Immediately below are the most recent "recommendations" from current colleagues and supervisors as reflected at my "linked-in" account under the name Al Byers. Beneath this is a link to NSTA Learning Center testimonials, and finally commendations from when I designed and delivered face-to-face PD programming for NASA as an Aerospace Education Specialist is provided at the bottom.
“As a seasoned senior executive, Al has mastered proven leadership and management practices to produce a work climate for his managers and employees at NSTA that exemplifies innovation, results, and accountability. Coupling his executive practices with his in-depth knowledge of instructional technology and e-Learning research and practice makes him a national expert and visionary in his field. Having known and worked with Al for over 15 years at both NASA and NSTA, I put him in the top 1% of all of the professionals with whom I have worked in my 35 years in the field of education. August 9, 2011.
Frank C. Owens, President, FCO Consulting; NASA, Senior Executive Service and Director of Education, 1996-2002 NSTA, Associate Executive Director, 2004-2008”
“I think Al is one of the best thinkers in the area of e-learning. He's is a visionary... one of the best I know. And, unlike a lot of visionaries, Al turns his visions into reality, often by conquering significant challenges of technologies, economics, and deadlines.” September 8, 2011.
Gerry Wheeler, CEO, Wheeler Group; Executive Director Emeritus, National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), 2008-present. Executive Director NSTA, 1996-2008.
“Al has consistently over the years provided crucial leadership to major NASA K-12 programs and services. Al has a deep knowledge in research on teaching and learning in areas of science and eLearning that he has brought to bear in work and recommendations made to NASA in development and shaping of new efforts. He has organized a stellar and committed team to tasks and this has enabled quick wins as well as embedded an infrastructure to ensure near and long term successes. Al is an asset to the National Science Teacher Association leadership team; and has been to NASA Education, too.” July 3, 2011.
Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, Creative
Dr. Shelley Canright, Manager, Elementary, Secondary, and eEducation. NASA Education, Headquarters.
“I have worked with Dr. Al Byers on a variety of projects in his role as Assistant Executive Director at NSTA. Due to Al's leadership, NSTA is recognized as an international leader for the use of instructional technology to support teaching and learning. Al specializes in the planning and implementation of successful technology-enhanced solutions in the face of challenging logistics and institutional needs. Al Byers is gifted in his ability to bring together diverse stakeholders to work collaboratively on projects at national, state and district levels. Al's leadership style produces a warm professional atmosphere where every team member feels valued. As an experienced executive leader, Al consistently serves as a catalyst to intrinsically motivate those around him to high levels of productivity. John Putnam, Director of Personnel Former Senior R&D Specialist, WV State Science Coordinator, Transformation Specialist, Principal, and Teacher” August 20, 2011.
John Putnam, Director of Personnel, Roane County Schools
“Within the broad playing field of science and technology education there are few who can truly synthesize emerging trends from across the myriad sectors that influence both education systems and the professional practices of educators; and even fewer who can blend that pattern recognition with the no-nonsense pragmatism necessary to affect real change. Al Byers is one of these rare individuals.
Al commands a deep working knowledge of pedagogy, policy, and technology; as well as the on-the-ground realities of teacher professional development, non-profit membership organization management, and the subtle mechanics of working with government agencies. In addition to his educational leadership skills, Al possesses innate business acumen and political astuteness that are amply demonstrated in his successful track record of innovative program development and data-driven project management.
It has been my good fortune to work with Al on a range of projects, and I continually value his analysis, vision, and constructive feedback. As a result, I recommend Al Byers as a pacesetter for the K12 STEM Education community and as an excellent colleague.” September 1, 2011.
Susan Van Gundy, Director of Education and Strategic Partnerships and Deputy Director of the NSDL Resource Center, National Science Digital Library
“I have had the honor to collaborate with Al on many projects over the past ten years and have always been impressed with his level of professional integrity and commitment to the production of the highest quality educational experiences. He supervises a responsive team of experts who provide outstanding service to the science education community. Al is a recognized innovator in educational technology and I value his recommendations and his partnership.” August 22, 2011.
