Meet The Mentors

Christine Miska

Lead Mentor/Team Founder

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Christine is the founder, coach, and a mentor for the robotics team. She is always helping with all the different teams and is always willing to help and learn something new. Christine has two kids in robotics Jake (10th grade) and Alana (8th grade). Christine got her Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at WPI, then got her Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at Syracuse University! Christine works at BAE Systems as an Engineering Director. When asked what she likes about our team she said, “I love our team. I think it has a big impact on our students today and for their future careers.” She’s also happy that robotics has exposed more girls to STEM. She loves the impact that robotics has had on our school. Christine also won the MASS HIGH TECH – Woman To Watch Award in 2008. For hobbies Christine is on the board of Ayer Shirley Education Foundation and involved in the High School Music Boosters.


Steve Plamondon

Hardware Mentor

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Steve is the vice president of sales at Bunce Industries. They supply positioning solutions for civil engineering, surveying, and construction. Steve went to Providence College for a business degree in marketing. He then went to Wentworth Institution of Technology in Boston for his master’s in construction technology. Steve is a hardware mentor and the materials manager. His son, Ben (11th grade) is on the robotics team. When asked what he likes about robotics Steve said, “I enjoy working and teaching kids, but I also like learning about technical and mechanical engineering too.” Steve’s hobbies include riding his bike almost every day, running, fishing, boating, and other outdoor activities.


Paul Fillion

Hardware Mentor

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Paul is a retired electrician who mentors the hardware team.  He is Christine Miska’s father (Founder), and his grandkids are also involved in robotics.  Paul went to college for one year at Holyoke college, then joined the army for two years and is a Vietnam Veteran. Paul works very hard with everyone in the hardware group, and last year was nominated for the Woodie Flowers mentor award. When asked what he likes about robotics Paul replied, “I like working with students and giving them an opportunity to build things they wouldn’t normally build and have the chance to enjoy robotics.” He also said, “ this program helps teach kids to set up websites, financing skills, building, hardware, and this program teaches more than any other extra- curricular activities.” Paul’s hobbies are golfing and home projects.


William J. Schilp, PhD

Software Mentor

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Bill is a software engineer and works at Ansys. He has a Ph.D. in computer science and went to the University of South Florida for 11 years. Prior to college, Bill served in the U.S. Navy for 6 years as a machinist mate, and was involved in the first Iraq war. Bill has a daughter involved in robotics, Jillian (11th grade). He is a software mentor, and when asked what he likes about robotics he said, “I enjoy teaching kids real world software development.” For hobbies, Bill likes to scuba dive, ride his motorcycle, and play clarinet and saxophone in the community band.


Bill Walter

Hardware Mentor

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Bill is an electrical engineer and works at Linear Technology. He designs integrated circuits. Bill went to the University of Illinois for his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He got his master’s degree at Northeastern University, also for electrical engineering. He is a hardware mentor and when asked what he likes about robotics he said, “I like electronics in general, and robotics is fun because I can work with both electronics and mechanics.” For hobbies, Bill flies gliders and rides motorcycles. He also has 11 patents in electrical engineering.


 Walter Miska

Rules and Strategies Mentor

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Walter Miska is a first year mentor who is an Andromeda One Rules and Strategy Lead. Walter is a licensed Professional Engineer. He is currently the proud owner of Craft Beer Cellar Westford. He has also owned EmbroidMe in Chelmsford and worked as the North American Environmental Health and Safety Manager at EMC. Walter went to college for Civil Engineering at WPI, where he received his bachelors degree. He earned his masters degree in Environmental Engineering at UMass Lowell. He is the father of Jacob Miska (Junior and Hardware Lead) and Alana Miska (Freshman and CAD Lead). He is also the husband of the Founder and Coach of the team, Christine Miska. His hobbies include playing pool and hydroponic gardening.


Tammy Valiere

Food Manager

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Tammy’s professional career had her working as a Senior Software Engineer for Lau Technologies in Littleton MA, where she worked on Facial Recognition Software products for five years. She has a Masters degree in Computer Science and a Minor degree in Math from Fitchburg State University. She is currently employed by AIG Insurance as an Administrative Assistant. Tammy has two sons, Bryce ( 9th grade ) and Seth ( 5th Grade ) both who are involved in robotics. Tammy is a Food Management Lead for the team. Tammy’s hobbies include being the treasurer of the Page Hilltop PTO, Pilates and running half marathons.


Mike Ernst

Rules and Strategies Mentor

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Mike is a Staging Tech Infor and has three kids involved in robotics Edward (10th grade), William (10th grade), and Sarah (11th Grade). Mike is a rules and strategies mentor on the team, but he can often been found helping out the other teams. When asked what he likes about robotics he said, “I like the team environment, and the different aspects of the whole team, but at the end everyone comes together for the competition.” Last year Mike Ernst was voted by the students for the Woodie Flowers award. Congratulations Mike! For hobbies he likes to coach and umpire baseball and softball.


Dave Valliere

Hardware Mentor

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Dave recently joined IBM in Littleton MA as a Software Engineer with the Source Code Management team. Prior to that he spent 15 years with SunGard Financial as a Director of Software Development. Dave has a Masters Degree in Computer Science from Boston University. Dave has two sons involved in robotics – Bryce ( 9th grade ) on Andromeda One and Seth ( 5th Grade ) on the FLL Team mentored by Ben Plamondon. For hobbies Dave coaches baseball, soccer and basketball. Dave is a first year mentor with the 4905 MassFIRST team and happy to be involved with the hardware team. When asked what he liked about robotics he said “The team needed to put a robot together in 6 weeks it is incredible! There is a high degree of professionalism, cooperation, and determination. I have the opportunity to learn from the students each day!”.


Christine McGrath

Finance Lead Mentor

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Christine McGrath is a finance lead mentor on the Andromeda One team. Christine is in charge of handling all the money, whether it be coming in from major sponsors, or being spent on a couple of bolts She has been on the team for three years, starting on our rookie year and has been a huge help. Christine has her daughter Jenn (grade 12) on the team as the pit design lead. Christine went to college for accounting at UMass Lowell and this greatly helped her guide the finances on the team. She currently works at Eisenberg Assisted Living as a bookkeeper and office manager. In her free time, Christine can be found watching her kids play sports and taking pictures. When asked, what her favorite thing about robotics is, she said, ”the excitement and pride of the kids when they achieve a goal.”

Earl Hasz

CAD Lead Mentor

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Earl Hasz has been the Andromeda One CAD Lead for the past three years. Earl is a Technical Sales Specialist at the company that makes the SolidWorks CAD tool used by our team. Earl has a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a specialty in Computer Science from the University of Colorado Boulder. He is the father of Andromeda One member, Ethan Hasz who is a sophomore at ASRHS. In addition to volunteering as a mentor for FRC 4905, Earl rides in the Pan-Mass Challenge, enjoys brewing craft beer and roots for the Denver Broncos.


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