Dr. Barbara Gruber
Assistant Director of Education Programs
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Barbara Gruber, PhD CETL, is the Assistant Director of Education, School Programs at the National Air and Space Museum. Her programs focus on student and educator experiences with the Museum.
Before joining the Museum, she served as the Loudoun County Public Schools' Aerospace Educator in residence, a position at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center from 2015 to2017. She worked for Loudoun County Public schools starting in 2000 as the technology resource teacher at Farmwell Station Middle School and had served as a chemistry teacher at Freedom High School, a staff development trainer for Technology Resource Services, the technology resource specialist for Technology Resource Services, and an administrative intern at Moorefield Station Elementary School.
Barb holds a PhD in Education with an emphasis in Instructional Technology and Educational Policy from George Mason University, a Masters in Education in Administration and Leadership from The University of Phoenix, a Masters in Education in Educational Technology from San Diego State University, and a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry Education from California University of Pennsylvania.
She holds a Virginia Postgraduate Professional License in chemistry, administration, and supervision preK-12. She holds a student pilot certificate and flies a 1957 Cessna Skyhawk. She is a Certified Educational Technology Leader (CETL) from The Consortium of School Networks (CoSN) and was named by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) as a "20 to Watch" Educational Technology Leader in 2014.
Dr. Samuel Garcia Jr.
Educator Professional Development Specialist, Kennedy Space Center & Assistant Professor of Practice, LBJ Institute for Education and Research at Texas State University
Dr. Samuel García Jr. serves as an Educator Professional Development Specialist at Kennedy Space Center and Assistant Professor of Practice for the LBJ Institute for Education and Research at Texas State University. Prior to his position at Kennedy Space Center, Dr. García worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. As an education specialist, Dr. García works to help develop STEM educational mindsets, tools, and resources for teachers to implement in their classrooms that respond to diverse student needs and increase diversity in STEM fields. He also works with faculty serving in Minority Serving Institutions (MSI’s) in developing STEM educational tools and resources for teachers to implement in their classrooms. Prior to working in higher education, Dr. García served as secondary school educator in Rio Grande Valley in Texas for seven years. Dr. García’s research agenda is geared towards community and educational change by creating healthy, equitable, and culturally responsive STEM learning experiences for traditionally underserved populations. Dr. García earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas Río Grande Valley, formerly University of Texas Pan American and holds a doctorate degree in School Improvement from Texas State University.
Florida Air Museum Manager
Jayme Jamison is the Museum Manager and has been with the Florida Air Museum for three years. She previously served as the Curator of Education and Programming at the Polk County History Center and served as a classroom teacher for 7 years prior. In 2018 Jayme was recognized as the Outstanding New Professional of the year by the Florida Association of Museums. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science Education from the University of Central Florid and a Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies from the University of Oklahoma. While not a pilot herself, Jayme grew up around a great variety of military aircraft and enjoys when the U.S. Navy Blue Angels make it out for the Annual SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo, the primary fundraiser for the Florida Air Museum.
Polk County Public Schools Senior Director for Workforce Education and Multiple Pathways
Steven Cochran graduated from the University of Florida in December 1991 and began work on his master's degree in special education in January 1992. In August 1992 he began teaching for Polk County Public Schools (PCPS) at Crystal Lake Middle School in Lakeland Florida as a teacher for students with disabilities. In 1994, Mr. Cochran provided special education services to students who were incarcerated in Department of Juvenile Justice facilities. In 1996 he was selected to supervise a grant funded program called the Violence Intervention Program or VIP. The purpose of this program was to offer in alternatives for students who were suspended from school for fighting. During the 1997 – 1998 school year Mr. Cochran was deployed to Bosnia, part of the former Yugoslavia for peacekeeping operations. Upon his return he was selected as the lead teacher of the Polk County Sheriff's Boot Camp until July 2001. He continued to work in alternative education/DJJ programs in various leadership positions which cumulated in him being named Senior Coordinator for the department in 2004. In 2005 and 2006, Mr. Cochran was deployed again as an instructor at the military police school in Fort Leonard Wood Missouri. When Mr. Cochran returned, he continued to serve in his role as Senior coordinator Intel he was named assistant director at Ridge Technical College in Winter Haven Florida. In 2012, he was asked to transfer to Summerlin Academy to be the Commandant of the military- style school. After completing PCPS principal preparation program he was designated as a principal but retained the title of Commandant because of the military structure of the school. In 2014 Mr. Cochran retired from military after serving 24 years. In 2018 Mr. Cochran was asked to serve as the acting PCPS Senior Dir. for workforce education and multiple pathways. The acting was removed from Mr. Cochran's title in 2019. Mr. Cochran is a board member of Polk County's Career Source, the Florida Career Pathways Network and the National Career Academy Coalition. Mr. Cochran has been married to his wife Melissa for 28 years and has two children, Max and Kelsey.
Executive Director of Aerospace Center for Excellence and Kansas State University and Southeastern University Professor
Ed Young has 30 years of public service experience, including leadership positions in city, county, and state government. Young served as the director of aviation for the State of Kansas. He has been a professor of aviation law, environmental planning, conflict resolution, finance, public administration, and history at various institution including Kansas State Poly and Southeastern University. Mr. Young received a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Public Administration, and Juris Doctorate from the University of Kansas; a Certificate in Risk and Safety Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He is a commercial pilot/Flight Instructor – Instruments/Multi-Engine and an Unmanned Aerial System pilot. He has received the following awards and recognitions; Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame, class of 2019; AUVSI National Award (2019); ACEC National Engineering Honors Award (2012, 2019); AASHTO President’s Award for Aviation; NASAO Outstanding State Program Award; Center for Aviation Research and Education Outreach Award; KPWA Efficiency and Effectiveness Award; and multiple NACO county leadership program awards.
Director of the Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA)
For over 23 years Jennifer Sasser has served as an educator in Polk County. She joins the Central Florida Aerospace Academy as the Director this year after holding a variety of instructional and leadership positions. She is dedicated to promoting career and technical opportunities for current and future students. She is a member of Women in Aviation International and Florida Association of School Based Administrators. She holds a Master’s degree from Southeastern University and resides in Lakeland with her husband. She is a true Florida girl; enjoying outdoor activities like fishing, hunting and spending time on the water.
Polk State Aerospace Program Director
Eric Crump is the Aerospace Program Director for Polk State College in Lakeland, Florida. He also serves as Business Principal for Red Eye Aviation, an aviation training consultancy. Eric began flight training at 13 as a ploy by his parents to encourage him to buckle down and take school seriously. It worked. Eric is a long-time flight and classroom instructor who is passionate about aviation safety and the importance of preparing and inspiring the next generation to take on the aviation industry.
For the past six years, we have looked forward to inviting educators across the country to the Aerospace Center for Excellence for Classroom to the Sky. However, with an abundance of caution due to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to transition our beloved Classroom to the Sky to a virtual platform. We look forward to welcoming everyone back next year for Classroom to the Sky taking place in our 22,000 square foot expansion of the Florida Air Museum consisting of five large convertible classrooms including a holographic room, 3D printers, planetarium, and more.