Top qualities: Expert, High Integrity, Creative
Peg Steffen, Education Coordinator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
“I've worked with Al for many years on interactive projects for science education and distance learning. Al has the wonderful ability to think strategically and keep the team focused on the big goal while not losing site of the details. He's tenacious, insightful, great to work with, and he gets great results. I highly recommend Al Byers.” June 23, 2011.
David Poteet, President, NewCity.
“I have known and worked with Al for more than ten years. I find him to be extremely knowledgeable, willing to share his knowledge, and anxious to help improve education for all. He is highly dependable, an innovative thinker, and a darn nice person. I highly recommend Al since I know he will do what is asked of him and frequently more, on time and to a high standard.” April 20, 2011.
Dr. Tom Keller, Senior Program Officer, National Academy of Sciences.
“I have worked with Al over the past five years in various capacities but primarily development of the NSTA Learning Community. Al's vision, hard work and leadership capacity moved the e-learning portion of this effort forward in ways that would never have happened without him. His vision, coupled with committed efforts to fund the development of the vision and make it a reality, are impressive. Most importantly, he did not prescribe specific ways in which I should work, but instead outlined the vision and provided me the flexibility to work in ways that best aligned with my style and allowed me to develop a quality product.” June 21, 2011.
Dr. Susan Koba, President National Science Education Leadership Association 2011.
“Al Byers is an energetic and highly organized professional with the ability to analyze and summarize ideas in a flash! Over the past several years I have had the pleasure to confer with him on a variety of educational projects that I and my coworkers have taken on. No matter how complex the problems have been, he has always been able suggest a brilliant, elegant, and cost-effective approach. When you connect with Al, you'll discover that he is an amazing resource with a top-notch set of skills in educational outreach!” March 9, 2010.
Troy Cline, Senior Science and Educational Technology Coordinator, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
“Al is a forward-thinking educator who cares deeply about the professionalization of teaching. His work is grounded in research, and he values teachers' role in reforming education. He also recognizes that technology is a transformative force that could add new dimensions to the education process. Hard worker, jovial fellow, and always receptive to new ideas.” November 11, 2009.
Phoenix Wang, Program Officer, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
“Al Byers leads the production of effective, instructionally sound courseware and other online and offline resources for science teachers across the US. This highly interactive courseware is widely regarded as an essential resource in keeping the standard of science education high. Additionally, Al's management of NSTA's innovative conferences and symposia on science education has made them invaluable to science education. He has been effective in involving scientists across the country in supporting science education through NSTA, thus making essential contributions to the next generation's scientific leaders. A strong leader with high ethical standards and a genuine warmth for people, Al is liked as well as respected by the teams he leads. He genuinely cares about his people as well as the quality of the product, and his dedication and commitment are communicated in everything that he does.” December 21, 2007.
Terry Mackey, Director of eLearning and Training, SAIC
The NSTA Learning Center Testimonials
The NSTA Learning Center has garnered numerous testimonials from various state and district science supervisors and universities. The Learning Center has been under my direction, vision, and responsibility since its inception five years ago. I am very fortunate to lead an outstanding team that has helped me bring this national e-PD portal to fruition, and in cooperation with the partnerships and support of multiple foundations and the government agencies. Without the support of Gerry Wheeler, Executive Director Ermitus of NSTA, and Frank Owens, Retired Associate Executive Director of Professional Programs, this could not have been possible. I appreciate their relentless support and freedom to allow me to create the vision that is still a work in progress today as we enhance features based on research-derived strategies, user data, theory and innovation.
Thank you very much for your extended and detailed comments [for the Doing What Works web site]. I particularly appreciate your thoughtfulness on the usability/navigability side of things. We are in complete agreement that we need to make some changes to the navigation and improve the usability (Doing What Works 2.0, if you will). That probably won't happen before this content goes live, but I'm hoping that we'll have some changes in the next 3-5 months. Your comments are very useful as we start planning that testing.
