Coaches & Mentors

Kirsten Jahn Richardson, Head Coach

Kirsten Jahn Richardson is Daisy’s official paparazzi, biographer, videographer, photographer, webmaster, visual designer, and mass organizer. She’s come a long way since joining the team as a student in 2001: Kir has earned her B.S. in Digital Media Arts from Canisius University, gotten married, and found a day job as a Senior Director of  UX/UI Design. Other than that, though, not much has changed. Kir still spends long nights with Miss Daisy, only now in a more managerial role. She has brought her professional skills, personal obsessions with organization and efficiency, and vast photo, media, and video knowledge to the students.

Hobbies: Photography, traveling, CrossFit
Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Food: Spaghetti/Anything Pasta
Average Amount of Time Spent Staring at a Computer: 12 hours/day

Sean Stevens

Sean Stevens graduated from Wissahickon in 2012 and received his B.S. and M.S. from Drexel University in Electrical Engineering. He now works as a Product Engineer at FRED Automation, where he does electronics and programming for their autonomous vehicle. Sean came back to the team because he can’t leave; he loves the environment and wants to give back to our community. In the shop, he mentors the build subteam through design and manufacturing, and acts as our drive coach at competitions.

Hobbies: Robotics, gaming, disc golf
Favorite Color: Yellow
Favorite Food: Cheesesteaks
Fun Fact: On the team’s online forum at all times

Kara Bakowski

Kara Bakowski moved to the Philadelphia area from Michigan, her home state, where she was once a FIRST® Robotics Competitionn FRC student on Team 1189, the Gearheads. She earned a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Michigan Technological University and moved out to the East Coast, where she stayed five months before deciding she needed something to do and looked for a team to mentor. She is currently a Quality Systems Manager for Cleveland-Cliffs, and is a mechanical/build mentor on our team.

Hobbies: CrossFit, doing her cats’s bidding, and napping
Favorite Color: Yellow
Favorite Food: Blueberry pie
Fun Fact: She owns fifteen flannel shirts.

Adam Nedorezov

Adam Nedorezov first joined the team in 2002 after his 9th grade physics teacher, and team founder, Mr. Ostrow, kept showing team propaganda in class; he rejoined as a mentor in 2014. On the team, he was an operator of the robot, and now mentors our electrical and programming subteams. Adam got his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering. He currently works as an R&D Engineer at The Applied Research Lab at Penn State.

Hobbies: Bowling, gaming, searching for Decepticons, crocheting
Favorite Color: Plaid
Favorite Food: Cheesesteak
Trademark Facial Expression: Stare of Unamusement™

Scott England

Scott England’s journey with FIRST® began when the world was young, when FRC was a more savage place. Before COTS parts, before bumpers, even before alliances.  In that time he’s worked with 4 different teams (122, 401, 118, and 341). Scott got his B.S. and M.S. in Engineering Science & Mechanics from Virginia Tech. He spent the first 11 years of his engineering career at NASA Johnson Space Center playing with astronauts and can personally verify that microgravity is as much fun as it sounds.  Scott took a job doing human factors engineering for Johnson & Johnson to be closer to his ancestral homeland of the Northeast. With Miss Daisy, Scott can usually be found huddling over a 3D printer or working with students to prototype overly-complicated mechanical systems.

Hobbies: Robots, Photography, Camping
Favorite Color: Burnt orange & Chicago Maroon
Favorite Food: Texmex
Favorite Simpsons Quote: “PI IS EXACTLY 3!!!”

Lou Orehek

Lou Orehek began his journey with the team after seeing several of his kids join and pass through the program. After seeing the success of both the team and his children, he felt inclined to offer his help wherever necessary. With a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering, he is currently employed at Comcast NBCUniversal. He is equipped to take on a variety of challenges. On the team, he is a tool specialist in our shop while also helping with constructing field parts, assembling our pit display, building robust robot bumpers, and assisting students carry out their goals.

Hobbies: Skiing and exercising
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Food: Pizza
Looking forward to …deep analysis of the game

Paul Shaffer

Paul was introduced to the team in 2019 after his son joined, and has been hooked ever since. He has a B.S. in Chemistry from University of Virginia, and a PhD in Biochemistry from Duke University. He works in preclinical drug discovery as a scientist at a pharmaceutical company. On our team, he can usually be found making our field parts each year. He also helps manufacture machine mechanisms, playing a key role in the production of our competition robot.

Hobbies: Woodworking
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Food: Fajitas
Biggest Accomplishment: Being published in both the Journal of Science and the Journal of Nature

Tim George

Tim George joined the team without any prior experience in FIRST® Robotics. His first encounter with FIRST® was attending a Ramp Riot event years ago, followed by volunteering for two seasons with his son’s FLL team before becoming a member of Miss Daisy. Since joining, Tim contributes to field element construction, assists in mechanical and electrical troubleshooting, works to optimize the team’s competition packing process, and most recently, he has been mentoring the programming team in improving our  digital scouting system. With a background in Electrical Engineering (B.S.) and Computer Engineering (M.S.), Tim currently serves as a Principal Software Architect at a tax technology software and solutions company for businesses.

