Meet the Team: Sue Reiss, Director of Curriculum Development
We are excited for you to meet Sue Reiss, our dedicated Director of Curriculum Development at Exploros. Delve into her professional journey and gain valuable insights as she shares her role in shaping our impactful Social Studies curriculum.
How long have you been with Exploros?
Since its founding in 2013. I have worked with the current CEO and COO in various educational technology companies since the early 1990s.
Why did you join the Exploros team?
The emergence of social media and personal devices finally gave us technological tools that could be used to educate and not just to drill. Suddenly the use of technology for any subject matter made sense. Working on the Exploros team lets me combine my two interests of software development and content development. And Exploros offered me the opportunity for continued personal growth—every day I deal with new topics and accept new challenges.
How do you achieve success in your role at Exploros?
My position at Exploros has offered me something that I never had over decades of work with educational technology—direct contact with the teachers who are using the product. In the early days of shaping our Social Studies curriculum, I worked closely with a group of teachers at B. Garza Middle School in Weslaco, TX. Their requests, comments, and insights were invaluable, and their dedication to helping their students succeed was an inspiration. I have also had the opportunity to participate in focus groups and discussions with teachers from a wide range of districts. Each has given me new ideas to incorporate into our curriculum, helping it evolve to best serve our community of users.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received in your career at Exploros?
In the early years of Exploros we worked with a consultant who suggested that we use a 5E model for our Social Studies lessons. The 5E model is most often used in STEM subjects, and at first his suggestion was puzzling, but as we worked with it and applied to Social Studies, the pieces fell into place. The 5E model helped scaffold the material and organize it into accessible chunks for the students.
Tell us about your career path leading to Exploros.
I started my career as a technical writer. I loved to get a a new piece of software and learn the ins-and-outs of it and then explain it to users. I was also involved with the early push that the technical writer should be involved with the UI design, because we knew that if a feature was highly difficult to explain, the problem was actually with the design of the feature and not our writing abilities. At one point early on I was contracted by a science simulation software company to document their platform and models. I ended up staying with that company for many years, gradually transitioning into curriculum development. A series of buy-outs sent me to other educational technology companies and finally landed me at Exploros, back with some of the same leaders from that original science simulation company.
What do you love most about what you do at Exploros?
I love the wide variety of tasks that I deal with daily. They keep the job fresh and interesting. I love knowing that there are entire classes of students who have learned some Social Studies and performed well on the state tests as a result of using our curriculum. I love learning myself, and Social Studies is more important than ever in today’s globalized world. And I love hearing from our users—even if they are reporting a typo or a dead link, that means that people are using our products.
Share a surprising or fun fact about you.
I live overseas, where I get up at 3:00 AM to watch San Antonio Spurs games on live TV. I grew up in San Antonio, although I have not lived there since I left for college. I never dreamed that any of my children would end up back in Texas, but my son is now living in Houston while working on post-doc research at Rice University. So my two oldest grandchildren are turning into Texans, closing the circle. One of their favorite things to do in Texas is go to the Renaissance Fair.
Sue Reiss stands as a cornerstone in Exploros' commitment to educational excellence. Her journey from a technical writer to the Director of Curriculum Development reflects a deep-seated passion for enhancing learning experiences. Sue's relentless dedication, insights, and contributions continue to shape our innovative Social Studies curriculum, leaving an indelible mark on the intersection of technology and education. We are incredibly fortunate to have Sue as an integral part of our team, and her expertise and dedication are invaluable assets to our mission.