Excellence in Science Teaching Awards

TMA continues to receive an outstanding number of nominations and applications for this program. The 2014 Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching received over 350 nominations and 190 applications. 

Please nominate an Outstanding Science Teacher for the 2015 TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching. It's never too early to start thinking about this.

TMA encourages you to nominate exceptional science teachers for the 2014-15 school year.  Nominate more than one if you feel strongly about several teachers.  Self-nominations are also accepted and encouraged.

Let’s reward teachers who exhibit a personal commitment and enthusiasm for teaching any area of science!  Three Texas science teachers will receive $5,000 each!  Their schools will receive a $2,000 award!  Three additional science departments will receive $1,000 each for our second-place winners!

Nominations for this award will be accepted through October 25, 2014. You can nominate a teacher online! The PDF version of the nomination is provided HERE for reference. 

Eligibility requirements include the following:

       * Texas state-certified, full-time public and private school science teachers with a minimum of two years’ completed classroom experience.
       * Teachers must be returning to teach in a Texas classroom during the 2015-16 school year.

Requirements of the application include:

        *  Completed application
        *  Educational History and Professional Development
        *  Letters of Support (3) - Supervisor, Colleague, and Student or Parent
        *  Professional Question Essays (2) - Professional Biography and Philosophy of Teaching
        *  Portfolio

TMA will contact all nominees via email with a link to submit an application.  If you have not received an email from TMA, it is not too late to apply.  Please nominate yourself using the link above.  This will allow you to proceed to the application.  All submissions must be received by Dec. 31, 2014. (PDF version  of application for reference.) 


Congratulations to the 2014 Winners!

 The Texas Medical Association (TMA) named six Texas science teachers winners of the 2014 TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching. Three first-place prizes were awarded today at TexMed, the association’s annual conference, inFort Worth.Three second-place awards will be presented in upcoming local ceremonies. These educators help create tomorrow’s physicians by inspiring students in the field of science.

First-Place Winners:

Rebecca Williams of Woodrow Wilson Elementary in Denton, Betty McCulloch of Clear Creek Intermediate School in League City, and Janet Jones of Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas are this year’s elementary, middle, and high school winners. (See winner bios below.) TMA awards each top recipient a $5,000 cash prize, and their school receives a $2,000 resource grant toward its science programs.  

Second-Place Winners:

Second-place winners are Nicole Grygar of Woodway Elementary in Woodway, Katie Crysup-Sikes of Seashore Middle Academy in Corpus Christi, and Anna Loonam of Bellaire High School in Bellaire. This is the second year Ms. Loonam won second place in the high school category. Second-place winners’ schools each receive a $500 resource grant to enhance science classroom learning.

TMA believes awards like this are important, as just 32 percent of Texas eighth-graders have achieved proficiency in science, according to the National Science Foundation’s “Science and Engineering Indicators 2014” report. Through this award, TMA hopes to help improve these numbers by recognizing innovative teachers and providing them resources to continue motivating and engaging students.

Applicants went through a two-stage evaluation process. First, finalists were determined by a 12-member team of science professionals from The University of Texas Charles A. Dana Center who volunteered their time and curriculum expertise to the program. The second stage of judging was conducted by a panel of physicians serving on the TMA Educational Scholarship, Loan, and Awards Committee. 

The TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching are supported by the TMA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of TMA, thanks to an endowment established by Dr. and Mrs. Ernest C. Butler of Austin and a grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, which has generously supported this program for 10 years.   

 

2014 STA Winners

 
Pictured left to right: G. Sealy Massingill, MD, TMA Foundation President; Rebecca Williams of Woodrow Wilson Elementary in Denton; Janet Jones of Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas; Betty McCulloch of Clear Creek Intermediate School in League City; Don R. Read, MD, TMA Board of Trustees and Chair, ESL Committee.  

 

Meet the winners of the 2014 TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching:

 Rebecca Williams — Elementary School Winner

Mrs. Williams teaches fifth-grade science at Woodrow Wilson Elementary in Denton. She earned a bachelor of arts degree and a master of science degree in science education from Texas Women’s University. Teaching “is a calling similar to ministry or healing,” said Mrs. Williams, whose classroom is filled with objects, sounds, creatures, books, and stories to spark young minds. “I cannot imagine a more meaningful occupation, or one more critical to the well-being of our communities.” During her 23 years at Wilson Elementary, Mrs. Williams made lasting impressions on her students, many of whom are now adults studying in a field of science. Past student Kathryn Hokamp, an evolutionary biology major at Rice University, said of Mrs. Williams, “I never met a teacher more universally influential … her excitement was contagious.”

