Growing the STEM was started in 2017 by Lilian Smith and Adeline Smith who wanted to share their love of math with more students in their community.
Lilian Smith graduated from Coeur d’Alene High School in 2021 and is currently pursuing degrees in government and chemistry, en route to a career in public education teaching, policy, and advocacy. She serves in a program to teach civics to 5th graders in Boston Public Schools and is involved with Women in Business. Lilian started and led the Math is Cool team at Fernan STEM Academy and the STEM Club at Borah Elementary. Lilian also served as president on the board of Growing the STEM, where her focus was on fundraising, community outreach, website building, and planting new programs.
Adeline Smith is currently a student at Lake City High School and attended Sorensen Magnet School of the Arts and Humanities when she helped to start Growing the STEM in 4th grade. Her interests are art, singing, writing, math competitions, crew, student council, and tennis. She works at Fire Artisan Pizza and serves in the HOPE Club at LCHS. Adeline had the idea for the Mathletes Mentor program and has served as a Mathletes Mentor and a valuable advisor in the development of the program. She also served as a coach of the Bryan Elementary Math is Cool team for several years starting in sixth grade and has recently piloted a STEAM program at Borah Elementary.
Youth Development. We value kids helping kids, therefore placing students in leadership roles to develop the next generation of leaders and teach young people that they can make a difference.
Equality. Given the importance of STEM education and known barriers and inequalities in the STEM fields, we seek gender, socioeconomic, and cultural parity among participants in STEM activities.
Fun. We believe that to be successful in expanding student engagement in math and science education, activities must be fun, entertaining, and hands-on.
Hard Work. To make sustainable and impactful change in our community, we need to work diligently and push students to become their best.
Confidence. We believe confidence is a critical component in nurturing students’ interest in and pursuit of math and science fields and work to foster this in our programs.
Lilian at MathCounts in middle school
Adeline at her first Math is Cool competition in third grade
Rebecca Smith has taught English literature for many years, most recently at Gonzaga University from 2012-2021, and has extensive experience in nonprofit development. She is spending the next two years pursuing personal writing projects, which she finds both exciting and intimidating. She is the co-founder and former Executive Director of CDAIDE, a nonprofit that serves restaurant and hospitality workers in CDA with emergency financial assistance and positive relationships. She has also founded
Adeline Smith is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Growing the STEM and a student at Lake City High School. Adeline co-wrote GTS’s mission and core values and co-developed the organization’s logo. As a fourth grader, she had the original idea for GTS’s first program, Mathletes, and served as a mentor and advisor to the program. Adeline has loved coaching Math is Cool since 6th grade, has served as a counselor at the summer math camp with the University of Idaho, and led the development of two
CFO, Mountain West Bank. He has been a community banker since 1987 in Logan UT, Sandpoint ID and currently in CDA. His desire to give back to his community is a driving force in his employment and volunteerism. He followed his High School graduation with 2 years of service for his church in New England where he developed friendships with several Boston Red Sox players, accounting for his continuing Red Sox Fandom. His greatest loves are his wife of 36 years, 6 children and 2 grandchildren.
or co-founded a number of nonprofit organizations: Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance, the Patterson Park Public Charter School, and the Baltimore Education Coalition. In CDA where she has lived since 2011 with her husband and three children, Rebecca co-founded the Coeur d’Alene Education Partnership and serves as the Board Chair of Growing the STEM. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Brown University and a PhD in English language and literature from the University of Michigan.
additional GTS programs, STEAM Club and STEM Book Club, in partnership with local educators. Outside of GTS, Adeline has enjoyed participating in the district’s Student Advisory Group, the debate team, student council, varsity tennis, golf, HOPE Club, and the City of Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission. She represents Idaho as part of the Million Girls Moonshot Flight Crew, a national organization designed to get more girls involved with STEM.
ALP Teacher and Coach Extraordinaire, Sorensen Magnet School of the Arts and Humanities
My name is Charlene Babb and I am the Advanced Learning Program teacher at Sorensen Magnet School for the Arts and Humanities. My passion for helping kids see the beauty in math and the connection between math and music is thrilling for me! I have long been an advocate for Growing the STEM and I’m so happy to be a part of this great program in our community!
Coordinator Idaho Master Gardener Program University of Idaho
Kara found Growing the STEM compelling and knew she wanted to be a part of this essential team. Her professional life began in Green Design and Interior Architecture. Since moving to CDA in '08 she pursues a second career in education, Horticulture and Entomology. Kara keeps native bees thriving in working and natural landscapes by raising 15 naive bee hives across our county. She is excited to bridge connections through our programs.
Teacher Extraordinaire, Sorensen Magnet School of the Arts and Humanities. Mrs. Marshall is a founding board member of GTS, and was lucky enough to be Lilian and Adeleine's teacher. She has taught at Sorensen for 15 years, and has a passion for helping struggling mathematicians, hands-on science, and arts integration. She loves her GTS role and is proud of developing and piloting the first STEM Club at Borah Elementary. She looks forward to all that GTS will do in the 2023-2024 school year!
I'm excited to be joining Growing the STEM in an events role! I've been actively involved in the Coeur d'Alene public school system for 14 years wearing various hats; including PTO chair, school volunteer, substitute teacher and community education activist. Our daughters have inspired me to engage with GTS. Our oldest is a college sophomore, studying aerospace engineering. Our youngest, a senior at Coeur d'Alene High School, is planning to study a STEM field in college. I'm proud to say they ar
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Representing: Lake City High School
Hello, everyone! I'm Luke Sharon, a board member at Growing the STEM (GTS), and a passionate student coach. My mission is to champion equity and promote STEM education. As a student board member, I've taken the initiative to revamp the engineering curriculum, sparked discussions about integrating Theater into STEAM, and played a crucial role in shaping the partnership between GTS and our Cd’A school district. I firmly believe in harnessing the power of student
Representing: Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy
Hi! My name is Kourtni Johnson and I am a sophomore at Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy. One of my favorite hobbies is gardening, and I am hoping to study pollination and ecology in college. The natural world fascinates me and I hope to help integrate the beauty of nature into education with Growing the STEM. I also love love love to dance! I find that music is a fantastic way to soothe the soul. I am so excited to encourage the STEM community in our area
Representing: Coeur d'Alene High School
Hi! I'm Izzie Le, and I am an incoming senior this year. I am involved in multiple clubs at my school like Business Professionals of America, mathletes, scholastics, track and field, and skeet and trap. I have proctored and even competed in our math is cool program in the past, and I hope to continue giving back to my community with Growing the STEM. I am excited to see what this year with GTS will bring!
Rebecca Smith Dennis Durfee Kara Carleton
Rebecca Smith Dennis Durfee
Strategic Planning will take place after our search for our new staff position, and training/orientation time concludes.
Currently, all board and student members
Thank you to all our board members for their dedication and the energy they bring to our projects and mission
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