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Our Mentors

 

 

 

Head Coach Bryce McLean

 

 

Occupation: Pre-Engineering Teacher

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: I had just retired from coaching football, and wanted to find a new activity. FIRST seemed like a great extension to the engineering program at Coronado. I asked students in my engineering classes if they were interested, and got together an avid group of individuals. Team 2996 was born, and I'm still here eleven years later.

 

What is your favorite part of the year: Right after the team has finished strategy, when the prototypes for all the team's ideas are under construction. Everyone has to think outside of the box to find the best way to build a mechanism, and new team members learn more during this time than any other.

 

Lynne Williams

 

Mentor Lynne Williams

 

Occupation: Biology Teacher

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: I've always liked STEM competitions,so mentoring a FIRST team was right up my alley.

 

What is your favorite part of the year: When everyone is first coming up with their ideas. It's so interesting to see the kind of creativity everyone brings to the table.

 

David Murphy

 

 

Occupation: Mechanical Engineer

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: During the team's first year, my son was a member, and told me that Mr. McLean was looking for engineering mentors. I joined up with the team, and when my kids graduated and left, I didn't.

 

What do you like about working with the team: Knowing that I could inspire someone to lead a career in STEM.

 

Alumni Eric Luther

 

 

Occupation: Mechanical Engineering Student

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: I was on an FLL team in middle school, and I came to Coronado in order to continue with FIRST. I spent all four years on the team and loved every second.

 

What made you want to come back the team: I wanted the opportunity to see the team develop as its new members grow just like I did.

 

Joe Czechowski

 

 

Occupation: Retired Computer Scientist

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: I started mentoring when my son joined Team 20 in 1998. The FIRST program creates a learning environment that gets students excited about STEM fields.

 

What is your favorite part of the year: I enjoy going to the competitions and seeing all the teams and their robots. It's incredible to observe and hear about the tremendous variety of approaches that are taken to address the same mission.

 

Alumni Joshua Munson

 

 

Occupation: Mechanical Engineering Student

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: I was already interested in STEM and particularly robotics in middle school, and when I saw the robot demonstration at the 8th grade Open House, I couldn't wait to join the team.

 

What made you want to come back to the team: I wanted to pass on my experience to all of the new team members, so that they can improve themseleves and learn from my mistakes.

 

Alumni Chris Sherwood

 

 

Occupation: Electrical Engineering Intern

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: When the team first formed, I was in engineering classes here at Coronado, so I knew Mr. McLean already. Plenty of my friends were getting involved, and so I decided to follow suit.

 

What impact did the team have for you after graduation: The team actually helped me get my first job. After I graduated and was in college, a contact of mine, who knew about the team, asked if I wanted to fill in some electrical engineering work. It was only supposed to last for a few weeks, but I ended up working there for several years.

 

Cynthia Bernard

 

 

Occupation: Dyslexia Tutor

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: When my oldest daughter joined the team, I wanted to be a part of it, too. She has graduated and my younger daughter is now a member. This is exactly the kind of opportunity I wish had been available to me when I was in high school and I want to help make it happen.

 

What do you like about working with the team: I love showing students why technology is fascinating. Robotics is a great way to give life to math and science. I really enjoy helping the team learn engineering skills and become better decision-makers.

 

Patrick Bernard

 

 

Occupation: Systems Engineer/Data Scientist

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: My oldest daughter joined the team and I wanted to help and be a part of something she was doing.

 

What do you like about working with the team: I enjoy watching student grow and learn.

 

Cordt Kassner

 

 

Occupation: CEO of Hospice Analytics

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: I love the STEM mission, and both of my kids have participated on the robotics team throughout high school.

 

What do you like about working with the team: Students on the team are amazing and give a lot of hope for our future.

 

George Ott

 

 

Occupation: Electrical Engineer

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: I like to teach, I like to build, FIRST has both.

 

What is your favorite part of the year: My favorite part of the year is build season.

 

Bethany Petri

 

 

Occupation: QA Engineer

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: As a student in 2004, I had a desire to learn as much as I could about the world of science and engineering, which drew me to robotics in the first place. Now, my motivation has shifted to helping foster the learning of kids with that same desire.

 

What do you like about working with the team: I love working with the students. The students do a great job of running this team and spreading the joy of FIRST in the community and to anyone they meet. They have such a great energy, it's inspiring.

 

Blake Miller

 

 

Occupation: School District Administrator

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: I was a teacher at Coronado when they built their first robot, and now my son is part of the team. It's a unique experience!

 

What do you like about working with the team: It's so neat to watch all the different sub-teams come together with a polished, finished product.

 

Morgan Shepherd

 

 

Occupation: Professor of Information Systems

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: My sons were both part of the team and I thought I would help out.

 

What is your favorite part of the year: Competing in the Denver regional, where every member of the team really gives it their all.

 

Alumni Ryan Kight

 

 

Occupation: Engineering Student

 

What made you want to come back to the team: Its addicting. There are very few engineering opportunities like the ones FIRST presents, especially in college. Even as a mentor, FIRST is an engineering challenge that can be learned from and make us better students, and engineers in the future.

 

What is your favorite part of the year: After all the design and prototyping is done, the systems integration team has completed the CAD and there is a moment to admire your work before parts come in from the fabricator. The moment we get parts in, chaos starts again, that's my favorite part.

 

Ginger Coleman

 

 

Occupation: SharePoint Administrator

 

What do you like about working with the team: Listening to the ideas and then when it comes together how excited they get.

 

What is your favorite part of the year: Watching the kids come alive with spirit at the competitions and how contagious it is. Then watching other teams join because CGW is so dynamic.

 

Alumni Britt Knox

 

 

Occupation: Student at UCCS

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: The opportunity to use stem and advance my own knowledge.

 

What is your favorite part of the year: Kickoff to see what is in store for the year.

 

Troy Van Caster

 

 

Occupation: Electrical Engineer

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: I became a mentor this year because both my sons are currently on the robotics team and it gave me an opportunity to work with them. I also enjoy the challenge of teaching the students how to think about and solve complex problems.

 

What do you like about working with the team: In my short time as a mentor, I have been truly impressed with the student leaders and how well they lead their sub-teams.

 

Jason Ulrich

 

 

Occupation: Engineer

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: My son and our mutual admiration for design and engineering.

 

What do you like about working with the team: It’s a great group of students and mentors sharing the same drive and vision.

 

Mikie Ulrich

 

 

Occupation: Director - Software Support, Oracle Corporation

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: I have always had a passion for math, science and technology. Last year, my son joined the team and it was fun to be around during the competitions, so I decided to get involved as a mentor.

 

What do you like about working with the team: Watching the students work hard to accomplish their goals, support each other and have fun all at the same time.

 

Thomas Thoms

 

 

Occupation: Retired from the Motion Picture Industry

 

What do you like about working with the team: The students are so talented.

 

Brian Worby

 

 

Occupation: Firmware Engineer

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: It looked interesting and i thought I could help out.

 

What is your favorite part of the year: Competing in our home state at the Denver regional.

 

Joy Yeakley

 

 

Occupation: Psychotherapist

 

What inspired you to join FIRST: FIRST attracts creative, bright, and relational kids who will change the world, and I want to see them grow.

 

What do you like about working with the team: Being a part of the robotics family.

 

Brian Arneson

 

 

Occupation: Software Engineer

 

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