Outstanding Biology Teacher Award (OBTA)
Region I (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT)
Sibiani Sengupta, Sacred Heart Academy, Hamden, CT
Dr. Sibani Sengupta's untiring zest to explore and analyze has enticed her since childhood and provided the impetus for her formal education in the sciences. She trained as a biophysicist/molecular biologist (M.S. in biophysics, molecular biology and genetics) at the University of Calcutta, India. She earned her a Ph.D. in molecular biology and biochemistry at the University of Connecticut, specializing in research that aimed to understand mechanisms that regulate expression of the Cox-2 gene (often implicated as a key player in inflammation).
It was during this time seven years ago that she decided to revisit an old passion, switched careers, and entered the high school science classroom. It’s been a rewarding experience since then. Outside of the classroom, her favorite interests include spending time with her family, reading books, gardening, cooking, listening to music, and occasionally freelancing as a medical/science writer.
Share-A-Thon Activity: How did organ systems evolve - the history behind it all... and Scoring Rubric
Andrew McCullough, Brunswick High School, Brunswick, ME
Andrew McCullough teaches at Brunswick High School in Brunswick, Maine. This is his third year teaching in Brunswick and fourth year teaching overall. Andrew received his B.A. in biology from Connecticut College, and his M.A. in education from the University of Southern Maine. Andrew was selected for an NSTA New Teacher Fellowship last year and is part of a Southern Maine Educational consortium (BFFY) that meets weekly to discuss educational reform issues. Andrew is part of a group of teachers who started the “Freshmen Academy,” an innovative attempt to combat the rising dropout rate at his high school. He is advisor to his school’s Environmental Club and enjoys SCUBA diving, fishing, and rock-climbing in his spare time. Andrew owns a large collection of animal ties.
Share-A-Thon Activity: Enzyme! The Tony Award Winning Play by Mr. McCullough's Biology Class and Scoring Rubric
Gwendolyn Shipley, Chapel Hill-Chauncy High School, Waltham, MA
Gwendolyn Shipley loves to teach high school biology because she gets to share her love of biology with young people at an age where many of them have lost their child-like enthusiasm for nature. She encourages their natural curiosity by creating a classroom that welcomes all ideas and questions. After spending a year learning about how their own bodies work and observing nature, some of them consider a career in science. To give them a taste, she has them participate in ongoing research projects, and every student completes independent research showcased in the annual science fair.
As for Gwendolyn, after graduating with a degree in biology from Brown University, she began her career at the Museum of Science in Boston where she did live animal shows and lightning demonstrations. She found that she wanted more contact with students, and decided to become a classroom teacher at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School. When she is not teaching or coaching, she monitors saw-whet owl migration as a bird-bander and dances the salsa.
Region II (NJ, NY, PA)
Meenakshi Bhattacharya, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, Princeton Junction, NJ
Meenakshi Bhattacharya obtained her Ph.D. in genetics from Delhi University, India. She then worked in the Biology Department of the University of Nebraska as a research associate. She obtained her teaching certification from the University of Nebraska, and has been teaching at the high school level for the last 11years. She currently teaches Freshman Biology and Honors Biology at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South.
She is currently the advisor to the Waksman Molecular Biology Research Club, coaching the Science Olympiad team, Science League, and Science Bowl teams. WWP South has been the New Jersey champion in the Science Olympiad for last four of five years. Meenakshi has led the team to the National Science Olympiad competitions where WWP South has placed 13th, 6th, 15th, and 30th respectively, out of 60 competing teams. Meenakshi volunteers as Event Supervisor for Cell Biology, Disease Detectives and Health Sciences at the state and regional level of the Science Olympiad.
Share-A-Thon Activity: Use the Scientific Method to Solve Problems
Sau Ling (Charlene), Manhattan Center for Science & Mathematics, New York, NY
Sau Ling (Charlene) Chan is the senior instructor for the Living Environment course at the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics (MCSM) High School. She earned her B.S. and M.A. degrees from New York University. Charlene has 15 years of teaching experience, and is the Director of the prestigious Advanced Science Research Program (ASR) and Founder of the International Student and Teacher Exchange Program (ISTEP) at MCSM. Charlene was awarded a two-year fellowship to conduct research at Columbia University’s Summer Research Program for secondary school science teachers and participated in the Mexican Wildlife and Mangrove Expedition with Earthwatch researchers. She coordinated the NASA COSI/DoD Summer Research Program for high school students at The City College of New York.