Thank you very much!
Doing What Works
September 24, 2006
The West Virginia Department of Education wishes to express our
appreciation of your recent visit to the WV State Special Education County Directors conference on September 15, 2006. Major leaders in special education including our WVDE Executive Director expressed their positive
impression with the NSTA SciPack being utilized for professional development of special education teachers. Thank you for another top quality presentation.
On October 5, 2006 the WV Council for Exceptional Children Conference
will be held in Huntington, WV. We would be thrilled if you could join us in presenting the SciPack Special Education proposal drafted by the WVDE. Should you be able to join us, we would present for 30 minutes to about 125 attendees of the conference. Following our presentation in the general session we would have a 90 minute breakout session to present a
more in depth and personalized presentation of the SciPack project.
Again, we thank NSTA and also you specifically in your shared interest to provide the highest quality science education possible for the students of WV. The value our partnership cannot be expressed highly enough.
Science Assessment Coordinator
West Virginia Department of Education
Building 6, Room 717
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East Charleston, WV 25305-0330
Maine State Department
Augusta, Maine, July 1997
I am very belatedly taking keyboard in hand to
express my most heartfelt appreciation for the
extraordinary effort you made on Maine's behalf
relative to our recent celebration of the accomplishments
of our students in science and math. That event,
planned with a very short time line, was a NASA
centered extravaganza and your role was paramount.
When you took the podium, after being introduced
by the Governor and Commissioner, and started
your presentation, a hush truly fell over the
crowd of 1,000 plus students and teachers as you
wove the tale of seeing and feeling the shuttle
launch. It was clearly inspiring. Then to show
the footage of you and others in the free fall
event solidified the students' view of you as
someone to emulate.
I know of some of the special efforts you had
to undertake (and probably will never know the
myriad of details that had to be completed) to
participate in our event and we certainly thank
you. Job extremely well done.
Thanks again, Al.
Thomas E. Keller
REST/Science -Maine Department of Education
Thank you for your willingness to come to Maine
in support of our celebration of the success of
our students in mathematics and science on the
NAEP tests. The enthusiasm you shared in pursuing
your career dream sent exactly the right message
to students, and the video clip of your experience
with a micro-gravity environment reinforced it.
There are 1000 Maine students who may now understand
the need and the rewards for pursuing academic
Again, thank you for sharing your experience
with our students.
J. Duke Albanese
Commissioner of Maine Education
Horace Maxcy, Ph.D.
Anne Arundel County
Annapolis, Maryland, October, 1997
Mr. Frank Owens
NASA Education Division
Washington, DC 20546-0001
Dear Mr. Owens:
On October 1, 1997, Al Byers did a presentation
for a committee of educators in Anne Arundel County
Public Schools who are writing elementary science
curriculum based on the SEM Project for NASA.
It was one of the most exciting and informative
days that we had ever experienced. Al Byers is
one who knows his job and does it extremely well.
On the day prior to the presentation, Al arrived
at the Carver Staff Development Center in the
afternoon with an endless number of boxes and
trunks. He literally transformed one of our classrooms
into a mini-space lab with an authentic space
suit, microgravity demonstrations, rocket launching
activities, and many other artifacts and experiments.
The transformation took hours and stretched into
the evening. Even so, Al arrived very early on
the day of the presentation to do a final check
of his computer equipment and set up for activities
for this presentation. The repacking of all this
equipment at the end of the day was no less time
Al orchestrated the presentation with enthusiasm
and precision. Everyone agreed he was so well
matched to his job. We were fortunate to have
had someone who could communicate his knowledge
about space in a very understandable and practical
manner. It was a day very well spent.
Al is a wonderful asset to your organization.
He is hardworking, knowledgeable, motivating and
very personable. It was a joy to have the opportunity
to work with him and we hope to continue our working
relationship with him as we develop our curriculum
in the Gifted and Talented Office of Anne Arundel
County Public Schools.
