As part of Lexmark's 20th anniversary celebration in 2011, we announced INSPIRE: Lexmark's Teaching Award. Each academic year, Lexmark recognizes elementary, middle and high school teachers across Central Kentucky for their outstanding contributions in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. A $1,000 award is granted to one teacher per month to be used for his or her classroom needs.
Biomedical Sciences Teacher at Elkhorn Crossing School in Georgetown, Kentucky
Dr. Julye Adams seeks every opportunity to bring authenticity to the classroom and to prepare high school students for college and STEM career fields. For example, she brings math and science concepts to life through a bone detectives lab where she creates a crime scene using imitation bones, and students conduct scientific investigations. Dr. Adams’ students also complete a year-long project that includes grant writing and medical research, and they present their findings to an advisory board of industry professionals.
Science Teacher at Collins Lane Elementary School in Frankfort, Kentucky
Tammy Bradley is focused on building critical thinking skills in her science students. She challenges her students to solve problems through research and experiment, and then explain the thinking behind their answers. During a recent lesson on earthworms, Bradley’s students studied the digestive tract and body structure of live earthworms, and predicted, observed and tracked data.
Science Teacher at Waco Elementary School in Waco, Kentucky
Amanda Prewitt continually researches exciting new ways to engage students and enhance their love of learning. In 2013 she collaborated with community-based organizations to offer third, fourth and fifth graders a day of learning STEM concepts at the school’s first Career and Technology Expo. Prewitt also leads the environmental club at the school, which was selected as the 2013 NEED Kentucky Elementary Rookie of the Year for its energy-saving and conservation efforts.
Science Teacher at Edythe J. Hayes Middle School in Lexington, Kentucky
Lana Russell integrates technology in her science classroom daily through project-based lessons that require students to experiment, collaborate and solve problems. For example, this year her students designed Rube Goldberg experiments, constructing complicated machines to perform simple tasks. They then discussed the energy transfers needed to make the experiments work.
Science Teacher at Squires Elementary School in Lexington, Kentucky
Heidi Thompson-Abell encourages fourth graders at her school to take an interest in science as they find it applicable in their lives. Students learn about and care for various animals in the classroom, from a bearded dragon to a rabbit to recently hatched chicks. While learning about life cycles, the students raise mealworms as they turn into beetles. Thompson-Abell fosters students’ enthusiasm about science through their hands-on experiences.
Science Teacher at Beaumont Middle School in Lexington, Kentucky
Patrick Goff, a two-time winner of the INSPIRE award, started the school year with a request to have 17 desktop computers in his classroom so he could teach his classes in a more blended approach. His classes are now nearly paperless as students work online in a closed, collaborative network. Goff has found ways to link topics such as global warming to his students through simple ways they can impact the planet. For next year, he is working in conjunction with the University of Kentucky to teach eighth grade science content through the lens of climate change.
Math Intervention Specialist at Cane Ridge Elementary School in Paris, Kentucky
Bethany Neel is involved with school-wide mathematics professional development and is a proponent of strategy-based mental math/computational instructional methods. As an example, she introduced Number Talks to the classrooms, which are short activities focused on mental math strategies. Students are solving math problems pulled from their daily lives.
Science Teacher at Northern Elementary School in Georgetown, Kentucky
Elizabeth Cook’s students comprise the school’s student energy team, which continually assesses energy usage at the school. Under Cook’s direction, the student team has saved Northern Elementary thousands of dollars over the last few years. For her annual class energy project, Cook’s students recently conducted an energy audit of Sadieville, Ky.’s city hall and police station, and made recommendations on how to save energy. Cook was also instrumental in Northern Elementary becoming a 2013 National Green Ribbon School – one of only three in Kentucky recognized with this U.S. Department of Education distinction last year.
Science Teacher at SCAPA at Bluegrass in Lexington, Kentucky
Ashlie Arkwright links students’ real-world experiences with scientific principles to make science relevant and engaging. For example, her students recently completed a unit of study on motion and forces by designing and building working models of roller coasters. As part of her focus on environmental science, Arkwright’s students participate in a national Eco Challenge competition each year. Collectively they design and implement a campaign encouraging people to make one small change that has a positive impact on the environment, such as switching from plastic bags to reusable lunch containers at school.
Science Teacher at Lexington Universal Academy in Lexington, Kentucky
Brian Radcliffe goes beyond the limits of the education standards of “teaching to the test” to foster a deep understanding of science through labs and hands-on lessons. He also volunteers his time as an academic team coach and has served as the floor director for the Fayette County Public Schools district science and engineering fair for many years.
