The North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center Recognizes Leaders in STEM Education
April 23, 2012
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK—Each year the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education (SMT) Center bestows awards recognizing excellence in science, mathematics, and technology education in North Carolina.
This year’s event took place on April 21, 2012 at the Embassy Suites in Cary, N.C. at the annual SMT Celebration, which recognizes the achievement of students and teachers in SMT education.
“You hear a lot about STEM standing for science, technology, engineering, and math,” said SMT Center President and CEO, Sam Houston. “But we believe it also stands for Strategies that Engage Minds and that’s what the students and teachers we celebrate excel at. They know how to think creatively to ask questions to solve problems.”
Recipients are honored at the celebration and receive a trophy and a video documenting their achievements. Individuals received an honorarium or scholarship.
The 2012 SMT Award recipients are:
Meredith Cheetham and Sonja McKay, Exploris Middle School
Outstanding K-8 Educator Award in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Recognizes a North Carolina K-16 educator who excels in fulfilling the mission of the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center.
Meredith Cheetham and Sonja McKay, science and mathematics team teachers at Exploris Middle School in Raleigh are this year’s outstanding K-8 Educators. For the past four years, Meredith Cheetham and Sonja McKay have guided their students drawing upon each teacher’s strength while demonstrating to students that greater outcomes are achieved through collaboration, not in isolation. When asked to describe their teaching partnership, Ms. Cheetham and Ms. McKay explain they team teach by shifting into a variety of roles including teaching, guiding, supporting, and intervening.
Marie Hopper, FIRST programs
Outstanding Informal Educator Award in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Recognizes a North Carolina informal educator (an educator who works outside the traditional classroom) who excels in engaging young people in science, mathematics, and technology activities and experiences.
For the last 10 years, through the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) programs, Marie has dedicated herself to giving students of all ages a fun and exciting environment to apply math and science knowledge, solve problems, make decisions, communicate complex ideas, collaborate as part of a team, exercise leadership, manage resources, create and execute business plans – all essential skills in any successful technological enterprise. Marie has made possible the exploration of science and technology for thousands of youth through her many years of leadership in FIRST Lego League Robotics for middle school students, and then later in the high school competitions of FIRST Robotics Competitions.
Ivan Kuznetsov, Enloe High School
Student Leadership Award in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Recognizes a North Carolina student who provides extraordinary support to science, mathematics, and technology education.
A senior at W.G. Enloe High School, Ivan is passionate about math and science as demonstrated by his successful completion of all of the possible AP courses in math and science. But he is equally committed to getting others excited about those fields of study. In addition to tutoring his fellow Enloe students, Ivan reestablished the Science Days club at Enloe. Through Science Days, high school students work as volunteers to introduce elementary school students to science and to enrich their science knowledge. The group has grown to 20 students who visit a nearby elementary school every three weeks to give 45-minute lessons and mini-labs on different aspects of science.
Dr. Jeff Moss, Lee County Schools
Outstanding Administrator Award in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Recognizes a North Carolina K-16 education administrator who excels in fulfilling the mission of the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center.
Dr. Jeff Moss, Superintendent of Lee County Schools, has led an instructional technology revolution for the students and teachers in Lee County. He has accomplished this vision by developing a strategic plan to place technology in the hands of students and teachers to improve academic achievement. During this journey, Dr. Moss has engaged the public and nurtured mutually beneficial partnerships with community leaders and businesses.
Public School Forum of North Carolina, Collaborative Project
Partnership Award in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Recognizes North Carolina organizations whose innovative partnership supports the advancement of science, mathematics, and technology education.
The Collaborative Project, a 21st century initiative of the N.C. General Assembly was a model of best practices in partnerships. The Collaborative Project brought together five rural schools systems, various professional organizations and the Public School Forum and the SMT Center to provide leadership development for teachers and administrators. The goal was improved student performance and increased recruitment and retention of teachers and administrators. With all partners working together and sharing leadership, the Collaborative was able to achieve remarkable results including an increase of math scores that equaled an additional 51 days of instruction
Laura Stiles, Wakefield High School
Outstanding 9-16 Educator Award in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Recognizes a North Carolina K-16 educator who excels in fulfilling the mission of the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center.
Laura Stiles is a biology and forensics science teacher at Wakefield High School in Wake County. When colleagues are asked to describe Ms. Stiles, they mention how supportive she is of her students. Ms. Stiles provides her students with opportunities to explore, examine, question and experiment without the fear of failure. She works extremely hard to ensure that learning is conveyed through various media – lecture, labs, worksheets, student projects and presentations, etc. – to ensure that all types of learning styles are engaged in the learning process.
Time Warner Cable, Connect a Million Minds
Business and Industry Award in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Recognizes a North Carolina business or industry whose support has strengthened science, mathematics, and technology preK-12 education programs in either formal or informal settings.
Connect a Million Minds is Time Warner Cable’s primary philanthropic initiative representing a national 5-year, $100 million initiative with $11 million earmarked for North Carolina. It primary mission is to inspire and engage young people to pursue careers and educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math or STEM. Each year, Time Warner Cable (TWC) invests $2.2 million in grants and in-kind support throughout Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Greensboro-Triad, Greater Triangle, Fayetteville and the Coastal areas.
In North Carolina TWC has created its own innovative STEM programs such as the Super Connector Search which spotlights TWC customers that are connecting young people in their communities to the wonders of STEM. TWC is also an effective partner with existing STEM programs such as N.C. Science and Engineering Fair and N.C. Science Olympiad.