Charlene received the Teacher of the Year Award from the 2008 Young Science Achievers Program. She is the co-author of Professional Development of Science Teachers: Local Insights with Lessons for the Global Community. She received $15,000 from the Consolidated Edison Company of New York to study “The effects of climate change on marine organisms and trees in the Hudson River Valley.”
Share-A-Thon Activity: How Quick Can You Think? A Slapjack Review Game
Pamela Foster, Carlisle High School, Carlisle, PA
Dr. Pamela Foster received her B.S., M.S., and Science Supervisory Certificate from Shippensburg University, Pennsylvania, and her Ph D. in workforce education and development from Pennsylvania State University. Pam serves as the Science Program Chair and teaches Biology I at Carlisle High School. She is president of the local science organization and judges in other competitions.
Pam has organized marine biology field studies and whale watch encounters. She has facilitated professional development initiatives and presented at state and national conferences on a variety of instructional and motivational strategies. She co-authored a career pathways model for students and coordinated the district’s Nurse Aide Program. She directed a teachers’ peer coaching program and developed a students’ mentor program. In 1991, Pam was the semi-finalist for the Pennsylvania State Teacher of the Year. Associations include AAAS, ASCD, NSTA, NABT, Pi Lambda Theta, among others.
Share-A-Thon Activity: How to Apply the Scientific Method Without Asking Students to List The Steps Again!
Region III (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI)
Jason Crean, Lyons Township High School, LaGrange, IL
Jason Crean is a high school biology teacher at Lyons Township High School in Western Springs, Illinois. In addition to teaching at Lyons Township, Jason teaches biology courses at Saint Xavier University in Chicago, and is a curriculum designer and instructor in the Education Department at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. Jason has both an undergraduate and graduate degree in biology, an M.S. in curriculum and instruction, and a graduate certificate in zoo and aquarium science from Western Illinois University.
In 2009, he was awarded the Ecology & Environmental Science Teaching Award, and the Encouraging Equity Award by the National Association of Biology Teachers, the 2009 National Science Teachers Association’s "Making a Difference" Award, and the 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math & Science Teaching. In 2010, he received the Outstanding Teacher of Science Award by the Illinois Science Teachers Association, and most recently, the 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science High School Leadership Award.
Lance Brand, Delta High School, Muncie, IN
Lance G. Brand is a graduate of Ball State University and is currently teaching Anatomy/Physiology, Dual Credit Biology, and Biology 1 at Delta High School. He is also an adjunct instructor of Physiology at Ball State University. He current serves as a Board Member and District VI Director of the Hoosier Association of Science Teachers and Past President of the Indiana Biology Teachers Association.
His awards include: Milken National Educator 2005, Sigma Zi Teacher of the Year, Ball State University Teachers College Alumni of the year 2007. Currently he is completing his Ed.D. in biology with cognates in science education and physiology.
Share-A-Thon Activity: Modeling Life Science & Physiology with Shadow Boxes
Frances Grant, Grafton High School, Grafton, WI
No biography available
Share-A-Thon Activity: Muscle Action Lab
Region IV (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD)
Brenda Bott, Shawnee Mission West High School, Overland Park, KS
Brenda received her Master of Science degree in Biology from Emporia State University. She currently teaches at Shawnee Mission West High School and is an Adjunct Professor at Johnson County Community College. She enjoys sharing her passion for science with everyone, especially her students. She is completing her 32nd year teaching science. Her teaching career includes teaching Earth Science; Physical Science; Anatomy and Physiology; Physics; and all levels of Biology and Chemistry. She is now “putting it all together” in the Biotechnology courses she specifically designed to integrate all sciences. “My career has taken many twists and turns in the science department, which at the time seemed overwhelming. Overcoming the challenges presented by ever-changing teaching roles provided the knowledge base necessary to take my students to the next level,” said Bott.