Thank you for providing such a valuable resource
Diane T. Sprague
Coordinator of Gifted/Talented Advanced Programs
Gifted/Talented Resource Teacher
Carver Staff Development Center
Anne Arundel County Public Schools
2644 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD 21401
Willimantic, CT, September, 1997
Dear Mr. Byers
I am writing to thank you for your presentation
on "Students in Space-Space Experiment Module"
on July 11 at NASA Days at Eastern Connecticut
State University. I heard many positive comments
from people attending the conference about your
presentation. I will probably be calling on you
to present again. Please remember that without
you putting on this conference
would be impossible.
Jacqueline K. Bowman
Eastern Connecticut State University
83 Windham Street,
Willimantic, CT 06226
Richmond, Virginia, February, 1997
Dr. Bob Gabrys
Chief Education Programs
Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771
Dear Dr. Gabrys:
I would like to take this opportunity to recognize
Mr. Al Byers, a NASA Aerospace Education Specialist,
for his recent visit to the Chesterfield County
Public Schools. On Monday, February 17, Mr. Byers
presented a workshop to elementary and middle
school teachers entitled "Living and Working
in Space/Microgravity." On three subsequent
days he also visited two elementary schools and
one middle school to present programs to students.
We feel especially fortunate to have had someone
as able and talented as Mr. Byers to present NASA
programs to our teachers and students. His ability
to address and hold the attention of diverse groups
on aerospace topics is certainly outstanding.
His presentations were well planned and in each
instance were appropriate to the individual audience.
And, the fact that Mr. Byers made a special effort
to visit our schools enhances our already high
estimation of him.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration
is very well represented by educators such as
Mr. Al Byers. We would feel honored to have him
return at any time and hope that will indeed be
a future possibility.
Wallace O. Pendleton, Jr.
Instructional Specialist for Science
Instruction Division Center
2318 McRae Road
Richmond, VA 23235
Shelton, CT, March, 1997
Mr. Larry Bilbrough
Washington, DC 20546
Dear Mr. Bilbrough
The NASA visit to Booth Hill School was one of
the most exciting and educationally enriching
programs we have ever sponsored. The teachers
who participated in the workshop have commented
frequently about how useful the information and
the activities were in enhancing their lessons
throughout the year.
The presentations for the students were excellent.
All of our students from Kindergarten through
Grade 6 were delighted to learn more about the
"real life" of our astronauts and the
many related responsibilities that make the space
program so successful.
A major reason for the success of the program
was Mr. Al Byers, the presenter. His manner of
conducting the workshop and presentations made
everyone, adults, and students alike, comfortable
and responsive to the information he had to share.
The teachers tell me that since Al's visit, the
students in the upper grades always apply what
he taught them to any type of lessons that they
are currently learning. Many a thought is phrased....When
NASA was here they...during any type of class
discussion on space.
No words can truly express how grateful we are
for Al's visit to Booth Hill School. Our sincere
thanks for providing us with the NASA experience.
We would welcome another visit at any time. I
hope you enjoy reviewing the evaluations, pictures
and newspaper articles I'm enclosing."
Sharon W. Spicer
Cultural Arts Chairperson
Booth Hill Elementary School
SELECTED COMMENTS FROM EVALUATIONS:
Please write 2-3 sentences relating your impression
of Mr. Al Byers as a presenter.
Excellent presenter. Mr. Byers was interesting,
funny, and very well-versed in the information
he presented. He was very knowledgeable and shared
this information in a fast-paced understandable
way. I tremendously enjoyed the workshop...
I was inspired by Mr. Byers quick wit, style,
and presentation method. I loved the pace and
would definitely incorporate this style into my
Mr. Byers was excellent. His use of vocabulary
and explanations were easy to understand. His
use of simple household good to demonstrate an
idea were super...
Mr. Al Byers was a dynamic speaker. He truly
understood how to hold the attention of his audience
while being informative about the workings of
NASA. A great program!
