The National Science Teachers Association Announces 2014 Teachers Awards Program Recipients

Top Science Educators From Around the Country Honored

ARLINGTON, Va.--()--The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning, announced the winners of the 2014 NSTA Teacher Awards program, which honors K-12 teachers, principals, professors and other science education professionals for their outstanding work and achievement in science education. The awards will be presented at a special banquet and ceremony on Friday, April 4th, at NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education in Boston.

NSTA will present its highest and most prestigious award, the Robert H. Carleton Award, to Dr. Jack Rhoton, professor of science education and executive director at East Tennessee State University’s (ETSU) Center of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Education (CEMSE) in Johnson City, Tennessee. The Robert H. Carleton Award, sponsored by the Dow Chemical Company, recognizes one individual who has made outstanding contributions to, and provided leadership in, science education at the national level and to NSTA in particular.

Rhoton is well-known for his leadership in and commitment to science education. His long career includes 27 years at ETSU, where he built a nationally recognized professional development program. Prior to joining ETSU in 1987, Rhoton spent 21 years in public school settings, serving as a high school science teacher and K-12 science supervisor.

Known for his creative approaches to investigating science education issues, his work focuses on the preparation of pre-service and in-service teachers of science and mathematics. His efforts have impacted university faculty members; K -12 teachers; and elementary, middle and high school students. He has received $10 million in grant funding to support math and science education in northeast Tennessee.

In addition to his tenure as president of the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA), Tennessee Academy of Science (TAS), and the Tennessee Science Teachers Association (TSTA), Rhoton has served as a member of NSTA’s board of directors, chaired the planning committee for one of NSTA’s area conferences, and served on numerous NSTA committees and task forces. He has edited six books and authored 65 journal articles, and made numerous presentations at the local, state and national levels. Rhoton is also the founder and creator of the Science Educator Journal for which he served as editor from 1992-2010. He is also the current editor of the Handbook and Proceedings of the Tennessee Junior Academy of Science.

Rhoton has also been recognized extensively for his contributions to science education. He is the recipient of the NSTA Distinguished Service to Science Education Award, the National Science Education Leadership Outstanding Science Education Leadership Award, and ETSU’s Distinguished Faculty Award. Rhoton has also been recognized by TAS with its Outstanding Science Teacher Award and was named Distinguished Educator of the Year by TSTA.

NSTA is also honoring the following award recipients:

NSTA Distinguished Informal Science Education Award, partially sponsored by ServiceMaster
-- Virginia Bourdeau, science specialist, Oregon State University 4-H, Salem, Oregon
-- David Smith, chief scientist, DaVinci Science Center, Allentown, Pennsylvania

NSTA Distinguished Service to Science Education Award, partially sponsored by ServiceMaster
-- Linda Froschauer, editor, NSTA’s Science and Children journal, Westport, Connecticut
-- Mary Gromko, science educator, retired, Colorado Springs, Colorado
-- Eugenie Scott, executive director, National Center for Science Education, Oakland, California

NSTA Distinguished Teaching Award, partially sponsored by ServiceMaster
-- Lisa Damian-Marvin, science teacher, Camden Hills Regional High School, Rockport, Maine
-- Tricia Shelton, science teacher, Boone County High School, Florence, Kentucky

NSTA Presidential Citation
-- Gerry Wheeler, NSTA executive director emeritus, Bozeman, Montana

Angela Award
-- Kavya Kopparapu, student, Rachel Carson Middle School, Herndon, Virginia

Bio-Rad Ron Mardigian Memorial Biotechnology Explorer Award, sponsored by Bio-Rad Laboratories
-- Eric Kessler, science teacher, Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS), Overland Park, Kansas

DuPont Pioneer Excellence in Agricultural Science Education Award, sponsored by DuPont Pioneer
-- Angie Midthun-Hensen, science teacher, Verona Area High School, Verona, Michigan

Faraday Science Communicator Award
-- Paula Gangopadhyay, chief learning officer, The Henry Ford Center, Dearborn, Michigan

Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award for New Teachers
-- Ethan Ake, science teacher, The Agnes Irwin School, Rosemont, Pennsylvania
-- Elisa Beriau, science teacher, Wells High School, Wells, Maine
-- Angela Berk, science teacher, Chaparral High School, Scottsdale, Arizona
-- Kathryn Borton, science teacher, Nevada Middle School, Nevada, Iowa
-- Lisa Carpenter, science teacher, Burlington High School, Burlington, Vermont
-- Vonda Dahl, science teacher, Wing School, Wing, North Dakota
-- Lauren Dandridge, science teacher, Henry M. Jackson High School, Mill Creek, Washington
-- Allycia Drummond, science teacher, Waterloo Junior High School, Waterloo, Illinois
-- Hallie Edgerly, science teacher, Adel-DeSoto-Minbum Middle School, Adel, Iowa
-- Nicole Fuhrman, science teacher, Our Lady’s Christian School, Erie, Pennsylvania
-- Bridget Heneghan, science teacher, Hibbard Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois
-- Sara Ibis, science teacher, Partnership Academy, Richfield, Maryland
-- Marisa Kapinos, science teacher, East Leyden High School, Franklin Park, Illinois
-- Elisabeth Knierim, science teacher, Cary Grove High School, Cary, Illinois
-- Robin Lea, science teacher, Lincoln Middle School, Portland, Maine
-- Janice Lewis, science teacher, Lawrence School, Falmouth, Massachusetts
-- Christine Marsh, science teacher, International School of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana
-- Lori Nelson, science teacher, Chafree Elementary School, Huntsville, Alabama
-- Demelza Phillips-Abdulwahed, science teacher, Cameron Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois
-- Laura Rossier, science teacher, FA Day Middle School, Newtonville, Massachusetts
-- Kiley Soule, science teacher, new Century Technology High School, Huntsville, Alabama
-- Jacey Vaughan, science teacher, Keverian School, Everett, Massachusetts
-- Diane Vrobel, science teacher, Archbishop Hoban High School, Akron, Ohio
-- Katie White, science teacher, Marymount School of New York, New York, New York
-- Suzanne Zietlow, science teacher, Discovery Charter School, Columbus, Wisconsin

NSTA Legacy Award
-- Sylvia Shugrue, 1976-1977 NSTA president, Washington, D.C.