In addition to teaching, Brenda strives to provide learning opportunities for her students outside the classroom. She has taken her students to the top of Loveland Pass in Colorado to experience high-altitude ecology and physiology; and, to the Gulf of Mexico to give her “land-locked” students a taste of marine biology. She coached Science Olympiad for many years and continues to be active in student research opportunities. Her students win state, regional and national awards for their science research. If you ask Brenda about her philosophy of education she is quick to describe teaching science to students like teaching a baby to walk. “After several attempts, students succeed. I continue to be there for support/advise but; truly, the students are more than capable of learning the most abstract concepts in science. Before you know it they are off and running. Students need to opportunity to learn from their mistakes - truly learn what went wrong. Most importantly, students need the opportunity to try again. The ability to analyze data (grades, study time, research techniques) and make effective changes is critical to their success. Just like a baby learning to walk.” Brenda’s new favorite line to use when her students say they can’t do it comes from the movie Blind Side: “You can’t do it YET.”
Nancy Johnson, Humboldt Secondary School, St. Paul, MN
Nancy Johnson completed her undergraduate degree, including her teaching licensure program, at the University of St. Thomas. She began her teaching career with the St. Paul Public Schools in August 2000. For eight years, she taught Biology, pre-IB Biology, and Physical Science at Central High School. Nancy is now teaching Biology, pre-AP Biology, and Middle School Science at Humboldt High School. She currently is a member of the Leadership Team and Co-Chair of the Science Department at Humboldt.
Carol Robertson, Fulton High School, Fulton, MO
Carol is in her 24th year of teaching high school science, 23 of them at Fulton High School in Fulton, Missouri. She currently teaches Biology, Honors Genetics, and Honors Advanced Biology. She received her B.S. in science education from the University of Missouri (MU) and her M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction. In 2005, she was selected as a National Science Foundation Fellow for the Partnership for Research and Education in Plants (PREP), which establishes research collaborations among high school biology teachers, their students, and plant scientists. As a PREP Fellow, Carol worked with Dr. John Walker (MU) to develop, pilot test, and integrate inquiry-based lessons on genetics and genomics that complement the core PREP research experience. She served as a Master Teacher for the MU Summer Institute for Genetics and is an adjunct professor for the Central Methodist University. Previous honors include Teacher of the Year and the Outstanding Service in Education Award for the Fulton Public Schools. Carol is a member of NABT, NSTA, STOM, MSTA, and the Eta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma.
Carol and her veterinarian husband, Bruce, have been married for 30 years and live on a 275-acre farm where they raise cattle. She enjoys leading their church Praise Team and playing guitar. A composer of music, she has published a CD of her original songs. In addition, she is a photographer whose work has been used in various websites and publications. Carol enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing.
Megan Hylok, Millard West High School, Omaha, NE
Megan Hylok is a biology and zoology teacher at Millard West High School in Omaha, Nebraska. She is also a cross country coach and Biology PLC leader. At the district level, she worked on the biology, environmental science, and zoology curriculum and assessment-writing committees, and wrote and reviewed the biology end-of-course assessment. She is a graduate of Creighton University (B.S.) and University of Nebraska at Omaha (M.S.) with degrees in secondary education with emphasis on the life sciences.
She is currently working on her Ph.D. in teaching, curriculum, and learning at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and looks forward to graduating in the spring. She was awarded a grant for teaching environmental science education in the outdoors and selected as a participant in the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation to Costa Rica. She is a member of the NSTA. She is married and has three boys ages eight, five, and two. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading, and being outdoors.
Robin Cochran-Dirksen, Lead-Deadwood High School, Lead, SD
Robin Cochran-Dirksen has taught at Lead-Deadwood High School since 2000. Her subjects include: General Biology, Advanced Biology, Physical Science, Anatomy & Physiology, Chemistry, and AP Chemistry. She is a “Learning Power” AP Chemistry instructor for the South Dakota Virtual School and a Teacher-to-Teacher Support Network Mentor Educator. She has a B.S. in biology in secondary education from Black Hills State University, an M.S. n education from the College of St. Scholastica, and an M.S. in biology from Washington University in St. Louis.
