NC3 Master Instructor Spotlight | Stefany Gurgel 

NC3 Staff Spotlight | Sean Kearns
June 26, 2024
NC3 Staff Spotlight | Sean Kearns
June 26, 2024

NC3 has some impressive Master Instructors in our ranks and this Instructor Spotlight series aims to highlight the incredibly talented individuals who work with us. We’ll be featuring a new interview in our monthly newsletters, here on our website, and on our social media pages each month.

Stefany Gurgel 

NC3 Master Instructor | Festo | Jewish Leadership Academy

Stefany Gurgel is an NC3 Master Instructor for Festo and an Instructor at the Jewish Leadership Academy in Miami, FL. She specializes in advanced manufacturing and robotics and has been involved with NC3 for the past five years.

Check out our Q&A session below to learn more about Stefany, her school, how she originally got involved with NC3, being an NC3 Master Instructor, and more!

I am a former Civil Engineer who transitioned my career path into education seven years ago when I began teaching a high school vocational pre-engineering program in advanced manufacturing and robotics at Monmouth County Vocational School District. I moved to Miami a year ago and teach engineering electives for middle and high school students.

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Rutgers and pursued the career for four years, but I’ve always loved school and knew I would get into the education world one day. One of my fondest childhood memories was when my grandmother gave me a chalkboard as a gift. I would go to her house and spend hours doing lesson plans in a notebook and teaching the lessons on the chalkboard to my invisible students. 

I embarked on a master’s degree at Stevens Institute of Technology in Construction Management, with the aim of eventually becoming a college professor. However, after the first semester, I had to make the difficult decision to drop out due to the challenges of balancing school and my career. I felt a deep sense of loss and disappointment but also felt a strong desire to continue learning. It was during this time that I came across an ad for the alternative route to teaching courses at Monmouth County Vocational School District, and I decided to take a chance.

During the course, I learned that Monmouth County Vocational would start a new program in Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics and was looking for a teacher with an engineering degree. I applied for the position and decided to leave engineering to become a teacher, and from the very first time I taught, I knew I had made the best decision for myself.

Monmouth County Vocational School District started the Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics program with an industry partner, Festo Didactic, which was taught inside the company for two years. As the teacher for the program, I worked very closely with Festo to learn about their training equipment and coursework, as I was tasked with developing the entire two-year curriculum for MCVSD’s program.

Festo began a partnership with NC3 to develop industry certification for advanced manufacturing, and once I learned about it, my professional development goal for 2019 was to obtain these certifications. I am a lifelong learner who puts my students’ interests first. I knew providing my students the opportunity to be industry-certified would enhance their education experience and provide them with more opportunities after graduating high school.

At my first Train-the-Trainer event in the summer of 2019, I met Lisa Marshall, the Festo Program Manager, and we connected immediately. In September 2019, Lisa reached out to me with the opportunity to teach the first Festo Intro to Mechatronics Train-the-Trainer class, and from then on, my involvement with NC3 has only grown. I became an NC3 Master Instructor, obtained various certificates, and developed curriculums for the Festo STEM certifications.

My favorite part of Train-the-Trainers is connecting and collaborating with other teachers. No matter your experience, you can always learn something new when you connect and collaborate with professionals from various backgrounds and states. There has not been one Train-the-Trainer event from which I haven’t learned something. I have always been able to turnkey and add something new to my teaching toolkit after every Train-the-Trainer.

Not only will you be joining a group of passionate professionals whose goal is to help bridge the gap between schools and industry and provide students with skills and knowledge to succeed in their careers, but being an NC3 Master instructor will open many doors for you, your students, and your school. For example, I have been accepted to attend a summer program for teachers at MIT. The program is prestigious as only 20 to 50 teachers from the entire world are selected each year. I am confident that all my accomplishments and experience with NC3 had a direct impact on my selection.

It has enabled me to better guide my students on which career pathway they want to pursue and allowed me to establish connections with industry and educational partners to provide my students with internship opportunities while in high school.

Lisa Marshall has helped me from the very beginning. She is more than my Program Manager; she is a dear friend who has helped me, supported my journey with NC3, and supported me on a personal level. We share something very special: our passion for education and guiding students in their studies and careers. That is why I think we work so well together and have established such a close connection. Her enthusiasm transcends and makes it very easy to work with her. She is on top of everything regarding the training and is always there to support me with any issues I may have before or during the training.

I love traveling and exploring the world to learn about different cultures. I enjoy music; I often say that dancing is my medicine and singing brings peace to my soul. I rollerblade and love being outside in nature, especially in the water, at the beach, or at a waterfall. And last but certainly the most important is that I love spending time with my family and friends.

For information on Jewish Leadership Academy, please visit:

For information on NC3’s Partner Festo please visit:

For information on NC3’s Train-the-Trainer program, please visit 

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