Leading Change beyond the Classroom—Teacher Leaders Speak Out
DeLene Hoffner has been an elementary teacher for more than 30 years and currently teaches 4th grade at School in the Woods, Academy District 20 in Colorado Springs.
An active and passionate member of NSTA since 1998, Hoffner has contributed extensively to the association. She has served as a division director on NSTA's board of directors, worked on several committees, served as a judge for the Toyota TAPESTRY program, and was a reviewer for Science and Children. She has also presented numerous sessions at NSTA conferences. Hoffner's commitment to science education is also demonstrated by her involvement in numerous other professional organizations. She is currently the president for the Society of Presidential Awardees (SEPA) and serves as an executive board member, lead teacher, and professional development designer for EleSTEMary, an elementary STEM organization serving teachers of the Pikes Peak Region. She is a past president of the Colorado Association of Science Teachers, was an exchange teacher to Australia, and Teacher Park Ranger (Acadia National Park).
Throughout her career, Hoffner has been honored for her contributions to science education. She received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 1999 for elementary science, "Teacher of the Year" for Academy District 20, the Exceptional Elementary Science Teacher of the Year award by the Council for Elementary Science International, and the Lawrence Scadden Award "Science Teacher of the Year for Students of Disabilities."
Anne Moore has been a classroom teacher for nearly 20 years, including five years in a center-based gifted program. She is currently a secondary gifted resource teacher and dual enrollment coordinator for Goochland County Public Schools, where she coordinates and implements lessons that support middle school teachers in providing challenging pedagogy for gifted students, among other things. She is also a member of the STEM Advisory Board for the school district.
An active member of the education community, Moore is affiliated with several state and national organizations. She is a member of the Virginia Technology & Engineering Association, the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association, sits on the board for the Virginia Association of Science Teachers, and is a member of the Teacher Advisory Panel for 100Kin10, and served on the board for the Virginia Association of Science Teachers.
Moore, a Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, has also been recognized extensively at the local, state, and national levels for her award winning programs and instructional practices. She received the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators and the Thomas Jefferson Award for Natural Science Education, and was named the Air Force Association STEM Teacher of the Year—Region I, and Outstanding Gifted Teacher of the Year—Robious Middle School & Chesterfield County & State of VA, Region I.
Margo Murphy teaches global science, AP environmental science, and sustainable agriculture at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport, Maine. Prior to her current position, Murphy taught science for 22 years at Georges Valley High School, where she served in many leadership roles throughout the district.
Murphy has served on numerous local and state committees. She was a member of the Board on Science Education at the National Academies from 2004–2006, where she was involved with the development of "America's Lab Report," "Taking Science to School," and "Ready, Set, SCIENCE!" She currently chairs the National Academies Teacher Advisory Council (TAC) and has served on the board since 2011. The TAC has held several convenings focused on STEM education and elevating teacher voice and leadership. Publications from these convenings include: "STEM Learning is Everywhere," "Exploring Opportunities for STEM Teacher Leadership," and "Increasing the Roles and Significance of Teachers in Policymaking for K–12 Engineering Education." Murphy also serves on the board of the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance.
In 2003, Murphy became a national board certified teacher in Earth and space science and recertified in 2013. She received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 1994 and the Presidential Innovation Award in 2013. In 2017, Murphy received the SeaWorld Environmental Educator Award. She has also received the Lou Lambert Outstanding Science Teacher Award from the Maine Science Teacher Association, was named the Outstanding Earth Science Teacher from the American Geological Society, High School Conservation Teacher of the Year from the State of Maine, and the Environmental Educator of the Year from the Maine Environmental Educators Association.
Julie Neidhardt has been an educator in public elementary schools for 19 years. A national board Certified Middle Childhood Generalist, Neidhardt has a passion for science that is evident in her classroom and beyond. During her career, she co-facilitated an after-school astronomy club for third through fifth grades, as well as a geology club for kindergarteners through second grade. In her current role as the preK through 2nd grade lead science teacher, Neidhardt established the NEST (Nurturing Engineering Science and Technology) program. The NEST is a science lab for all students, as well as a coaching model for teachers.
