Marianna Ruggerio2022 National Board of Directors Election Candidate for High School Representative

Marianna Ruggerio

Auburn High School 5110 Auburn St., Rockford IL 61101

B.Sci Physics, Secondary Education Minor, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 2009
MEd Urban Education, Rockford University, 2020

Professional Experience

  • Rockford University, Adjunct Professor, Fall 2022
  • Auburn HighSchool (Rockford Public Schools) AP Physics Teacher 2016-Present
  • East High School (Rockford Public Schools), Physics Teacher 2014-2016
  • Glenbrook Evening School, Teacher 2011-2013
  • Glenbrook South High School, Science Tutor and Academic Coach, 2011-2013
  • Mundelein High School, Physics Teacher, 2009-2011


Honors and Recognitions
Illinois State AAPT Outstanding Physics Teacher of the Year (2021)


  • American Association of Physics Teachers Chicago Section AAPT Illinois Section
  • AAPT American Association of University Women


AAPT Activities

  • Chicago Section President
  • Chicago Section Vice President
  • Chicago Section Past President
  • Chicago Section High School Representative
  • Illinois Section Social Media
  • Chair Chicago Section Social Media Chair


Other Professional Activities and Honors

  • STEP-UP Advocate 2021-Present
  • Illinois Physics and Secondary Schools Partnership Program Fellow, teacher leader 2020-Present
  • Invited Lecture: Colorado/Wyoming Section AAPT (April 2022)
  • Invited Article: Voices for Educational Equity “Identity Development: Girls and Students of Color in High School Physics” (2021)


Candidate Statement
I am honored to be nominated for the high school member at large position with AAPT.

When I was an undergraduate student I stayed closely connected with my former AP Physics teacher, John Lewis. John encouraged me to get involved with our local organizations: Physics Northwest and Chicago Section as well as national AAPT. I was fortunate that the winter meeting the year I was student teaching was in Chicago, so there was no excuse not to attend. The meeting showed me the many opportunities the organization had to offer. Through the local organizations I was able to connect with teachers like Diane Rieandeau, Chris Chiavrenna, Rebecca Vierya, Gordon Ramsey and Martha Lietz. Each of these teachers inspired me in different ways to see myself not just as a high school teacher, but a leader within my professional community. Through the encouragement of John Lewis and the examples and mentorship of these other teachers I saw the value of presenting, writing and publishing. When my life brought be away from Chicago to Rockford, IL it became more important than ever for me to stay connected to the body of AAPT. I took on leadership roles in both the Chicago and Illinois State sections, serving as President and currently high school representative for Chicago section and running the social media channels for both sections.

Entering the realm of social media was what made me realize that these avenues were a major way to connect with, share, learn and grow from the community outside of meetings. I began to write several series on my blog which has reached physics teachers in 95 different countries. I’ve had conversations about how we do physics with teachers in England, France, Italy and Uruguay. It became increasingly apparent to me that the divide between high schools and colleges could only be bridged by the collaborative efforts between educators at both institutions and conversations to make PER relevant to high school educators, and the realities high school educators encounter alive for college educators.

For this reason I jumped at the opportunity to be invited to the inaugural cohort of teachers at the University of Illinois Physics Partnership for Secondary Schools (IPaSS). This program has created space for collaboration between the University and high schools across the state. Entering our third year I am now in a position where I am able to offer everything I have learned to new and out-of-field teachers across the state. Not only do I get to serve in this mentor-capacity, I also get to collaborate with faculty at the University in research.

When I applied to college I opened my essay with banter from the Arthur TV series where Arthur told his sister DW that girls cannot be astronauts. What started as a somewhat weak conviction about being a woman in physics began to grow when I co-founded the society for women in physics at the University of Illinois and then flourished into strong advocacy for all underrepresented groups as I continued my career in a highly diverse district and completed my Master’s in Education with an Urban Education emphasis. I began to incorporate lessons from the Underrepresentation Project and eventually joined the STEPUP program as an advocate. Over the years I have learned the importance of creating safe and equitable spaces for all of our underrepresented groups, because, as I tell my students “the 100% is always in the room” which means that we can only be our best selves as a collective, and a collective where every voice is part of the conversation and no one is left behind.

I am ever-grateful for the mentorship and encouragement I received early in my career to participate in AAPT and I look forward to the opportunity to further serve this amazing community.