Monday, April 19, 2010

Superintendent Luna Joins Lt Governor Little to Recognize Outstanding Science Teachers

Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Angela Hemmingway, Chris Taylor, Jennifer Martin, Dennis Kimberling, Karlicia Berry, Edward Katz, Superintendent Tom Luna, Vern Porter

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna joined Lieutenant Governor Brad Little today to recognize four exceptional science teachers from across Idaho with the Governor’s Industry Award for Notable Teaching in Science (GIANTS).

Each teacher will receive $2,000. The award recipients are:
• Angela Hemmingway of Kuna High School,
• Edward Katz of Bonners Ferry High School,
• Jennifer Martin of Homedale Middle School, and
• Karlicia Minto Berry of Ponderosa Elementary School in Post Falls.

Honorable Mention awards of $500 each were presented to two additional teachers: Dennis Kimberling of Lakeland Junior High School in Rathdrum and Chris Taylor of Liberty Elementary School in Boise.

The GIANTS program was initiated by the Office of the Governor and is sponsored by the Science and Technology Roundtable, a group of industry leaders including the Micron Foundation, Idaho National Laboratory, URS, Hewlett-Packard, LCF Enterprises, and Idaho Power Company.

With support from the Idaho State Department of Education and Office of the State Board of Education, as well as the Discovery Center of Idaho, GIANTS recognizes teachers for their efforts to link industry and the economic future of Idaho to the classroom through the enhancement of science and technology education.

“I find this particular award very important because it seeks to identify Idaho teachers who create opportunities for students to experience the excitement and fun of science,” Luna said. “And it has a real-world, hands-on connection.”

All the participating teachers were nominated by the student council and/or parent groups at their school for making science exciting, challenging, and relevant. A cash prize of $500 goes to each school/student council that nominated the GIANTS award recipients, with a cash prize of $100 going to each school/student council that nominated the Honorable Mention award recipients.

The GIANTS partners are firmly committed to the advancement of science and technology education and consider it vital to Idaho’s economic future. The Governor and the industry partners congratulate this year’s winners and honorable mentions for their significant contributions to education.

“Angela, Edward, Jennifer and Karlicia serve as a model of how educators can work with industry to enhance science and technology education,” Governor Otter said in a statement prepared for the award ceremony in his Capitol office. “Teachers have a tremendous responsibility to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce. More than ever, we need teachers who can inspire students to lives spent in discovery, learning and achievement. Those teachers who excel deserve our support and recognition.”

Here is a brief summary of each of the award recipients:
Elementary School GIANTS Awardee:
The 2010 elementary school winner is Karlicia Berry, who teaches at Ponderosa Elementary in Post Falls, Idaho. Karlicia holds BS from Gonzaga University and a Masters degree in Education from Lesley University.

Karlicia Berry is an active leader in the North Idaho Discovery Association, which promotes technology education throughout northern Idaho. She is also responsible for bringing the Idaho Technology Mars Rover Challenge and the First Lego League robotics curriculum to Post Falls School District.

John and Sharon Keating, whose son is one of Mrs. Berry’s students, said, “When it comes to interacting with students, Mrs. Berry is amazing. She instills confidence and works with the students to solidify their own thoughts and ideas.”

Middle School GIANTS Awardee:
The GIANTS Middle School winner is Jennifer Martin of Homedale Middle School. Jennifer holds a BS from Western Washington University and a Masters from George Fox University.

Ms. Martin has served as a coach for the Future City Engineers contest, as well as the Robotics and Science Olympiad competitions. She is a member of both the National Science Teachers Association and the Idaho Environmental Education Association.

In her first year of teaching, Jennifer wrote a QWEST grant and received nearly $10,000 for Homedale Middle School to purchase GPS hand held units and GIS software, which allows students to develop geographic and scientific inquiry skills.

In their letter of nomination, the Homedale Student Council declared, “She is an awesome teacher and has made many opportunities available to all of us… Mrs. Martin rocks.”
Lt. Gov. Little and Superintendent Luna look on as Tell Hyer, Homedale Student Body President, gives remarks about Jennifer Martin.

High School GIANTS Awardees:

The GIANTS High School Awardees are Angela Hemmingway of Kuna High School and Edward Katz of Bonners Ferry High School.

Angela Hemmingway teaches Biology at Kuna High School. She holds a BS and a Masters in Biology from Boise State University. Her professional memberships include the National Science Teachers Association, as well as the Idaho Science Teachers Association, where she current serves as President and Executive Board Member.

Ms. Hemingway has dedicated countless hours serving as an Academic Coach for Science Olympiad, Boise State University’s Science Day, Idaho National Lab Scholastic Tournament and FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Competition. As a result student participation has risen sharply, with the Science Club of Kuna boasting nearly 100 student members.

Edward Katz teaches Physics, Chemistry and Physical Science at Bonners Ferry High School. He holds a BS in Biology and Secondary Education from York College City University as well as a BS in Special Education from Lewis-Clark State College.

As the developer and coach of the school’s FIRST Robotics Team, Mr. Katz has helped his team grow and improve each year, recently placing first in the 2010 Robotics Competition for the Northwest Pacific Region. He also began a ZERO Robotics Team that travelled to MIT to compete with other schools in connection with the NASA Space Station.

Mr. Katz encourages students to see science in the real world by participating in educational field trips and inviting mentors to speak in the classroom. He has also partnered with more than twenty companies to provide financial support for the FIRST Robotics competition.
~Melissa M.


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