Robin received a Fellowship from Washington University in St. Louis for “Life Sciences for a Global Community Institute, and was awarded one of five NIH Fellowships to write curricula for the InsideCancer.org website at the Dolan DNA Learning Center, Cold Spring Harbor laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York. She is a 2010 NSTA Toyota Tapestry Large Grant Awardee for the Whitewood Creek/BOSCO Uganda Project.
Region V (DE, DC, KY, MD, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)
Derrick Willard, Providence Day School, Charlotte, NC
Derrick Willard is currently the Science Department Chair at Providence Day School in Charlotte, North Carolina. He earned a B.S in biology from Davidson College and a Masters in educational leadership from Winthrop University. While he currently teaches AP Environmental Science to seniors, he has taught science in grades 6-12 over the last 15 years.
Derrick was instrumental in making inquiry-based methods a part of the pedagogy in the Middle School at Providence Day School. He tries to infuse hands-on experiments and fieldwork into his courses. One of his favorite projects involves his students rearing hatchery trout through the Trout Unlimited "Trout in the Classroom" program. Derrick has also been experimenting with social media tools like wikis and blogs to increase student engagement. You can see examples of his social media projects at his blog: http://pdsblogs.org/derrickwillardblog/
Share-A-Thon Activity: Histo-Art
Michael Justus, Daniel High School, Central, SC
Michel Justus earned a B.S. in biology from Southern Wesleyan University in 1995. In 1997, she began teaching Biology, Marine Science, and Anatomy and Physiology at Sumter High School. She completed her Masters in life science from the University of Maryland in 2003, and began teaching Biology and Anatomy & Physiology at Central Carolina Technical College. After moving to the upstate in 2005, Michel taught at Southside and Pickens High Schools.
She is now in her 13th year of teaching and her third year teaching at her alma mater, Daniel High School. She has completed 24 graduate hours beyond her Masters and has earned GT, AP, IB, and Master Teacher training endorsements, and all of her AP students have passed the exam. After completing the portfolio and assessment for National Board Certification last year, she is now implementing her thematic, threaded “Biology Gone Wrong” curriculum to improve success of at-risk students.
Share-A-Thon Activity: Biology Gone Wrong... Build Your Own Biome
William Stafford, Loudon High School, Loudon, TN
Dr. William F. Stafford teaches science at Loudon High School in Loudon, Tennessee. His courses include Biology I, Honors Biology, Dual-Credit Biology, Environmental Science, and Scientific Research. He has recently completed requirements for Chemistry Certification and will teach Chemistry for the first time in the spring.
William arrived at teaching by a circuitous route. He began college studying Mechanical Engineering and, after three years, switched to Pre-Veterinary Medicine. He completed the required courses and attended the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee, graduating in the spring of 1980 with a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. He practiced for two years in Sweetwater, Tennessee, in a mixed-animal practice. At that time, he returned home to take over the family farm with his brother, an engineer for IBM. They ran a dairy farm for 20 years and then, based on personal situations, closed the dairy.
He decided to pursue teaching as it had always interested him. He obtained a teaching position at Loudon High School while he completed the requirements for his professional teaching license. He began teaching in the fall of 2005. Although it has not been easy, he feels he is where he should be. He looks forward to going to school each day and misses the students when school is not in session, especially those who graduate and leave. William is honored to be recognized as New Teacher of the Year in Loudon County and as Sam’s Club Teacher of the Year in 2008.
Share-A-Thon Activity: Biology Scientific Method Lab Activity
Susan Kinsley, West Springfield High School, Springfield, VA
As a National Park Service brat, Susan Kinsley grew up with some of the most beautiful backyards one can imagine, sparking a love of the natural world from an early age. She has spent the last 24 years in the classroom, sharing this love with the students of West Springfield High School, in Springfield, Virginia. Throughout her career, she has taught Honors Biology and Biology, including 18 years as the content teacher in team-taught classes for students with special needs. In addition, she teaches Anatomy & Physiology.
Susan graduated from George Mason University, with a B.S. in biology, with certification to teach. She has spent 14 of her years at West Springfield as the Science Department Chairperson and six as Biology Team Leader. She was chosen as Teacher of the Year for West Springfield High School for 2009-10. She considers herself very fortunate to be in a profession where every day is fresh and brings something new and unexpected.