Mr. Byers was an enthusiastic speaker who presented
the space material on a level that was appropriate
for teacher and student. His knowledge of the
manned space flights and the principles of aeronautics
and rocketry was informative and well presented.
Excellent presentation and assembly.
Shelton, CT, October 1996
Dr. Kenneth Wiggins
300 North Cordell
Stillwater, OK 74078-8034
Dear Dr. Wiggins:
...I would like to express my thanks to NASA
for offering such a wonderful program to the students.
Teachers are still coming up to me and thanking
me for making your workshop and assembly program
available to them. Many have said it was one of
the best cultural arts programs we've had at our
school! Many teachers have already been using
Mr. Byers ideas in their classrooms--yesterday
two 5th grade classes made rockets and launched
them outside. The students loved it.
I would also like to say how lucky NASA is to
have such a wonderful educator as Mr. Al Byers
working for you. Mr. Byers enthusiasm and energy
during his assembly presentation was contagious.
He held the audience (k-6) captive for an hour.
Teachers and students alike were impressed by
his knowledge of astronauts, space and space travel.
May of these children have not been fortunate
enough to visit the NASA space program in Florida
and this program opened up a new world of possibilities
to them. Who knows how many future astronauts
Mr. Byers may have inspired! I sat through all
three afternoon question and answer sessions and
was impressed by Mr. Byers ability to take complex
ideas and theories and relate them to the students
in a way they could understand."
Again, I want to thank NASA and especially Mr.
Al Byers for bringing this excellent program to
the students of Shelton.
Cultural Arts Chairperson
Elizabeth Shelton School
138 Willoughby Road
Shelton, CT 06484
Angelo Tomaso School
Warren, NJ, April 1996
"I am delighted to have this opportunity
to comment on the wonderful teacher workshop and
student presentations that were provided by NASA
Presenter, Mr. Albert Byers. As a teacher trainer,
Mr. Byers earned the immediate respect of our
staff. They soon realized that his well designed
presentation was filled with ideas and activities
that could easily be incorporated into their classroom
program. Along with his ability to convey, in
a relatively short period of time, an immense
body of knowledge, Mr. Byers' enthusiasm for aerospace
education virtually propelled us through his well
designed instructional presentation. As a result
of his commitment, talent and energy, Mr. Byers
proved that learning is fun!"
The lecture demonstrations that Mr. Byers provided
for the children of Warren were of equal quality
to that which he presented to the teachers. The
importance of outer space exploration was a significant
component in his presentation. Judging from the
excitement and enthusiasm that he generated, I
am sure that our students will continue to be
fascinated and intrigued with outer space and
On behalf of the staff and students of Warren,
I would like to convey to your educational services
division our sincere appreciation for enabling
Mr. Byers to share with us his knowledge and special
Ed. D., Principal
West Hartford, CT, May 1996
"The NASA program you presented was quite
outstanding! Many thanks for doing such a great
job. Your enthusiasm was infectious, your knowledge
impressive, you are a very fine teacher.
The school appreciates everything very much.
We hope you will be able to return soon!"
Mervyn K. Danker
Paramus, NJ, May 1996
"On behalf of the faculty and student body
here at Yavneh Academy, I wish to express our
universal appreciation for two days of uplifting,
enthralling and informative experiences on Tuesday,
May 21st and Wednesday, May 22, 1996.
The hands-on activities for teachers were especially
useful since they demonstrated the principle of
rocketry with simple experiments using everyday
materials. But what was truly a diverting and
illuminating activity was the communication video
which highlighted the need to provide clear and
precise directions when working with youngsters.
The assembly programs were equally exciting especially
your exhibiting the miniature models of advanced
aircraft and spacecraft.
Your skillful handling of students' questions
and your swift factual replies impresses all of
us. Yes, the NASA program was a memorable event
at our school thanks to your careful planning
and imaginative presentation.
