed numerous sales training and sales related initiatives. Basically, Ben is passionate about education and selling and has found his dream job with STEM Premier! While he is not talking about the importance of education, Ben can be found balling hay, amongst other farm chores he shares with his family on their farm in Fombell, PA. GO TIGERS!!!!
Director of Partner Development
Jackie is a graduate of Presbyterian College where he majored in Political Science. Jackie has worked in education for almost 20 years. He spent 11 years in college admissions. During his time in college admissions he spent time recruiting students to attend PC, Catawba College, and The University of Georgia. In 2011, he transitioned to the ACT. As an Account Executive, he worked with secondary schools to help those schools interpret and incorporate date into practice, and with colleges and universities to better use ACT data when making admission, placement, and retention decisions. Jackie’s work in those areas was instrumental in the growth of ACT test takers in the Southeast. Jackie has now joined STEM Premier to help build partnerships with secondary schools, colleges & universities, and with employers to fortify the pipeline of STEM students from high school through college and into STEM careers.