Share-A-Thon Activity: Games People Play: Incorporating Games into Your Curriculum
William Patrick McKee, Huntington High School, Huntington, WV
William Patrick McKee (“Pat”) has been teaching in Cabell County Public Schools since 1978 and has taught General Biology, Dual Credit Biology, AP Biology, Microbiology, Herpetology, and Human Anatomy. All 30+ years have been at the "old" and "new" Huntington High School, where he is Chairman of the Science Department. In addition, Pat is Adjunct Faculty at Marshall University, where he teaches courses in Forensic Science. Recently, he has become active in leading professional development in the inclusion of technology, especially instrumentation, into K-12 science courses. Much of Pat’s leadership has been in rural areas of West Virginia.
Pat and his wife of 30 years, Jane, are the parents of a son, Andy, who has recently returned from service in Iraq, and daughter-in-law, Tiffany. Pat and Jane, along with their Mastiff Gracie, are proud grandparents of Emilee and Addison.
Region VI (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, PR)
Laura Bushwitz, East Ridge High School, Clermont, FL
Laura Bushwitz teaches Anatomy Physiology Honors, AP Biology, Genetics, Biology I and II, and Biology Honors at East Ridge High School in Clermont, Florida. She has been at East Ridge since the school opened in 2002. Prior to becoming an educator in 1999, Laura worked as a medical laboratory technologist in Central Florida for 22+ years.
Laura is a National Board Certified Teacher and recently completed her M.S. as well as a certification in educational technology. She is currently working with the University of Florida “Bench-to-Bedside” program bringing translational research content into the high school classroom. Her passion is to create our next generation of scientists and health care workers. Laura is honored to represent all of the great biology teachers throughout the state of Florida.
Anna Scott, Athens Academy, Athens, GA
Dr. Anna Scott graduated in 1999 with a degree in biology from Berry College in Rome, Georgia. As an undergraduate, she participated in research, presented at regional and national science conferences, and co-authored a research article in Ecology.
She taught high school biology and physical science classes before heading to graduate school at the University of Georgia, where she earned an M.S. in science education in 2003. In 2006, she was awarded a Ph.D. in the same field. During graduate school, she was named a “UGA Amazing Student” and received the “Excellence in Graduate Teaching” Award. She and her husband, Trey, and have two children and are expecting another one. She loves walking in the woods, teaching, and reading.
Share-A-Thon Activity: Popcorn Energy Flow Lab
Christina Verberne, Loranger High School, Loranger, LA
Christina Lee Verberne has been a teacher at Loranger High School for the past seven years and also serves as the Science Department Chair and Sponsor of the 4-H. She received her B.S. degree in secondary education with a concentration in biology from Louisiana State University (LSU). She will receive her M.S. in educational technology from LSU next May. For the past two years, her Biology II students have been studying biology concepts in forensics. She is currently the only teacher in Tangipahoa Parish who teaches forensics. As a 4-H sponsor, she has her high school members actively involved with the school’s annual blood drive, a wetland restoration project, and the creation of a habitat on her campus for animals in a courtyard. Her Biology I students are currently involved in a research project, through a locally- funded grant, to determine how a video game affects brain activity.
Technology-Connected Lesson Plan
Betsy Sullivan, Madison Central High School, Madison, MS
A 28-year educator, Betsy Sullivan has taught both the middle school and high school levels, including a nine-year hiatus as an informal science educator at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. At the Museum Betsy was a traveling outreach educator and conducted teacher education workshops in Project WET and Project WILD. Betsy has twice been selected Teacher of the Year, once at Pearl Junior High School and the second at Mendenhall Junior High School. She was a 2007 state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. She is a regular attendee of the Mississippi Science Teachers Association, as well as a member of the Board of Directors. Betsy is also a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International and is active within her chapter and the state. She is currently working on a Ph.D. in Science Education at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Instilling Inquiry with Microscopes
Region VII (AR, AZ, NM, OK, TX)
Claudie M. Forrest, Earle High School, Earle, AR
Claudie Forrest was born, bred, and educated in the Delta of Arkansas. She is a career teacher of 30+ years, has enjoyed the profession, and has not envisioned retirement of any type. She has worked in several school districts in Arkansas, as well as with educators from other states, and has found that those who love the profession just cannot help themselves: Their students get to their hearts.
