Northview science teacher Kathryn Nelson is first in Ohio to receive a prestigious STEM National Educator of the Year award.
On September 30, Nelson, who has been with Sylvania Schools since 2008, received the 2020 Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) National Educator Award.
"The idea is to recognize an educator who goes above and beyond," explains AEOP director Gregory Stone. "A teacher who has demonstrated excellence in her capacity as an educator, who has developed the programs within AEOP for her young people in such a way that those young people are able to excel and develop and grow in ways that are exceptional."
Nelson's students have earned spots at National JSHS for the past two years, and she was awarded the 2019 Colonel George F. Leist Distinguished Teacher Award for Ohio. Over the past three years, her student paper presenters have received admission and scholarships to Cornell, Brown, Case Western Reserve, and Stanford. Over the past five years, her poster presenters have received scholarships or early placement in research labs at the University of Pennsylvania, Case Western Reserve, Notre Dame University, the US Naval Academy, Purdue, Worchester Polytechnical Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Franklin and Marshall, The Ohio State University, Miami University, University of Cincinnati-DAAP, Bowling Green State University, and the University of Toledo.
"I was humbled and honored to receive the AEOP National Educator of the Year award," Kathryn Nelson said after receiving the award. "The AEOP has provided many opportunities and honors for my students. In particular, OJSHS and JSHS have inspired them to be curious and understand what is possible for them in science, solidified plans to pursue STEM careers, and propelled many to prestigious selective universities, including Ivies. I am proud to represent the many professional educators who work beyond their school's walls and workday to provide meaningful experiences and help students find their passions and true potential."
Stone says that while all educators give of their time, and all teachers are amazing people, some teachers do even more.
"Kathryn creates an interest in her students within science" Stone adds. "When the school bell rings and class is over, we don’t want kids to just turn off their brains. So she takes her kids to the next level."
Stone says that the kids who compete in the junior science and humanities symposiums are the best and the brightest that the country has to offer.
"They do things that are seriously remarkable. And as they compete, the kids in Sylvania interact with the kids in Columbus, interact with the kids in Los Angeles and New York and Tallahassee, and they share these remarkable ideas and these remarkable experiences and then it’s no longer 'I’m just a high school student on summit street in Sylvania.-- I am now a national high school student talking with kids across the across country and across the world."
Stone says that there are scholarship and grant opportunities for college, employment after college, and apprenticeships. Any student or teacher who would like to become involved can contact him or AEOP directly to get started.
"When I was a kid in the science fair, I built a terrarium," Stone shares. "And I thought that was amazing, and for me it was. Now, I am watching sophomores in high school present on their experiments working with real scientists, in real laboratories, developing dissolvable bone implants that will help real people heal from terrible wounds. That's just amazing to me."
One of Nelson's students nominated her for the ward, and she was one of hundreds nominated across the nation. She was selected the winner after a lengthy three month whittling-down process by an AEOP panel of members across the nation. Stone says that the educator of the year receives a crystal award, and a certificate and one hundred dollar check.
"These are basically thank you gifts to say 'Thank you for giving of your time.' This is a government program, so we use taxpayer funds very carefully," explains Stone, and then chuckles. "And the educators tend to take the hundred dollars and put it right back in their classroom. That’s what they tend to do with that.”
For more information about AEOP, visit: www.usaeop.com
Contact Gregory Stone at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sylvania Northview science teacher and AEOP National Educator of the Year Kathryn Nelson.
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