She Blinded Me with Science

West G Science and Math Teachers Earn Recognition

She Blinded Me with Science

Members of our West Geauga science/math departments, Mr. Brian Spotts (high school), Mr. Scott Raines (middle school) and Mr. Sandy Kulp (Lindsey) have received the Thomas Edison Awards for Excellence in STEM Education and Student Research for the 2015-2016 school year. S.T.E.M. stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

To receive the award, schools had to (1) Conduct a local science fair with 20 or more students. Check ! (2) Qualify one or more of these students for one of the Academy’s 16 district science days. Yep, did that ! (3) Have students participate in at least one (or more) youth science opportunities beyond the classroom like State Science Day, visits to museums, mentorship programs or extended field trips. Done ! Finally, (4) Convince external professionals from S.T.E.M. business and industry, government and/or academia employers how and to what extent the school’s program met the Academy’s definition of S.T.E.M. education.

High school principal, Mr. Jay Bishop, said, “It needs to be recognized that this department has won the award year after year and should be proud of their strong programs and leadership that continue to meet the award criteria.” Great job, everyone.

In addition to the S.T.E.M. recognition, another member of the department, Mrs. Stephanie Meyer, a ninth grade science teacher at West Geauga High School, was recognized as being one of the top 100 Resident Educator Summative Assessment (RESA) scorers for 2015-2016 school year in Ohio.

RESA is part of the Resident Educator Program, a four-year program that offers support and instructional guidance to new teachers. Teachers gather a portfolio with videos of their teaching classes and numerous samples of writing to send to the state to renew their teaching licenses with a pass or fail grade.

Mrs. Meyer was recognized at a RESA Statehouse Reception in October at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus for her excellent achievement. 300 teachers of 19,000 applicants over a three year time span joined her to celebrate their exemplary work.

Lastly, a few weeks ago, our AP Environmental Science and AP Bio students went to northwestern Oio for two day ecology, geology and conservation biology program.  After a morning with researchers from Black Swamp Bird Observatory, capturing and banding migrating songbirds, students spent the rest of the day with educators at OSU’s Stone Lab on Gibraltar Island in Lake Erie.  Students cruised 5 miles into Lake Erie to collect data on the health of the lake.  Monday evening and Tuesday mornings were spent in various research labs and participating in programs focused on herpetology, geology, climate change and invasive species.   Thanks to high school science teacher, Mr. Mike Sustin, for providing this experience to our students. Mr. Sustin noted, “It takes a special kind of student to step outside the box and participate in the kind of learning expedition we enjoyed together.”