Meet the 7th Grade STEM Team:
Mrs. Samantha Cooper – Science/PLTW (Medical Detectives)
Mrs. Samantha Cooper is the 7th grade Science teacher, Anatomy teacher, and Project Lead the Way – Medical Detectives teacher for Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School. This is her third year here and teaching was not her first profession. She spent twenty years in building fire safety and building protection; this included fire alarm systems, burglary systems, camera arrays, and other electrical systems related to those areas. Mrs. Cooper has seen first hand how STEM careers in this area have multiplied as technology advances, and it is this experience that I hope to translate to my students as they explore job possibilities.
Mr. Eric Branz – Math
Mr. Eric Branz is in his 11th year of teaching overall and 2nd year at Lewis Cass. He and his wife, Jess, have been married for three years and have a son, Conner, who turned one in June. Eric grew up in Avon, IN and then went on to Terre Haute where he attended Indiana State University until graduation in 2008.
Mr. Branz was a 5th/6th grade teacher for eight years before moving into the middle school setting. He taught social studies for one year and began teaching math last year. Throughout his college years and time teaching he has been an athletic coach (basketball and baseball) and spent two years as an assistant athletic director.
Mr. Branz believes that STEM gives students an opportunity to see their education from a different perspective and it is a great way to work with multiple subjects while collaborating with classmates. He feels that STEM puts a big emphasis on important life skills along with the traditional educational skills.
Mrs. Shannon Wolf – Social Studies
Mrs. Shannon Wolf is from Logansport, Indiana and received her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Indiana University Kokomo. She began her teaching career as an elementary special education teacher who worked with fifth and sixth grade students. After two years of teaching special education, she went back to college to finish a few of the courses that would enable her to teach middle school social studies. Ms. Wolf spent the next eight out of nine years teaching 6th and 7th-grade Social Studies for the International Baccalaureate Program which also allowed her the chance to travel internationally multiple times to multiple continents. Those experiences helped her grow as a person and as a social studies teacher. Currently, Ms. Wolf is in her fourth year of teaching at Lewis Cass Jr. High School where she teaches social studies for the 7th grade STEM program. One of the things she enjoys about teaching STEM is that it gives her the opportunity to learn new ways to connect the 7th-grade social studies curriculum to STEM.
Mrs. Katie Foxen – English
Mrs. Katie Foxen graduated from Ball State University in 2012 with an English education degree in grades 7-12. This is her 9th year of teaching total, and her 6th year at Lewis Cass Jr./Sr. High School. She is married with two boys: Myles and Maverick.