Hualapai teacher named tops in science

December 18, 2009

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: James Chilton, Miner Staff Reporter] — Members of the Kingman Unified School District celebrated one of their own at Tuesday evening’s school board meeting. Earlier this month, Hualapai Elementary teacher Stephanie Angle beat out dozens of contenders to be named Elementary Science Teacher of the Year by the Arizona Science Teachers Association.

Angle, who teaches an accelerated class of fourth- and fifth-graders, said she was flabbergasted when she first learned of the news, though she had had a feeling something was up when fellow teacher and nominator Vickie Trujillo asked her for copies of her various teaching credentials for some unspecified purpose.

“But it was definitely a surprise to receive the reward,” Angle said. “I’m still speechless, I’m on cloud nine from the whole thing.”

Asked why she was chosen as the nominee, Hualapai Vice Principal and co-nominator Kevin Curran said Angle has had a long and storied history of putting science education at the front and center of curriculum, despite the subject’s declining profile in recent years due to new emphasis being placed on the reading, writing and math portions of standardized tests. While the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards test does measure science scores, they still aren’t taken into consideration for a given school’s Arizona LEARNS certification or Annual Yearly Progress benchmark.

But they will be someday, Curran said, and when that day comes, Angle’s students will be more than ready to excel.

Already, middle school science teachers have expressed their gratitude to Angle and other Hualapai teachers for preparing students for more advanced coursework.

“At a time when test scores emphasize math, reading and writing, science often gets left behind, and Mrs. Angle refuses to let that happen,” Curran said. “She constantly is bringing science to the forefront. She offers science nights to parents and their children. She offers lesson plans and activities for all the staff members, and she really provides cutting-edge activities to keep the kids interested.”



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