She was elected President of the Arkansas Science Teachers Association in 2010, an opportunity that has afforded her opportunities to network with other affiliates of the National Science Teachers Association. She is active in the Arkansas Education Association and is a participating member of the Education Policy and Procedure Committee. She has written several articles for the Quarterly Newsletter for the ASTA. Her thanks to the Arkansas OBTA Committee for selecting her as the Arkansas OBTA for 2010.
Tamara Lookabaugh, Moore High School, Moore, OK
Tamara Lookabaugh has been a teacher in Moore, Oklahoma, since 1986 and has experience teaching both high school and junior high school. She presently teaches Zoology, AP Biology, and the Science Seminar class at Moore High School and holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from Oklahoma Baptist University.
Mrs. Lookabaugh is a member of NSTA, OSTA, OKAEE, NEA, OEA, and NABT and serves on the OSTA Board of Directors as Secretary/Historian. She is extremely versatile, seeking out and programs both as a participant and presenter to expand her science knowledge and share her expertise with others. Over the years Tamara has received numerous awards and grants reflecting her deep commitment to teaching.
Lee Ferguson, Allen High School, Allen, TX
Lee Ferguson, AP/IB Biology teacher at Allen High School, hails from Plano, Texas, and is proud to represent the state of Texas as its 2010 OBTA. She has taught biology for the past 14 years, in both the Plano and Allen Independent School Districts. In both districts, Lee served on curriculum development committees and mentored student teachers and first-year teachers. Lee has sponsored several award-winning student science fair projects at all levels of competition, including ISEF.
Most recently, she served as a member of a select committee of Texas educators charged with revising the Biology TEKS. She has served on various assessment advisory and review committees for the Texas Education Agency, and has constructed test items used on various states’ science assessments. Additionally, Lee is an AP Reader. She holds a B.A. in biology from Southwestern University and an MAT in science Education from The University of Texas at Dallas.
Region VIII (CO, ID, MT, NV,UT, WY)
James DePue, Wray High School, Wray, CO
James DePue received his B.S. in biological sciences with an emphasis in secondary education from the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in Greeley, Colorado. He is currently working on his M.S. in natural sciences with an emphasis in secondary education, also at UNC. He is a member of the Colorado Biology Teachers Association (CBTA), National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), Colorado Association of Science Teachers (CAST), and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).
He teaches at Wray High School in Eastern Colorado. Wray High School is small, just over 200 students in the 9-12th grades. He has been teaching at Wray for five years: General Biology, Advanced/Honors Human Anatomy & Physiology, Advanced/Honors Biology, and an Independent Science Research course. He is also the sponsor of the local Math and Science Club, with 50 members. He loves teaching science and is gratified to be recognized with this honor.
Share-A-Thon Activity: Ecological Inquiry Investigation and Scoring Rubric
Erin Tiderman, Centennial High School, Boise, ID
Erin Tiderman has been teaching for 15 years. Over the course of those years, she has taught Life Science, Biology, Advanced Biology, AP Biology, Oceanography, and Anatomy at four different high schools in two different states. She currently teaches only AP Biology at Centennial High School in Boise, Idaho, and has approximately 95 students. She is passionate about motivating students to perform at a college level; this passion stems from her own experience as a college student. She grew up in a small, rural, economically-depressed area. Even though she earned a 4.0 GPA in high school and took college preparatory classes, she was shocked to discover that she was about one year behind the majority of other pre-med students at U.C. Irvine. Her high school offered only one AP course (which she took). She was not prepared to compete with her peers.
Her goal for her AP students is to have them learn fundamental biological concepts on a deep level so that they can draw from this knowledge base once in college. She also wants them to learn to study effectively, solve problems, learn to communicate scientifically, and set high goals for themselves. She is married to Glen (a math teacher also at CHS) and has two children, Libby (eight) and Jack (five).
Craig Kuchel, Florence-Carlton High School, Florence, MT
No biography available.
