Six of Nevada’s top STEM educators were recently recognized by the Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT). Nominated by their peers, and selected by the STEM Advisory Council, STEM Teachers of the Year are those who “inspire a life-long passion for STEM and equip students with the knowledge and skills needed for careers in the New Nevada.”
Southern Nevada teachers were honored at the K-12 STEM Challenge at Cheyenne Campus in North Las Vegas on April 30, while Northern Nevada educators were honored at the William N. Pennington Applied Technology Center on May 2. In addition to the award, each teacher received $1,000 for their classroom, supported by the generous donations of the State’s STEM industry partners: Link Technologies, Tech Queen, University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, Renown, Southwest Gas and Switch.
Southern Nevada Honorees
With a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Masters of Secondary Education, Denise Burton worked as a civil engineer for 25 years before changing professions to become a teacher. She is currently teaching engineering, as well as design drafting, at Northwest Career and Technical Academy, and has finished her first year as a CTE program teacher. Throughout her career as a core subject teacher, she brought her real-world experience into the classroom to make the concepts relatable to the students, using project-based learning. Now as a program teacher, she is able to continue this philosophy to connect engineering and design concepts with students’ core subjects.
Teri Mann has been with the Clark County School District for the past 13 years and currently serves as the Gifted and Talented Education Specialist at Ethel W. Staton Elementary School. As the Chairperson of Staton’s School Organizational Team, she has developed Green Box lesson plans for the Desert Research Institute’s “Science Alive” Program. As a part-time trainer for the Southern Nevada Regional Professional Development Program, Mann also provides training to other teachers on the effective implementation of science instruction in the classroom. She has served on the Nevada Computer Standards Writing committee and has been a presenter for the Southern Nevada Science Teachers Association, as well as the National Science Teachers Association.
Alyse Sobosan is the AP Biology and Anatomy and Physiology teacher at Equipo Academy, a charter school in East Las Vegas. This school year, a core focus of her work has been to improve the success of the AP program at Equipo Academy so that more students are given access to meaningful academic experiences in high school that will prepare them for their future college and professional lives. This means ensuring students are experiencing rigorous STEM instruction rooted in inquiry, which challenges and inspires them beyond a traditional science classroom.
Northern Nevada Honorees
Tamara (Tammy) Roseberry has taught in both Hawaii and Nevada since 2000 and is currently the English Learner teacher and STEM Facilitator at Cottonwood Elementary School in Fernley. She earned her master’s degree in teaching and is currently pursuing her doctorate in transformational leadership. She is passionate about STEM education and in 2013, she co-founded the Fernley STEM Council, increasing public awareness and enthusiasm for STEM employment in her community.
Melissa Jones is a secondary science teacher who works with junior high and high school students to introduce them to STEM learning experiences, competitions and hands-on, collaborative learning experiences at Carlin Combined School in northeastern Nevada. She has completed the Robotics Academy’s ROBOTC for VEX EDR professional development course through Carnegie Mellon University and is continually networking in the community to give professionals the opportunity to visit her classroom.
A job in outdoor education helped Leigh Metcalfe realize that she loved teaching science as much as she loved learning it. After obtaining her master’s degree, teaching license and then a few years of teaching, her approach was transformed by a National Science Foundation grant that encouraged her to invite engineering graduate students into her Reed High School classroom to put more emphasis STEM education. Pushing students to solve real-world problems through engineering and technology led her to start the robotics/engineering club. At the same time, her school developed engineering-focused pathways for students interested in going into environmental engineering related fields. She also designed a course called Energy Technologies that encouraged students to learn the fundamentals of engineering by exploring electricity and electronics through energy-related problems.
Governor Brian Sandoval created the Nevada State Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT) as part of his commitment to invest in K-12 STEM education and STEM workforce training so that all Nevadans have the skills the New Nevada economy requires. As part of OSIT, Nevada STEM Hub is responsible for sharing STEM information from throughout the state to help students, parents, educators, businesses and community members better understand STEM and the opportunities a STEM education offers. For more information, visit www.stemhub.nv.gov.