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ServiceMaster announces NSTA award recipients

May 13, 2010 -  By

MEMPHIS, TN — Sponsored by ServiceMaster, the National Science Teachers Association’s (NSTA’s) 2010 Teacher Awards program honors K-12 teachers, professors, principals, and others for their outstanding achievement and innovative programs in science education.

The awards were presented at a special banquet and ceremony at NSTA’s 58th National Conference on Science Education in Philadelphia, March 18-21.

Donna Rini, a science teacher at Brookside High School in Sheffield, OH, was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Rini is credited with raising the science scores of Brookside students on state mandated tests. With her efforts to coordinate student preparation classes, Assistant Principal Robert Shaffe says they now meet and exceed the standards. “Our school has gained new luster by her work,” says Shaffe of Rini. Very active in her school and district in science education, Rini is a high school science Olympiad coach, developed and implemented two new forensic courses at Brookside, assisted with the set-up of forensics courses at neighboring schools, is currently overseeing the realignment of the current curriculum at Brookside and is active in many other capacities.

In addition, NSTA presented its Distinguished Informal Science Education Award to Kim Sneden, curator of education, Detroit Zoological Society, since 1991.

Sneden is dedicated to providing quality experiences and education to Detroit Zoo visitors. Her goal is to “provide the zoo’s diverse audience with a broad array of innovative educational experiences that promote a better understanding of the earth’s biodiversity.” Using the vast resources at the zoo, and varied teaching strategies, Sneden has created several programs and exhibits that reach the diverse audiences visiting the zoo, notably the Arctic Ring of Life, an exhibit that illustrates the role zoos play in promoting science. A second program, City Critters, brings animals to the classrooms to show students how to interact with them in a humane way.

Also active as a formal educator Sneden served as advisor to students while teaching a general ecology course, created and implemented the Head Start Zoo School for teachers, worked with universities to promote the use of the zoo as an educational resource, and developed and implemented a wide array of workshops for both in-service and pre-service teachers.

In addition, 2010 NSTA Distinguished Service to Science Education Award recipients were:

Dr. Herbert Brunkhorst, professor of Science Education and Biology at California State University in San Bernardino, California. Along with teaching, Brunkhorst chairs the Department of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, is Graduate Coordinator of the M.A. in Science and Environmental Education, and holds a joint appointment in Biology in the College of Natural Sciences. Brunkhorst is a Lifetime Associate Member of the National Academy of Sciences for his work in teacher preparation, and is a Fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. An active member of NSTA since 1972, Brunkhorst has served in numerous capacities including Director of the Committee on Pre-Service Science Teacher Preparation. Brunkhorst has long been recognized as a leader in science teacher preparation. He was honored as the Supervisor of the Year by the California Science Teachers Association, has been recognized by the California State Legislative Assembly for his work with the California Science Project and received the Governor’s Recognition Award for Science Education from the state of Utah.

Dwight Sieggreen, science teacher at Northville Public Schools in Northville, Michigan, has been involved in science education for over thirty years. A NSTA member since 1986 Sieggreen has served in many capacities. In 1999 he served as Conference Chairperson for the NSTA Detroit-Windsor Area Convention, in 2007 as Engineering Strand Chairperson for the Detroit NSTA Area Convention and the NSTA Board of Directors. Sieggreen has also served on the NSTA Awards Committee, Nominations Committee, and Chaired the Aerospace Advisory Board. While on that committee, Sieggreen wrote the draft document for the Wendell Mohling Aerospace Educator Award. Currently, Sieggreen is a member of the Middle Level Science Teaching Committee. On the local level, Sieggreen has served in the Michigan Science Teachers Association as president, vice-president, conference chair and middle level director. Sieggreen received the NSTA Distinguished Teaching Award in 1997; the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching in 1992; The Walter Chrysler Gold Award in 2006 and Crystal Award in 2008; the ING Financial Unsung Hero Award in 2008 and many others.

“Through this alliance with NSTA, we’re strengthening our pledge to provide more educational opportunities for some of the nation’s best and brightest science teachers and to promote the application of sound science in business,” said J. Patrick Spainhour, chief executive officer, ServiceMaster. “We’re deeply committed to science education because science plays such an important role in our company and all of our brands.”NSTA encourages science educators to apply for its 2011 Teacher Awards. Applications and information can be foundonline.

LM Staff

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