Hobbies: Robotics, cooking on a smoker
Favorite Color: Dark green
Favorite Food: BBQ pork ribs
Fun Fact: As a teen, his grandfather taught him how to disassemble and clean antique mechanical clocks

Kris DiGregorio

Mrs. DiGregorio is a Math teacher at our school, Wissahickon High School. She joined our team as a mentor in 2023, assisting with our awards submissions and outreach programs. Both of her children are alumni of FIRST® Robotics Competition and she wants to give the students of Miss Daisy the same quality experience that her children had. She looks forward to learning more about the team and watching the season unfold as time goes on.

Hobbies: Baking, cooking, crocheting
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Food: Chicken
Fun Fact: One of her students taught in Ireland

Matt Tarabulski

Matt is an engineer at a robotics company Kulicke & Soffa, based in Fort Washington, PA. He is a Penn State graduate with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in electronic control. He joined Miss Daisy in the the fall of 2023 as a way to share his engineering knowledge with the next generation of roboticists. This year, he hopes to learn how a top tier FIRST® team works and contribute to a winning season!

Hobbies: Guitar, skiing
Favorite Color: Black
Favorite Food: Burritos
Fun Fact: Knows how to kite-surf

Rob Samuel

Rob Samuel became interested in getting involved with the robotics team after seeing Miss Daisy at local community events and then attending Ramp Riot in 2018 with his son. Rob has graduate degrees in Electrical Engineering and Information Science from Widener University, Penn State University, and Robert Morris University.  He is currently a professor of engineering at Widener University and Penn State University, specializing in systems design and innovation. On the team, he mentors the electrical team on installation, wiring repairs, and soldering techniques.

Hobbies: Golf, watersports, Philly Sports fan, vehicle repairs
Favorite Color: Stainless steel
Favorite Food: Smoked BBQ
Fun Fact: Owns a 1983 Delorean

David Leff

David is relatively new to the world of FIRST® Robotics, having been introduced to the team by a 341 alum in 2016 and signing up as a coach the following season. He studied Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. David currently works for Globus Medical, designing spinal implants. When he’s not working or helping the design and CAD subteams, he enjoys traveling around the U.S.  and visiting new places.

Hobbies: Running and reading
Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Food: Fried okra
Fun Fact: Grew up in a barn

Ian Rafter

Ian Rafter graduated from high school in 2008 and was a member of FIRST® Robotics Competition Team 486, Positronic Panthers. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University and an M.S. in Robotics from the University of Pennsylvania. He has been working in the semiconductor manufacturing industry for the past nine years and has spent time designing actuators, and programming robotic handlers. He has been more recently involved in project management. Ian came to our team because he is a member of our local community and wanted to get involved in the fun, learning environment that happens in FIRST®.

Hobbies: Dog training, gardening, kayaking, hiking, cooking
Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Food: Mint chocolate chip ice cream
Fun Fact: Rode 100 miles on a bike

Alan Ostrow, Founding Coach

Mr. Ostrow began as a small child. He then grew up. After spending his time gathering various degrees (B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and M.S. in Education from Drexel University, and a 2-year Associate Degree in Drafting and Design from the American Institute of Design), working as a draftsman for an engineering consulting company, engineer for Keebler Company (think delicious snacks), and an engineer for Gemini Bakery Equipment, Mr. Ostrow finally decided to settle down and start a family…. a robotic family. After teaching at Wissahickon High School for only one year, Mr. O became inspired. Thanks to a random promotional email, Mr. O stumbled into his first FIRST® Robotics Competition. Now, more than 25 years later, he has retired from teaching but still remains the team’s biggest supporter. Mr. Ostrow has been (and will always be) a driving force behind Daisy’s success.

Hobbies: Ice hockey, hiking, drawing, sending emails when the recipient is most likely to be sleeping
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Food: Build season pizza

Evan Ostrow

Evan Ostrow has a long history with Team 341. With his father as the team founder and former head coach, he was introduced to the world of FIRST® Robotics in elementary school. He joined the team in high school, and became a part of the Strategy, Design and Build subteams, and he gained leadership experience as team captain in 2011. Evan earned his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Drexel University. Now, he works as a systems engineer at Lockheed Martin in the Space Systems Company.

Hobbies: Ice hockey, ultimate frisbee, hiking, camping, and traveling when he can
Favorite Color: Orange
Favorite Food: Pizza with WD40 and aluminum shavings on a build season night … actually though, pizza is pretty good
Favorite Quote: “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” – John Wooden

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