Lyniece McKim, Star Valley High School, Afton, WY
Lyniece McKim earned a Bachelor of Science from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. She has taught science for 34 years at elementary, middle school, and high school levels and currently teaches 10-12, Biology I, concurrent credit Biology 1010, and Honors Human Anatomy & Physiology. She has served as Science Department Chair, on the Student Intervention Team, Accreditation Committee, Curriculum Committee, Science Scholarship Committee, as Covey 7 Habits Facilitator, presenter of Classroom Management and Cooperative Learning in science classrooms at educational conferences, Mentor for non-tenured teachers, Cooperating Teacher for student teachers, Advisor of the Science Club, on the W.O.W. Conference Committee (focus on careers), as Advisor for WWIS students (Wyoming Women in Science), and presenter for the NSTA Share-A-Thon 2009. Her memberships include NSTA, NABT, WSTA, Delta Kappa Gamma, NEA, WEA, SVCEA.
Lyniece has been named to Who’s Who Among American High School Teachers and NHR’s Outstanding American Teacher for many years, awarded the Wyoming Arch Coal Golden Apple Award in 2009 and 2010. She is the Advisor to the State Championship Science Bowl Team and Science Olympiad team and has been awarded Outstanding Science Bowl and Science Olympiad Coach. She has also received the Boy Scouts of America District Award of Merit. Her interests include seeing her students succeed at life, her four children, grandchildren, and husband, Robert, of 42 years. She enjoys golfing, fishing, reading, landscaping, and humanitarian projects.
Share-A-Thon Activity: Testing Mystery Substances Presentation and Lab Report
Region IX (AK, CA, HI, OR. WA, Pacific Territories)
Joan Vreeburg, El Molino High School, Forestville CA
Joan Vreeburg teaches Lab Biology, AP Biology, and Biotechnology at El Molino High School. She also serves as the Science Department Chair. She is interested in all aspects of biology, but her recent focus is on biotechnology. She has updated her knowledge and skills in the field of biotechnology for the past five years through workshops offered by UC Davis and Bio-Link, and BABEC (the Bay Area Biotechnology Education Consortium). She worked in the UC Davis Biotechnology Teacher Research Academy at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, completing Level V. This experience helped update her skills and organize her new program.
She dreamed of starting a new biotechnology program at El Molino, but with budget concerns, this was a big challenge. She decided not to take “no” for an answer. There is no local support system for biotechnology in Sonoma County, so she reached out to UC Davis and BABEC and focused on bringing an excellent program to her local community. She worked to align her Biotechnology class to a nationally-recognized program at Solano Community College. Her students can receive four units of college credit for successfully completing her Biotechnology class! She wrote many grants, was awarded some, and made it happen. It was a very positive experience and her students responded in a very positive way to being involved in biotechnology.
Share-A-Thon Activity: Ecology Lab- Albatross Bolus and Graphing Exercise
Nancy Monson, West Linn High School, West Linn, OR
Nancy Monson teaches AP Biology, Biology, and Chemistry at West Linn High School in West Linn, Oregon. She has previously taught at schools in Beaverton, Oregon, as well as in California. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in biology at the University of California at Santa Barbara and her Master’s Degree in education at Stanford University.
Nancy has been a member of NABT since 1993 and has presented with her colleague Suzanne Black at the NABT National Professional Development Conference 13 times – this year will be number 14! Nancy has also completed the Partners in Science program sponsored by the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. This included two summers of research at Portland State University in the area of protein chemistry. This work was then presented at the Partners in Science National Conference. Nancy enjoys serving on the Teacher Review Boards for Pearson’s AP Biology and Chemistry textbooks. She also loves being the piano accompanist for the musical productions at her high school.
Fa'aumatia Batta Siatu'u, Samoana High School, Pago Pago, American Samoa
Fa’aumatia Batta Siatu’u graduated from Chaminade University of Honolulu with a B.S. in biology. She has taught for seven years, first at Leone, and now at Samoana High School, where she currently teaches Biology and Chemistry. She never saw myself as a teacher, but when she started, she found it invigorating. Every year holds something new, and the students she meets leave a lasting impression.
Throughout her years of teaching, she have served as the Department Head for the Sciences at Samoana, aided in establishing a local standard-based assessment for 11th grade science, and helped revise standards and benchmarks. When she is not working, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.
Region X (Canadian Provinces & Territories)
Colleen Yoshida, Assumption Jr/Sr School, Cold Lake, AB
No biography available.