The National Science Teachers Association and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics have announced that Elaine Vaughan, a math teacher at Oak Ridge High School, is one of 10 math and science teacher leaders selected to serve as a 2017 STEM Teacher Ambassador.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
“Many of the policies and practices that shape K–12 STEM education today have resulted with little or no input from classroom teachers,” said David Evans, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association. “Throughout the year, the STEM Teacher Ambassadors will be taking on additional responsibilities and leadership positions, which will create new roles and a greater voice for teachers and for STEM education.”
Vaughan joined colleagues—all recipients of the Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching—for intensive training in communications, media, and policy. The training was created by the National Science Teachers Association and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and it is designed to expand the classroom teacher voice at the local, state, and national levels, a press release said.
During the weeklong training, the ambassadors met with inside-the-beltway leaders to discuss major issues including key federal STEM programs, professional learning and growth, equity, standards, and assessments, the press release said. They received rigorous media training and learned how to conduct media interviews and write op-eds; communicate more effectively and deliver key messages to the public; communicate new research results in STEM education; engage with local and state officials; and use social media to amplify messaging, the press release said.
In addition to the training, National Science Teachers Association, or NSTA, and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics will provide ongoing organizational and professional support via the NSTA Learning Center. Through the NSTA Learning Center, the STEM Ambassadors will share work, track speaking engagements, and access important materials, including NSTA and NCTM white papers, policy information, news clips, articles, and research studies of importance, the press release said.
“We’re very pleased with this year’s STEM Teacher Ambassadors,” said Ken Krehbiel, executive director of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. “They are motivated, they are passionate about STEM education, and they are deeply committed to developing their skills as teacher leaders.”
Vaughan has been teaching at Oak Ridge High School for 20 years, and her classroom experience ranges from teaching Algebra I to Precalculus Honors.
A national board certified teacher, Vaughan has created calculator labs, formative assessments, and project-based learning experiences that embrace Common Core Standards. She also serves as a professional learning communities coach, Response to Instruction and Intervention team member, and a mentor for preservice teachers.
An active member of the education community, Vaughan has presented several professional development sessions at local, state, and regional conferences. She has been honored for her work throughout her career. Vaughan serves as a Hope Street Group Tennessee Teacher Fellow and most recently received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching in 2015. She also has received several grants from the Oak Ridge Public Education Foundation, Xi State Vision Foundation, and Delta Kappa Gamma.
This year’s cohort of teacher leaders was chosen from a pool of more than 130 PAEMST winners. The STEM Ambassadors were selected on the basis of several criteria, including showing evidence of teacher leadership; a solid background in science, math, and STEM education; and displaying a strong interest in growing as a professional STEM educator, the press release said.
This program is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
This press release and photo were submitted by Holly Cross.
Do you appreciate this story or our work in general? If so, please consider a monthly subscription to Oak Ridge Today. See our Subscribe page here. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today.
Copyright 2017 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.