Special Education Math Teacher at Franklin County High School in Frankfort, Kentucky
From basic money and banking skills to career building, Megan Cartier excels in making math “real” for her special education students utilizing multimedia, Smart Boards and other technology. Cartier has developed a classroom teaching method that covers the curriculum of multiple grade levels while meeting the needs of her students’ learning skill sets.
Engineering Teacher at Jessamine Career and Technology Center in Nicholasville, Kentucky
Andrea O’Bryan takes engineering content and makes it relevant to students through the lens of project-based learning and Project Lead the Way curriculum. She is working to create a STEM pipeline of engineering students at the elementary and middle school levels through projects such as high schoolers working with younger students to design and build simulated Mars Rovers.
Science Teacher at Bourbon County Middle School in Paris, Kentucky
Roxanna Rickly challenges her sixth grade science students to innovate through activities that make science relevant to their lives, such as designing and building “stomp rockets” and conducting heat transfer experiments to design a better mitten. Rickly also mentors new teachers and has taught science workshops for teachers across the state to improve their instructional skills.
Science Teacher at Beaumont Middle School in Lexington, Kentucky
Patrick Goff has been instrumental in bringing applied science in the field of water quality to the students at his school. He partnered with a nonprofit organization to create a rain garden to reduce water runoff from the school's parking lot, and uses the garden to teach students about water science, native plant species and sustainability.
Math Teacher at Carter G. Woodson Academy in Lexington, Kentucky
Sonia Fullwood’s teaching strategies enable her students to apply the math concepts they are learning to their daily lives. Ratios, proportions and scale drawings take on new meaning when her students create an actual model of their room. She uses various forms of technology and tools to do quick, formative assessments and incorporates graphing calculators into enrichment lessons.
Biology, Physics, and Chemistry Teacher at The Learning Center at Linlee in Lexington, Kentucky
As a former full-time research scientist, Dr. Scott Diamond knows how labs function, and recreates the atmosphere of excitement and self-direction in his classes. Students are encouraged to collaborate across classes, and his experience with disabled students gives him a unique approach to STEM education.
Advanced Placement Biology at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky
Heidi Anderson incorporates the latest science news into her advanced placement biology courses, integrating lessons with hands-on activities and real-world applications. For the last five years, Anderson has mentored and accompanied students to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. She has also coordinated Dunbar's Butterfly Garden/Outdoor Classroom, an Elementary School EnviroCamp, and developed a Recycling Club at the school.
Technology Teacher at Morton Middle School in Lexington, Kentucky
Gary DeBorde challenges his students with projects that test their abilities in the application of math and science. He brought LEGO® MINDSTORMS® to the school, an educational robotics program that provides a bridge from elementary learning of building to more complex learning through building, programming and competition. He has expanded the program to host robotics competitions for the district.
Technology Education Teacher at Kentucky School for the Deaf in Danville, Kentucky
At the Kentucky School for the Deaf, Jay Cloud brings new ideas and techniques into his classroom every day, creating an alternative learning environment that overcomes communication barriers for his students. Cloud uses closed-captioned video technology, smart boards, and hands-on computer programs to visualize concepts.
Cloud’s positive attitude creates a mistake-friendly environment that allows his students to learn not to be hindered by their disabilities. He makes science and math relevant to his students through practical application. These subjects are taught using visual communication techniques and through the production of finished products by the students.
Through the use of mechanical, geometrical and chemical concepts, Cloud’s students reuse and recycle items like old doors and windows, turning them into creations like bookshelves, household furniture and accessories. The finished products are then sold or donated. Students are encouraged to explain the processes involved in developing the product, which enhances their communication skills and gives others greater appreciation of the accomplishment.
Cloud breeds excitement. He puts his students first, and helps them to become accomplished learners with relevant skills.
Science Teacher at Beaumont Middle school in Lexington, Kentucky
Jessica Roberts exemplifies outstanding commitment to her seventh grade students, both inside and outside the classroom. She strives to make science fun by keeping her students actively engaged in solving problems and investigating concepts.
Roberts has been described as a team player who has the ability to cultivate her students’ innate love of science. She accomplishes this through her enthusiasm and her use of technology. She takes personal responsibility for ensuring the success of each of her students.
Coworkers look to Roberts for innovative ideas and new ways to teach the concepts for which they are responsible. She is a team player whose relationship with other staff members is very positive and supportive. She is a unique teacher who assists the reluctant learner in before-school tutoring sessions.
Parents are appreciative of the fact that Roberts is able to keep their children engaged and interested as they gain real understanding of the sciences.
