• Oct. 18, 2022

    USCHS teacher named esports Scholastic Fellow

    Monica ErwinAn Upper St. Clair High School teacher has been named a 2022-23 Scholastic Fellow by the North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF). Biology Teacher Monica Erwin, who serves as the school’s esports club sponsor, is one of 30 individuals and the only Pennsylvania teacher selected for this honor.

    The Scholastic Fellow Program is an elite professional learning community providing mentorship, tools, resources and instructional coaching for educators who are tapping the power of interest-based learning by connecting esports and education. The program provides ongoing support and opportunity to educators in order to benefit students in schools and out-of-school time / community-based organizations across the globe.

    “As we enter our fourth consecutive year of the program, it is incredible to see the diversity of educators and unique intersections of esports in education, which continues to elevate the exciting opportunity that scholastic esports can provide for young people,” said Jorrel Batac, NASEF’s chief operating officer and director of the program. “I can’t wait to see the projects and programs that this year’s cohort will create and collaborate on encouraging the growth of a global community.”

    The USC Esports Club was formed about two years ago. With more than 50 students currently signed up, the club has four active teams competing on the PlayVS, an esports competition platform, with Rocket League, Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart.

    “Esports is a great way to build teamwork, communication, strategy and sportsmanship. It is also a way to build community at the high school involving diverse groups of students. Not every student is an athlete and esports offers a way for students to develop skills similar to those of a sports team,” Mrs. Erwin said. “I chose to become a NASEF Scholastic Fellow because I see an amazing future for esports at my school but I need help with how to get it to that future.”

    Twenty-four USCHS students competed in an in-school esports tournament on Oct. 12. Mrs. Erwin anticipates hosting additional tournaments and events in the future.

    “As the club develops, I hope to incorporate career pathways as well as give students opportunities for leadership in the club, such as advertising events, fundraising, organization of events, and coaching opportunities,” she said. “I am very excited to see how this club grows in the future.”

    Scholastic Fellows who complete their year of fellowship have the opportunity to move on to become a Scholastic Mentor, building on their leadership by supporting other educators in the community. All of the Fellows who complete this pathway are certified "Community Leaders" who become the official NASEF Trainers-of-trainers. They will support the continued capacity building of educators and communities around the world.

    The 30 Scholastic Fellows hail from 10 different countries, including Canada, Costa Rica, India, Japan, Nigeria, South Korea, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom, United States and Uzbekistan.


    2022-2023 Scholastic Fellows

    • Mauricio Aragón, Resource Teacher, Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano, Alajuela, Costa Rica
    • Taylor Belote, Esports Coach/Advisor, John R. Rogers High School, Washington, United States
    • Jeffery Bostic, Digital Media Associate, Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County, New York, United States
    • Jeanna Dawson, Founder, Eastside Esports League, Georgia, United States
    • Melissa Dent, Teacher, Rosedale Public School, Ontario, Canada
    • Julius Edwards, Teacher/Esports Coordinator, Palm Beach Lakes High School, Florida, United States
    • Monica Erwin, Teacher/Esports Club Sponsor, Upper St. Clair School District, Pennsylvania, United States
    • Cooper Fiscus-Van Rossum, Adjunct Professor, Georgia Film Academy, Georgia, United States
    • Hirotomo Fukushima, Teacher / Chief of Esports section, Clark Memorial International High School, Hokkaido, Japan
    • Joey Gawrysiak, Director and Professor of Esports, Shenandoah University, Virginia, United States
    • Kamini Gill, CAO, New Horizons Alliance Private Limited, Maharashtra, India
    • Enzo Guarini, Esport Course Leader / Pathway Leader, Barnsley College: Higher Education, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom
    • Shawn Higgins, 6th-12th Game Making Teacher, ORCA, Oregon, United States
    • Matthew Iske, Founder, Unified Esports League, California, United States
    • Juniette Kanga, Homeschool teacher and leader, Homeschool Group, California, United States
    • Chiae Kitayama, Administrator, Koreatown Pico-Union Community of Schools, California, United States
    • Kevin Le, Math Teacher/CTE Esports Instructor/OCCUE Outreach Equity Chair. Lathrop Intermediate/SAUSD/Orange County Computer Using Educators (OCCUE). California, United States
    • Jaehyuk (Jake) Lee, Senior Director, Elite Open School, Seoul, South Korea
    • Kathrin McGregor MEd, NBCT, Dept of Technology Services R&D / Scholastic Esports Lead, East Baton Rouge Parish Schools-DTS Central Office, Louisiana, United States
    • Aba Ngissah, President, Inglewood Teachers Association, Inglewood Unified School District, California, United States
    • Akil O'Connor, Director, Scholastic Esports Research Center (SEsport), Maraval, Trinidad and Tobago
    • Austin Onwudachi, Computer Science Educator, Igotcoderz, California, United States
    • Monique Paes, Special Education/Literacy Teacher, Bronx River High School, New York, United States
    • Maggie Robison, CTE Teacher)/ Esports Coach, Rock Hill High School Prosper ISD, Texas, United States
    • Mahmud Shehu, Teacher/Vice Principal Academic, Government Girls Day Secondary school, Sokoto, Nigeria
    • Shawn Stern, CTE Director/Teacher, Ilwaco High School, Washington, United States
    • Bence Tamas, International Affairs, Thirdwave Co. / NASEF Japan, Tokyo, Japan
    • LaQuinn Thompson, Founder, The BEAST Initiative, Pennsylvania, United States
    • Peter Whitmore, Coordinator -Technology, Innovation, & Assessment, Moreno Valley Unified School District, California, United States
    • Nuriddin Yuldashev, Director, American Corner Namangan, Namangan, Uzbekistan