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Vickei Hrdina

Director of Career Readiness & STEM Initiatives
Career Connect SW

As Director of Career Readiness & STEM Initiatives, Vickei leads Career Connect SW, the regional STEM and Career Connected Learning Network and the local Washington State LASER Alliance. The main goal of the network is to partner with school districts, Career Connect Washington, LASER, Washington STEM, local businesses, families, community partners and higher ed to craft strategic approaches to deliver STEM and Career Connected learning that meets the needs of each community in the ESD112 region. Vickei began her career as an archaeologist and worked for more than a decade as an education program manager with the Field Museum in Chicago, translating field research directly into classroom instruction and coaching teachers on using authentic STEM practices with students. Vickei went on to develop a statewide integrated STEM curriculum based in archaeology and cultural anthropology with the University of Nevada Las Vegas and 19 Native American tribal organizations before continuing on to complete her teaching credentials, and eventually teach middle school STEM in Chicago and Northwest Indiana. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Educational Anthropology, Washington Administrative credentials, and teaching endorsements in elementary, middle level science, CTE and Native Education. In 2014, Vickei joined ESD112 as Regional Science Coordinator and has helped to grow the STEM program in that region ever since.  Vickei is passionate about connecting every student to their STEM-relevant skills through project-based learning, reciprocal family and community engagement and teacher education reform.