Leadership Council

STEM Ed’s Leadership Council supports and expands the Institute’s impact by building its reputation as a national leader in STEM Education, with a focus on student achievement, inclusive practices, and workforce preparation.

Information on Leadership Council members can be found below.

Simoon Cannon

From 1998 to 2014, Dr. Cannon held various engineering and management positions, becoming a global leader at ExxonMobil.  She worked in research and engineering, aviation fuels marketing, marine transportation optimization, logistics, business development, environmental compliance, and refining. Prior to leaving ExxonMobil, Dr. Cannon was named Americas Compliance Advisor she set the strategic direction in managing the quality and regulatory compliance of clean and renewable fuels.

From 2014-2018, Dr. Cannon served as General Manager for fuel logistics and quality assurance for Delta Air Lines.  She led the acquisition of crude oil vessels and created the jet fuel automation system.  She served as Jet Fuel Quality Compliance Advisor for multiple aviation agencies including the FAA and IATA, leading Global Crude Strategist & Marine Charterers in Delta Air Lines

Patrick Gilley

Patrick Gilley is Plant Manager at Corning Incorporated in Canton, New York. He served there also for 2 years as Operations Manager. Previously, Patrick was Plant Manager at Novolex, in Lebanon, Tennessee. Patrick received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University. He has coordinated support from Corning Incoporated Foundation to the Clarkson Discovery Challenge-Space program, which helped North Country K-12 students develop their own projects for NASA’s Student Spaceflight Experiments Program Mission 16.

Michelle Peters

Director of Research and Education

Michelle Peters joined the ZERO-G team in early 2007 and currently works as the Director of Research & Education, having completed more than 200 flights and 5,000 parabolas. Her experience further includes supporting NASA research missions as the ZERO-G safety lead, managing the Weightless Lab research program, creating educational initiatives, and more.

Dedicated to the highest standards of excellence in every aspect of her ZERO-G career, Michelle continues to aid thousands of clients from ages 8 to 80 to achieve their Weightless Experience® goals. Whether advancing scientific investigations and STEM studies or ensuring a safe and exciting experience onboard G-FORCE ONE®, Michelle remains firmly committed to ZERO-G’s mission of making the experience of weightlessness available to everyone.

Joseph Dragone

Dr. Joseph P. Dragone received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Education degrees from The College of St. Rose, and a Master of Science, Certificate of Advanced Study and Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration and Policy Studies from the University at Albany, State University of New York. Dr. Dragone has extensive experience in school district leadership related to school and district improvement planning, instructional technology, data analysis, building organizational and instructional capacity, commitment to 21st Century Skills and extensive capital improvement projects.

Since November 2017, Dr. Dragone has served as Senior Executive Officer of the Capital Region Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES). In this role he leads seven divisions that provide programs and services including special education, career and technical education, adult education, educational support services, IT services, management services and engagement and development services to over 80,000 students and twenty-four school districts from throughout the Capital Region and to over 150 districts across New York State. He has led the development of programs in collaboration with partners in business, industry and higher education to help fuel the workforce pipeline in manufacturing, entertainment technologies, telecommunications, health careers, information technology, and various new adult workforce training programs. In collaboration with partners and service providers he has implemented a regional model to scale co-located mental health clinics in schools, co-developed and supported the growth of shared services throughout the region and led the development of three new regional educational facilities.

Prior to this appointment Dr. Dragone served as Superintendent of the Ballston Spa Central School District since 2008.

Michelle Montgomery

Michelle Montgomery is Program Director at Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Since 2019, her work has focused primarily on the annual MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge (M3 Challenge), a free contest for high school juniors and seniors in the U.S., and sixth form students in England and Wales. Michelle also develops resources for students and teachers to help them realize the value and importance of math in their lives, and to see the excitement and viability of studies and careers in STEM fields.

In 2006, Michelle helped SIAM to organize the founding M3 Challenge competition, and has since grown it from a New York-based program to an annual international contest. With a background in corporate marketing, she previously held various positions at SIAM, with responsibilities in membership, journal and book publications, conferences, and outreach programs. 

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