Meet Our Staff

  • As you embark on your journey through space and science, it's important to meet the talented and passionate individuals who make our center an extraordinary place. Here are the faces behind the mission...we’re an energetic crew and we’re excited to fly with you soon!

Three Mission Commanders standing in a spacecraft

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Andy Raab

Mission Commander

Andy Raab began his teaching career at the Hilton Central School as an 8th grade science and math teacher.  In 2001, his adventure as a Mission Commander at the Rochester Challenger Learning Center began.  Andy has inspired children using Math, Science and Technology for more than 20 years. His enthusiasm for learning has made the Challenger experience special for each and every child.  Commander Raab has flown over 4,000 missions and he has received countless accolades for his work in curriculum development and programming.  Andy single-handedly designed a 3 part video conference on fractions that is now widely used in Monroe County and beyond.  This fun, interactive and enriching program hosts a fictional superhero affectionately known as “Fraction Hero”.  Our masked superhero does battle with his arch enemies “Dr. Improper” “The Pizza Pirate” and “Captain Irrational”.  The students solve fraction challenges in order to save our hero.  Andy’s unique ability to create, design and build interactive and engaging programs is unparalleled.  Andy truly infuses joy into learning. In response to Covid , Andy developed a “Virtual Mission to Mars”.  This video broadcast also included 5 days of web-based asynchronous learning activities that focused upon specific tasks within the mission.  This program was broadcast into schools, rooms, and homes across the United States and Canada when many could not leave the safety of their home.  This program was enjoyed by thousands of students and was an excellent resource for many teachers in a difficult time.  Commander Andy Raab is an integral part of the Challenger team!!  We are fortunate to have him on our team. 

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Lauren Raines

Mission Commander

Lauren has her Bachelors in Natural Science/Health Science from Daemen University, and her Masters in Education from Roberts Wesleyan College. She has flown with Challenger since September 2022, brings the Great Lakes Mystery Adventure to several local area schools, and connects with several schools via Video Conferencing on both local and world-wide platforms in grades K-12. Previous to Challenger, the Great Lakes Mystery, and Video Conferencing, she taught at Brockport Central School District for 8 years as a Special Education Teacher in 4th and 5th grade where she also utilized inclusive technology to accommodate her students’ extensive needs.

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Loni Butlin

Loni comes to Challenger from the Hilton Central School District after dedicating 15 years as a 5th and 6th grade intermediate teacher. With a commitment to fostering service learning and hands-on experiences for students, she has an ardent desire to inspire young minds and make an impact on the future of math and science education through discovery and exploration. Loni’s true passion lies in the world of science, with a particular fascination for astronomy and biology. Beyond her experiences in the classroom, Loni is a devoted beekeeper who extends her knowledge and guidance to other local beekeepers as a mentor. Loni’s love for science, math, and technology knows no bounds, and she aspires to channel this enthusiasm into the Challenger Center program as a proud Mission Commander.

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Christine Treasure

Director of School Improvement/Chief of Staff

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Amy Vallone

Operations Manager

  • As a leader in STEM education, Challenger Center and its network of Challenger Learning Centers use experiential STEM education programs that bring STEM subjects to life and inspire students to pursue STEM careers. Challenger Learning Center of Greater Rochester is part of the global network that reaches hundreds of thousands of students every year. In the aftermath of the Challenger STS-51L tragedy, the crew’s families came together, committed to continuing the education mission. In 1986, the families of the Challenger STS-51L crew created Challenger Center to carry on the spirit of their loved ones and continue the education mission. Learn more at www.challenger.org.

     

     

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