PASCO STEM Educator Awards, sponsored by PASCO Scientific
-- High School Level: Jeffery Grant, science teacher, North High School, Downers Grove, Illinois
-- High School Level: Daniel Sweet, science teacher, John Jay Science & Engineering Academy, San Antonio, Texas
-- Middle Level: Kenneth Huff, science teacher, Mill Middle School, Williamsville, New York
-- Middle Level: Benjamin McCombs, science teacher, Van Buren Middle School, Kettering, Ohio
-- Elementary Level: Terence McMahon, science teacher, Meadow Park Elementary School, West Palm Beach, Florida

Robert E. Yager Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award
-- District XVIII Winner and Yager Scholar: Glenn Wagner, science teacher, Centre Wellington District High School, Fergus, Ontario, Canada
-- District I Winner: Chris Willems, science teacher, Metropolitan Business Academy, New Haven, Connecticut
-- District VI Winner: Lori Khan, science teacher, Middle College High School at Durham Technical Community College, Durham, North Carolina
-- District XII Winner: Tara Bell, science teacher, Booker T. Washington STEM Academy, Champaign, Illinois
-- District XIII Winner: Ina Perales, science teacher, Earl Warren High School, San Antonio, Texas

SeaWorld/Busch Gardens Outstanding Environmental Educator Award, sponsored by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment
-- Lucas Metropulos, founder, president, CEO, and instructor, Florence Fuller Child Development Center & Durham Nativity School, Boca Raton, Florida

Shell Science Teaching Award, sponsored by Shell Oil Company
-- Awardee: Kristen Poindexter, science teacher, Spring Mill Elementary School, Indianapolis, Indiana
-- Finalist: Shawndra Fordham, science teacher, Rock Canyon High School, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
-- Finalist: Jose Rivas, science teacher, Lennox Math, Science, and Technology Academy, Lennox, California

Shell Science Lab Challenge, sponsored by Shell Oil Company, lab equipment sponsored by Ward’s Science
-- Grand Prize Winner: Candace Roy, science teacher, Vanguard High School, Ocala, Florida
-- National Co-Finalists: Andrew Arvin, Maria Barnett, Jeff Deussing, Sherry Hanlin, and Bonnie Taylor, science teachers, Northeast High School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
-- National Finalist: Dennis Pevey, science teacher, eStem Public Charter School, Little Rock, Arkansas
-- National Co-Finalists: Laura Tenorio and Carla Tonrey, science teachers, Taos Middle School, Taos, New Mexico
-- National Finalist: Benjamin Magtutu, science teacher, Delta High School, Delta, Colorado

Sylvia Shugrue Award for Elementary School Teachers
-- Lisa Ernst, science teacher, Alice Fong Yu K-8 School, San Francisco, California

The DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition Teacher Sponsors, sponsored by DuPont
-- Grand Prize Junior Division: Elaine Gillum, science teacher, Marshall Middle School, San Diego, California
-- First Runner Up Junior Division: Angela Weeks, science teacher, Beckendorff Junior High School, Katy, Texas
-- Finalist Junior Division: Chris Hiller, science teacher, Decatur Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana
-- Finalist Junior Division: Jonathan Bowns, science teacher, Clovis North High School and Granite Ridge Intermediate School, Fresno, California
-- Grand Prize Senior Division: Nga Ngo, science teacher, Troy High School, Fullerton, California
-- First Runner Up Senior Division: Jennifer Gordinier, Pine Crest Preparatory School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
-- Finalist Senior Division: Kavita Gupta, Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California

Vernier Software & Technology Awards, sponsored by Vernier Software & Technology
-- Elementary Level: Bill Burton, science teacher, The Lamplighter School, Dallas, Texas
-- Middle Level: David Auerbach, science teacher, Cardigan Mountain School, Canaan, New Hampshire
-- Middle Level: Christine Gleason, science teacher, Greenhills School, Ann Arbor, Michigan
-- High School Level: Darrell Coston, science teacher, Goldsboro High School, Knightdale, North Carolina
-- High School Level: Brian Bollone, science teacher, Northview High School, Grand Rapids, Michigan
-- High School Level: Gary Garber, science teacher, Boston University Academy, Boston, Massachusetts
-- High School Level: Ashley Webb, science teacher, DeSoto Central High School, Southaven, Mississippi
-- College Level: Paul Adams, science professor, Ft. Hays State University, Hays, Kansas

Wendell G. Mohling Outstanding Aerospace Educator Award, Sponsored by Northrop Grumman Foundation
-- Trystan Popish, informal aerospace science educator, Aviation Learning Center, Seattle, Washington

"NSTA awardees bring both passion and patience to the day-to-day teaching of science,” said NSTA President Bill Badders. “We honor these educators for their lifelong dedication and for instilling a sense of wonder in students through imaginative and innovative science teaching.”

NSTA encourages science educators to apply for its 2015 teacher awards. Applications and information can be found online at

About NSTA

The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership includes approximately 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.


Kate Falk, 703-312-9211

Release Summary

NSTA announced the recipients of the 2014 Teacher Awards. Awardees will be honored at a special banquet on Friday, April 4th, in Boston.


Kate Falk, 703-312-9211