Please accept our full measure of gratitude."
United States Space
"Mr. Jack Flannery, the United States Foundation
Executive Director, was delighted with your presentation
at the NEWEST/NEWMAST meeting on October 4, 1996.
He commented that your ability to hold the group's
attention during the hands-on activity was very
impressive. He suggested that we share with you
information regarding the Foundation and our education
Assistant Director of Education
"I liked the show and the things I learned.
I liked the spaceships the best. I liked the one
where you could go to California and it only takes
you 8 1/2 minutes. That one is cool. Thank you
for coming to our class and tell us more about
space. I learned a lot from you. I never knew about
space and was not interested in space. But now
I am interested since I know more about space.
It was fun learning about space."
Education Services Program Workshop Evaluation
"Al did a wonderful job! I was very pleased
and will use several of his activities when I
in service teachers. The materials were all easy
and inexpensive to obtain and Al showed how they
can be easily replicated for the classroom"
"Al was great-very exciting to listen to
and watch. The teachers loved him. Just read the
attached teacher evaluations. He shared a wealth
of information and surpassed my expectations!"
"Excellent program. Well received by children
and staff. Mr. Byers is a motivated and extremely
interesting presenter. His high degree of enthusiasm
carries over to his audiences!"
"Thank You! Al was most personable and motivational.
The student follow-up writing/drawings were excellent,
thanks to his inspirational spirit!"
"Mr. Byers did an outstanding job of presenting.
I received nothing but positive feedback from
my students and teachers!"
"Excellent presentation! Presenter was well
organized and his presentation was very motivational.
On behalf of our school- Thank you."
"The presenter, Al Byers, showed a great
deal of enthusiasm during the presentation. The
programs was well received by the students and
"Al Byers' enthusiasm and clarity made these
workshop presentations the best I've been to!
The information will have a definite impact on
my students. Al brought difficult topics and concepts
to their realm of experience and peaked their
interest in science. He made the information applicable
to something real and interesting!"
Association of New York State
STANYS 101st Annual State Conference
Holbrook, NY, November 1996
"I have to say, I'm an earth science teacher
for 9th grade, and this is the first professional
statewide conference I've traveled to overnight.
I was slightly late arriving, but was able to
attend Mr. Byers' "Human Exploration and
Development of Space Workshop" starting at
9:30 AM. Wow, nothing I witnessed the remainder
of the day could compare to the activities Al
allowed us to do individually.
The information was relevant and will provide
an excellent experimental study for my students.
Al was extremely adept at mixing "hands-on"
activities with NASA science content. I also appreciated
him linking these activities to the current National
Science Education and Math Standards. Awesome
Westchester, PA, November 1995
HC Johnson Elementary
Mary Hogan Elementary
We acknowledge your commitment to science education,
knowing that you will continue to make substantive
contributions throughout your career."
Wallace O. Pendleton, Jr.
Instructional Specialist for Science
Selected Evaluation Comments
We saw really cool things to do with probes.
I want them. The presenter was very enthusiastic.
Probes on the computer would be great to have
in any science classroom.
The instructor modeled good teaching techniques
using the computer. The computer seemed easy to
use. At the next in service I hope that we have
more Al Byers taught computer classes!
Great presenter. Nice to hear someone so enthusiastic!
Dynamic, quick, went from idea to idea. I like
that. Easy to understand.
Something very useful that we did today was to
see how quickly and easy probes can be used as
a learning tool for higher thinking skills. This
is the first time this type of technology was
shown that it could be used in middle school.
Richmond, Virginia, April, 1993
Thanks for the terrific job you did in planning
and teaching the rocketry in service course here
at the Center. Enclosed are copies of the teachers'
evaluations. As you can see, they all had very
positive comments about the program.
I really enjoy all the enthusiasm and expertise
you bring to your teaching! I'm looking forward
to continuing to work with you on the summer Governor's
Mathematics and Science Center,
2401 Hartman Street
Richmond, VA, 23223