Meet Leni Silberman
by Jan Whitmer
Leni Silberman, a new volunteer, brings a wealth of experience to the Environmental Volunteers. Her diverse work background has always revolved around science, computers, and teaching, which certainly fits with The E.V.! With a degree from New York City’s Queens College in biology-education and a Master’s degree in education (geology minor) from the University of Rochester, Leni taught middle school science in upstate New York for 4 years, then substituted in the Palo Alto schools for 15 years, after the family moved to the Bay Area. She has also taught introductory chemistry labs and taught an intro computer class at Foothill College.
Other education-related jobs Leni has held include her most recent position as manager of Technology Training Services at Stanford University and a job with The Learning Company managing content and documentation development for children’s educational software. She became interested in computers while working in a computer program at Jordan Middle School in Palo Alto. This enrichment program taught computer basics and strived particularly to interest girls in computers. Leni then went on to work at the American Institute for Research, on a project to get women and girls involved with computers in the 80s.
Leni is devoted to her 4 grandchildren and travels quite a bit to visit them. Her daughter Daryl lives in Oregon, and her son Kevin is in Minnesota. It is not surprising, given Leni’s interests, that Daryl and Kevin are both teachers, one of music, the other of geography.
Despite her busy work schedule, Leni has always found time for her passionate avocations--birding and music. She plays baroque flute, recorder, and harpsichord weekly with various groups, and modern flute in a wind quintet. As for birding, Leni always travels with binoculars and a bird guide.
Leni has always thought of herself as an educator rather than a content expert. She prefers to emphasize observation skills and research rather than fact memorization. We will surely benefit from this philosophy, as well as Leni’s experience and commitment.