Phone: 860-717-CTDI (2834)
Kristen has been involved in Destination Imagination for 17 years, as a research paper writers team member, tournament volunteer, appraiser, challenge master, challenge writer, board member and now as the co-Affiliate Director for CT DI. She got her start in DI when she saw a poster advertising it at the beginning of her first year at college. Her brother had participated for many years in elementary, middle and high school, so she was excited to join a team. After graduating college, she still wanted to stay involved with DI, but had moved to a new state to start her job. She reached out to the Connecticut DI team and was greeted with open arms and she has been a volunteer ever since.
Kristen has worked at General Dynamics Electric Boat since 2002 and is an Engineering Supervisor for a fluid systems engineering group working to design the next class of nuclear submarines. She studied mechanical engineering and got her Bachelor of Science at Clarkson University and Master of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Julie has participated in Destination Imagination since 1999 (her Freshman Year of High School), following many years of participating in the Odyssey of the Mind program. Julie’s High School DI team was inseparable, spending hours at their manager’s house brainstorming solutions, constructing sets out of recyclable materials, and coming up with creative approaches to whatever challenges DI threw at them! After attending Global finals for three years, her commitment to DI was as strong as ever. Julie graduated from Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts with a Marketing degree and International Studies minor. She continued volunteering as an appraiser in her home state of New Hampshire throughout her college career. After moving to Connecticut for work after graduation, she continued as a Regional Challenge Master for NH, but soon also reached out to CT DI to get involved in her new community as a Challenge Master and Affiliate Growth Director. She is excited to be in her new role as the co-Affiliate Director for CT DI.
Julie has worked for Lincoln Financial Group for the past eight years, with 7 of those in CT and one in Philadelphia. Her current role is as a Business Management Consultant/Project Manager for Life and LTC Insurance Sales Operations. Little did she know how much her role on a DI team would help strengthen the skills she uses in her day to day responsibilities – Project Management, learning how to work well with a group, strategizing, creative problem solving and time management are just a few DI developed skills that she has been able to leverage to succeed in her profession!
Affiliate Training Director
Patti has been an educator for over 30 years. She was an early childhood educator at the JCC in West Hartford for 10 years, and later became the Director of the Farmington Valley JCC in Simsbury. She created and taught the GATEWAYS gifted/talented program in Somers – a National Blue Ribbon School. Currently, Patti is an independent contractor who works with homeschool families and other families who need additional educational support. She has been running afterschool programs in gifted/talented education at the two intermediate schools in Granby CT.
Patti was educated at the University of Hartford graduating summa cum laude as an undergraduate education major, and later earned her Master of Education degree in Educational Technology. In addition, she completed graduate level work in gifted/talented education through the NAEG school of education at UCONN- studying under Dr. Renzulli and Dr. Reis.
Patti was a founding member of the board of directors for Connecticut Destination Imagination. She wears many hats at CTDI as the Instant Challenge Master, Volunteer Coordinator, Affiliate Training Director and Secretary of the Board and before all that she started as a team manager when her children were in school.
Affiliate Growth Director
Kelly’s journey in education started in two unusual places: Walt Disney World and in the correctional system. While working at EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, they were introduced to the concept of making learning fun by merging education and engagement into an experience. While working in the corrections field, they learned about the value and importance of education in combating cycles of violence and crime. These experiences have made Kelly passionate about making learning accessible, engaging and focused on competency and relevancy to the student and the world around them.
Kelly has a Bachelors degree in Social Science Education, a Masters in Curriculum & Learning and is currently pursuing a Doctorate degree in Education that focuses on supporting the socio-emotional development of students through project based learning initiatives.
In Kelly’s professional life, they are on staff with Johns Hopkins University as a Content Specialist for the Humanities discipline where they support students in both a Master’s level program and who are teaching for the first time as Americorps members. Kelly is also an evidence evaluator for Pearson’s EdTPA program that recommends new teachers for certification in addition to be involved with writing inquiry based assessments for the CREC school district based in Hartford, Connecticut. Finally, Kelly has the extreme pleasure of teaching Law, Ethics and Criminal Justice at the Public Safety Academy in Enfield, CT and coaching middle school volleyball, indoor track and ultimate-frisbee.For fun, Kelly loves hiking, traveling and helping to raise a precocious 7 year old who is both addicted to Minecraft and poking almost anything with sticks.
Kelly looks forward to their role as the Affiliate Growth Director and is committed to growing the Destination mindset in Connecticut!