Neidhardt is a lifelong learner and participates in professional learning communities and curriculum development in science for her district. As a trainer for her district, Neidhardt works with teachers to provide brain-based strategies for the K–12 classroom. She is also certified as a Sally Ride Science trainer, and was selected to attend the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy. Neidhardt received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2014.
Julie Olson has been an educator nearly 30 years and is currently teaching at Mitchell High School and Mitchell Second Chance High School in Mitchell, South Dakota. At Mitchell High School, Olson teaches scientific research methods and college credit biology. She mentors students for the science fair, Science Olympiad, as well as for Visiting Senior Scientists, a program for high school students to present science lessons to elementary students. In 2013, Olson joined the staff at Second Chance, the district's alternative school, to develop a self-paced, individualized science curriculum for at-risk students to include the required sciences as well as a variety of electives. In addition to her work at the 9–12 level, Olson teaches microbiology and science methods for secondary teachers at Dakota Wesleyan University.
Olson is also extremely active professionally at the local, state, and national levels. She serves on the National Academies Teacher Advisory Council, was a member of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) national writing team (life sciences), the NGSS Evidence Statement writing team as well as a co-writer for the South Dakota Science Standards. Olson is also past-President of the South Dakota Science Teachers Association, where she is currently co-editor of the association's newsletter.
Among her many honors and awards, Olson is a past Mitchell High School Teacher of the Year, the National Association of Biology Teachers' Outstanding Biology Teacher for South Dakota, and is the recipient of the Top 50 Global Teacher Prize. She is also a 2007 Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and most recently was presented with the Robert E. Yager Award for Excellence in Science Teaching.
Jeff Remington has been a middle school science teacher for more than 30 years and currently teaches science at Palmyra Area Middle School in Palmyra, Pennsylvania. For the past 20 years, he has also been an adjunct faculty member and thesis advisor at Lebanon Valley College. Remington is especially passionate about the work he does in Haiti, bringing educational opportunities to those who have limited access to them. He helped to create and sustain science and technology classrooms in St. Marc and has been an advocate for decreasing the digital divide that exists between developed and underdeveloped countries.
Remington's devotion to science education is also evidenced by his involvement in numerous professional organizations, including NSTA, the National Middle Level Science Teachers Association, the Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association, the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the Palmyra Area Education Association, and the National Education Association.
Remington has been recognized extensively throughout his career. He is a 2002 Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, is the recipient of The Paul DeHart Hurd Award for Exemplary Middle Level Science Teaching and Leadership, The Nevelyn J. Knisley Award for Inspirational Teaching by a Lebanon Valley College Adjunct Faculty Member, was named the Palmyra Middle School Teacher of the Year by Palmyra Area Education Association, and the Middle School Teacher of the Year by the Palmyra Middle School PTO. He also received a White House commendation for impact in education and a commendation for achievement in education by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Elaine Vaughan has been teaching at Oak Ridge High School for 20 years, where her classroom experience ranges from teaching Algebra I to Precalculus Honors.
A national board certified teacher, Vaughan has created calculator labs, formative assessments, and project-based learning experiences that embrace Common Core Standards. She also serves as a professional learning communities coach, Response to Instruction and Intervention team member, and a mentor for preservice teachers.
An active member of the education community, Vaughan has presented several professional development sessions at local, state, and regional conferences. She has been honored for her work throughout her career. Vaughan serves as a Hope Street Group Tennessee Teacher Fellow and most recently received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching for 2015. She also has received several grants from the Oak Ridge Public Education Foundation, Xi State Vision Foundation, and Delta Kappa Gamma.
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Underwritten by the National Science Teachers Association and the NSTA/NCTM STEM Teacher Ambassador Program