Everyone who’s a part of Silicon STEM Academy, from Management to Instructors to Summer Camp leaders – is a STEM guru and loves what they teach, because they teach what they love!
Director of Student Programs
Marisa brings unique experience to SSA after having spent the past five years coaching and directing summer camps for a local musical theater camps for kids. She studied vocal performance at the University of Denver and later, sang and studied opera in Milan, Italy. She also gives private voice lessons.
She is passionate about motivating kids to learn in a fun and memorable way and will bring great energy to SSA’s Summer Camps.
23 Maecenas 43 Morbi vitae
Kelly began her career as an advertising copywriter for Circuit City Headquarters, then moved on to technical writing & editing for the IT Division of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. While there, she taught herself digital page-layout and graphic design, both emerging fields at the time.
She freelanced as a writer/editor and digital designer for many years while raising two ‘tech kids.’ Kelly later co-founded IP5280, a Denver VoIP phone company, where she continued to use her digital media and web design skills for the business, while also providing technical support and customer training. She is currently co-owner/operator of Silicon STEM Academy, where she teaches Digital Media workshops. Kelly has a Bachelor’s degrees in Advertising Journalism and Spanish from the University of Maryland, and a Graduate Certificate in Desktop Design from the George Washington University.
Why did I want to create SSA? “Every kid is not interested in baseball or gymnastics. After-school and summer enrichment for kids who are passionate about technology is long overdue. Our future coders, inventors, and creators are ready for real-world training in a dynamic collaborative environment. That’s how we give them a head-start on a brilliant future!”
64 Maecenas 12 Morbi vitae
Matt “Spamp” Spampinato
Chief Academic Advisor
Spamp is the founder of the Center for Communication Technology (CCT) magnet at Thomas Jefferson High School—Colorado’s largest technology education program in a traditional high school setting. As a certified teacher, he taught journalism, photojournalism, and TV production classes, and later expanded the CCT magnet to include video production, robotics, 3D animation, software engineering and more. This nationally recognized program is now being used as the model for Denver Public Schools and other programs in the region.
“My life philosophy is that man should fill every moment with meaningful, crafty, playful, innovative, and artistic creation. We learn by doing, building, toiling, failing and succeeding.” What do I do for fun? “Deep down, I am a tinkerer. I’ve built robots, guitars, furniture…even a log cabin!” Favorite Tool: “Dremel 4000 Rotary Tool! How’d they build the pyramids without it?”
5 Maecenas 41 Morbi vitae
“John is an innovator at heart, playing a pivotal role in the early introduction of several technologies that are the norm today: the Internet (yes, THAT Internet), IP Security, HDTV, and VoIP technology. As VP of Marketing for MCI, and SVP of Marketing for Qwest and Echostar and MegaPath, he has been recognized in everything from the Wall Street Journal to the Denver Post. He even earned an ‘Addy’ award. He later founded LineSider Communications and IP5280 Communications.”
“I’m fascinated by the convergence of art and science. I can’t wait to explore the next wave of innovation!” John is a huge supporter of kids’ causes and serves on the Corporate Board of the Children’s Hospital Colorado. SSA is his 3rd “tech” business. What do I do for fun? I’m having a ton of fun playing guitar in an acoustic rock band, called the ‘Rotten Uncles!’ Come out and see us play! I’m also a 14er enthusiast, and was fortunate to climb Mt. Rainier this year. My ‘smartest’ gizmo? “It has to be my smart phone. The technology we all carry around in our pockets is staggering…it makes everything else look positively archaic.”