Congratulations to our 2022 STEAM Teachers of the Year, RAFT Heroes, RAFT Volunteer Awardees, and RAFT Partner of the Year! Thank you for all you do for our educators, students, our community, and RAFT!

STEAM Teachers of the Year

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Kim Brown

STEAM Teacher, Raymond J. Fisher Middle School

STEAM Teacher of the Year

Presented by AON

Kim is exceptional because she is always trying new things and looks for new resources to bring to her students. She is passionate about what she does and brings years of experience she’s gained from teaching a variety of subjects and being a natural tinkerer at heart. Students are building up lifelong STEAM skills in her class.

– Amy Liang, Director of Technology, Los Gatos Union School District

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Tom Carvey

Middle School Teacher, San Lucas Union School

STEAM Teacher of the Year

Presented by Deloitte

Mr. Carvey definitely teaches for love of the job, for the opportunity to reach children from hard life circumstances and inspire them to reach for the stars. His co teachers have described him as having a heart of gold, and he is easily the most beloved teacher on campus.

– Jessica Riley, Principal/Superintendent, San Lucas Union School District

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Laurin LaRocca

5th Grade Teacher, Montague Elementary

STEAM Teacher of the Year

Presented by Morgan Stanley

Ms. LaRocca supplies her students with real world application of STEAM lessons and gives her students agency in her classroom. In addition to supporting her students, Ms. LaRocca is also a key resource for her fellow teachers. She has been a key contact for our teachers learning computer science and coding specifically.

– Leanna Goldenberg, Principal, Montague Elementary

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Bryan Williams

Design Lab Teacher, Don Callejon School

STEAM Teacher of the Year

Presented by Synopsys, Inc.

Bryan Williams is an incredible instructor and shares freely. Whenever I visit Bryan’s classroom, students are fully immersed in the Design Thinking process. In addition, he is really thoughtful in providing students with true Engineering opportunities and helping them learn and grow.

– Stephanie Rothstein, EdTech TOSA, Santa Clara Unified School District

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Margie Wysocki

3rd Grade Teacher, Kathryn Hughes Elementary School

STEAM Teacher of the Year

Presented by Adobe

Ms. Wysocki has taught fifth grade for many years and as she transitioned to third grade, she continued to understand the benefit of incorporating educational technology into her lessons with the third grade students. She successfully shifts her instructional practices to match and meet the needs of the third grade students. Ms. Wysocki consistently engages her students in coding and robotics year after year, no matter their age.

– Joe Young, Principal, Kathryn Hughes Elementary School

RAFT Heroes of the Year

Dona Whitney RAFT Hero

Donna Whitney


Presented by Intuit

Donna Whitney has been a supporter of RAFT since 1997 and currently serves on the RAFT Advisory Board.  The Thomas and Donna Whitney Education Foundation helped RAFT run a successful capital campaign and buy the RAFT Headquarters building.  The "We Can Do This” attitude of RAFT has kept Donna, her husband Uwe Kladde, and the Whitney Foundation Board supporting educators and students through the programs and facilities of RAFT. 

Randy Pond RAFT Hero

Randy Pond


Presented by KPMG

Randy Pond came to RAFT via John Morgridge, who suggested Randy get involved while he was at Cisco. RAFT reached out to Cisco to help with funding to purchase paper for teachers. Randy was very sympathetic to the fact that teachers had to buy their own paper and he gave a grant just for purchasing paper which later turned into general operating grant. He has continued to renew the grant every year. Since 2004, Randy has been a major donor and contributor to RAFT and currently serves on the Advisory Board.

RAFT Volunteers of the Year

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Jeffrey Fox

RAFT Volunteer of the Year

Presented by the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation

Jeffrey Fox has been with RAFT for 5 years. His dedication to RAFT and education makes it easy to forget that he is a volunteer and not a RAFT employee. Not only does Jeffrey dedicate his time to RAFT, he is also a significant donor.  Jeffrey came to RAFT through an Encore Fellowship upon retiring from Intel and continued to volunteer his time. He helps create and design STEAM Project Kits as well as leading engaging activities during RAFT Maker Mobile visits. 

Lakshmi and Aravind

Lakshmi Avanasiappan & Aravind Saminathan

RAFT Volunteers of the Year

Presented by Dolby

Lakshmi and Aravind are a mother and son volunteer team. The pair have been volunteering at RAFT for the past 3 years. During the pandemic they came to RAFT every week to pick up projects to complete at home. For the past year they have been coming onsite and volunteering every day. Their family has even donated a $500 die cut machine to help keep our STEAM Project Kit production going. 

RAFT Partner of the Year


RAFT is proud to honor Synopsys the Silicon Valley Science & Technology Outreach Foundation as our 2022 Partner of the Year Award recipient. The Synopsys Outreach Foundation is committed to igniting interest, nurturing potential, and empowering all students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. For the past two years the foundation has partnered with RAFT to deliver STEAM Project Kits, Maker Mobile visits, memberships, and professional development training.