Science and Mathematics Teacher at KORE Academy in Lexington, Kentucky
Understanding and motivating students with learning differences might prove to be a daunting task for some, but not for Joy Cox. She reaches her students through technology and hands-on/minds-on teaching. Middle school students in Cox's class learn through multimedia resources such as virtual laboratories and scientific inquiry, as well as real life applications like job shadowing professionals in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
Many students come to KORE lacking confidence due to their learning challenges. Cox has been able to build their confidence through positive reinforcement and praise. She also possesses the ability to spark the interest and imagination of her students by engaging them in their own learning processes. Using individualized learning plans, Cox ensures her students succeed in a manner that is consistent with their academic and social needs.
Cox works diligently to instill an appreciation for science and technology in each student through continuous exposure to STEM topics both inside and outside the classroom. Students have conducted math experiments in pizza parlors and have even made scientific inquiries in places like Mammoth Cave.
Cox has been described as a teacher who is an inspiration not only to her students, but to any parent who has a child with learning challenges.
Science Teacher at Boyle County Middle School in Danville, Kentucky
Mike Tetirick is a great inspiration to his students at Boyle County Middle School. He has written grants and acquired additional external funding sources to establish a laboratory containing fourteen computers and several sets of probe ware. Tetirick has spent endless hours amassing resources, setting up the lab in his classroom, learning the software, and integrating the probe ware into the curriculum. Tetirick?s work is cutting edge in the community and has actually been the subject of a story in the local newspaper. His students are experiencing real science through the collection of real data and the use of equipment and programs that real scientists use. Tetirick is currently involved in personal professional development to ensure that everything he does continues to be new and current. The confidence Tetirick displays in his students encourages independence and self-sufficiency. His innovative spirit has positively influenced the entire 8th grade science program at Boyle County Middle School.
Mathematics Teacher at Lexington Traditional Magnet School in Lexington, Kentucky
Tina Cox is an exception when it comes to teaching students how to manipulate technology to find solutions for real-life problems. She continually reinforces the real-world application of mathematics for her students, preparing them for lifelong learning.
Cox serves as the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) coordinator for Lexington Traditional Magnet School. In this capacity she actively seeks connections to research institutions and local universities to make it possible for students to participate in "beyond the school walls" learning. She also organizes opportunities for students to take part in research on topics that are "real-life" oriented, rooted in STEM and connected to the national standards.
In her quest to continually improve her personal performance and improve her school, Cox actively seeks grants, training opportunities and other initiatives both within the district and across the state and nation.
Her innate ability to build rapport and relate to students, their families and her peers differentiates her from other teachers. In fact, a parent contacted the school's principal, Alison Hayes, requesting that she nominate Cox for the INSPIRE Award because she represents exactly what this award celebrates.
Biology Teacher at Bryan Station High School in Lexington, Kentucky
Grieb teaches his students through inquiry based laboratories. This innovative teaching method puts the students in charge to construct their experiments, test their hypothesis and develop their conclusions. He finds fun and exciting ways to link scientific concepts to everyday experiences, enabling students to grasp challenging concepts more quickly and further their science knowledge.
INSPIRE: Lexmark’s Teaching Award was established to highlight and salute exceptional elementary, middle and high school teachers who teach science, technology, engineering, and/or math in designated Central Kentucky counties. During each academic school year, one teacher per month will be awarded $1,000 to be used to promote STEM education for his/her classroom.
Nominations should come from students, colleagues, parents, school administrators, or community leaders and must be submitted online. To do so, complete the online nomination form and provide one reference letters (limit to one page). Eligible nominees must teach in one of the following Central Kentucky counties:
Nominations will be accepted during the academic year (August - April).
All nominations will be reviewed and awarded monthly by a committee consisting of Lexmark employees. The teachers and their schools will be notified by a Lexmark representative if they have been chosen for the award. When possible, Lexmark will make arrangements to present the INSPIRE: Teaching Award to the recipient at his or her school.
Students, fellow teachers, parents, administrators, or community members are able to nominate a teacher of their choice from the Central Kentucky area. Only nominations of teachers who work in the science, technology, engineering, and math field of a qualifying Central Kentucky county will be accepted. Self nominations are not accepted for the INSPIRE award.
Nominations will be accepted through the academic year (August – April).
All nominations will be reviewed and monthly award winners selected by a selection committee consisting of Lexmark employees. The teachers and their schools will be notified by a Lexmark representative if they have been chosen for the award. When possible, Lexmark will make arrangements to present the INSPIRE: Teaching Award to the recipient at his or her school.
The INSPIRE: Teaching Award should be used to promote STEM education for the recipient's classroom.
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