Update from the Lab: Meet our new VISTAs!

We have two new AmeriCorps VISTAs at the Creativity Lab; they started in the second week of August. Their first day was half-way through one of our Professional Development workshops, and it’s been full steam ahead ever since! Lighthouse is thrilled to have them here, and we hope you enjoy their contributions here on the blog.


Tobie Irvine, our new Development Coordinator, will be working to help find financial resources and inkind donations to help sustain the work of the Creativity Lab and making at Lighthouse Community Charter School. He will also will help with volunteer recruitment and outreach to the wider Bay Area community.

Having worked previously in Philadelphia as an Americorps National Service volunteer, he has traveled many a mile to the Bay area. He grew up in Louisiana and received a B.A. in Politics from Pomona College in 2012. Although new to the maker movement, he is excited to learn more about design and making as well as help the Creativity Lab promote student-driven learning at Lighthouse and the greater Bay Area.


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Cissy Monroe has joined us as the Curriculum and Documentation Coordinator for the Creativity Lab. First and foremost, she will be working with teachers at Lighthouse. Her role includes helping teachers create and refine projects they can integrate into their classrooms, and offering the behind the scenes support needed to make these projects successful. Additionally, she will be documenting in-class projects to share on the blog, helping to prototype new projects, and creating new project guides for us to share.

Cissy is a Bay Area native, but spent the past 3 years in Sonoma County. She is a professional cook, and most recently worked as the Cafeteria and Garden Liaison in the Farm-to-Cafeteria program at a public school in Occidental. While there, she taught cooking classes in an outdoor kitchen with Kinder through the 5th grade, and developed a great understanding of what it takes to lead a successful hands-on project in class.

She returned to school in the Fall of last year to complete her B.A. in Environmental Studies, and from there plans to go on to receive a single-subject credential to teach High School Biology and Environmental Studies. She has been making things for most of her life; her passions include sewing, papercrafts, cooking, creating random art with whatever she has on hand, and learning constantly. This year, she’s excited to be exploring making with tech; including robotics, circuitry, and using 3D printers, laser cutters, and sensors in art that respond to various stimuli.


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About Cissy Monroe

Cissy has been a Maker long before the term came into popular usage. She is a seamstress, origami and papercrafts enthusiast, and occasionally has the patience for knitting, crochet, and woodworking. For the past 5 years, she has worked as a cook -- most recently at a public school in Sonoma County that provides organic, made-from-scratch breakfasts and lunches for their students. She returned to college a year ago to complete a degree in Environmental Studies, and from there plans to pursue a teaching credential for high school biology. She joined the Creativity Lab staff through the AmeriCorps VISTA program this August. Her position as the Curriculum and Documentation Coordinator at Lighthouse will allow her explore new (to her) aspects of Making, while also supporting teachers to integrate Making into their curricula. She looks forward to sharing their projects with you here.