 Betty McCulloch — Middle School Winner

Mrs. McCulloch teaches sixth-grade science at Clear Creek Intermediate School in League City. She learned to love science from her mother, an elementary school science teacher. Mrs. McCulloch inspires students through many means, once promising to eat live worms if they passed state tests. She involves the community in her lesson plans, creating a school Science Night and securing a grant to expand the event district-wide. “Betty McCulloch is a master teacher, impacting the lives of our children, staff, and her community every day,” said Greg Smith, PhD, superintendent of Clear Creek Independent School District. Mrs. McCulloch earned a bachelor of business administration degree from The University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Janet Jones — High School Winner

Mrs. Jones teaches biology, honors biology, and clinical health studies at Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas. With more than 40 years in the classroom, Mrs. Jones counts both the school’s principal and president as her alumni. “I have no idea how many of her former students are now serving as doctors in their communities, but I know that number is formidable,” said alumnus Thomas Garrison, who now is principal of Jesuit College Preparatory School. She created the Jesuit Medical Society, a club where students explore the possibility of a career in the medical field. Each year, Mrs. Jones coordinates a medical mission trip to Guatemala, where students care for patients alongside volunteer physicians. Mrs. Jones graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Mount Marty College-Yankton in South Dakota. 

 


  Past Excellence in Science Teaching Award Winners    

 Year 

Winner Names - School, City (when available)

   
 2014 First Place:
Rebecca Willimas
Wilson Elementary
Denton
  

Second Place:
Nicole Grygars
Woodway Elementary
Woodway
Fist Place:
Betty McCulloch
Clear Creek Intermediate School 
League City
 

Second Place:
Katie Crysup-Sikes
Seashore Middle Academy

Corpus Christi
First Place:
Janet Jones
Jesuit College Preparatory School
Dallas
 

Second Place:
Anna Loonam
Bellaire High School
Bellaire
   
 2013 First Place:
Martha McLeod
Fulton 4-5 Learning Center
Rockport
  

Second Place:
Liberty Heise
The Girls School
Austin
First Place:
Mary Jean Tykoski
Cooper Junior High School 
Wylie

Second Place:
Dana Clark
Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School
Dallas
   
First Place:
Jodie Deinhammer
Coppell High School
Coppell

Second Place:
Anna Loonam
Bellaire High School
Bellaire
       
2012 Paula Bagwell
Belmar Elementary
Amarillo
Elizabeth Klammer
St. John's Episcopal School 
Dallas
Matthew Wells
Cypress Lakes High School 
Katy
       
2011

Heather Fleming
Summitt Elementary
Austin

Susan Harsh
Bridge City Middle School
Bridge City

Timothy Daponte, EdD
John H. Reagan High School
Houston

       
2010

Nikki Skinner
Almeda Elementary
Houston

Dolores Garay
Redd School
Houston

George Hademenos, PhD
Richardson High School
Richardson

       
2009

Susana Ramirez
Reed & Mock Elementary
San Juan

Robert Boucher
Christa McAuliffe Middle School
San Antonio

Adriano Gonzalez
Oliver Wendell Holmes High School
San Antonio

       
2008

Michelle Yates
Bess Race Elementary
Crowley

Jill Bailer
Jane Long Middle School
Houston

Bradley Neu
Lubbock High School
Lubbock

       
2007

Amy Hill
Lubbock Christian Schools
Lubbock

Nancy Schunke
Dunbar Middle School
Lubbock

Sarah Joy Anderson
Frenship High School

       
2006

Kara Webb
Shallowater, TX

   
       
2005

Sue Rolf and Jean Ann Keen
Dunbar Elementary
Lufkin

Joy Killough
Westwood High School
Austin

 
       
2004

Debra Fleming
Aikin Elementary
Paris

Bobby Pierce
Whitney High School
Whitney

 
       
2003

Sue Rolf and Jean Ann Keen
Dunbar Elementary
Lufkin

   
       
2002

Jean Durrett
Maedgen Elementary
Lubbock

Melita Rodriguez
United Day School
Laredo

Karen Wheeler-Hall
LaPorte High School
La Porte

       
2001

Bobby Pierce
Whitney High School
Whitney

   
       
2000

Sandra Geisbush
Encino Park Elementary
San Antonio

Susan Sanders
Central Junior High School
Pollok

Carol Frawley
Virginia A Stacey Senior High
San Antonio

       
1999

Edwinna Bernat
S.C. Red Science and Math Elementary
Houston

Cynthia Radle,
Travis Middle School
Temple

John Terry
Denison High School
Denison

       
1998

Dona Hendrickson
Friona

Suzanne Warmann
Sugar Land

Sherry Martin
Americas High School
El Paso

       
1997

Patricia Jones
J Houston Elementary
Austin

Terry Dickson
Grapevine Middle School
Grapevine

Robert Miller
La Porte High School
La Porte

       
1996

David Palmer
Valley Creek Elementary
McKinney

Rosemary Martin
Milliken Middle School

Suzanne Thacker
Jersey Village High School
Houston

       
1995

Tanya Close
Pine forest Elementary
Humble

Cynthia Martinez-Bagwell
VW Miller Intermediate
Pasadena

Betsy Carpenter
Bastrop High School
Bastrop

       
1994

Susan Pruter Swan
Little Cypress Intermediate Elementary
Orange

Deborah Linscomb
Angleton Middle School
Angleton

Carolyn Schofield
Robert E Lee High School
Tyler

       
1993 Ann McAdam Andrea Foster Kathryn Powell
       
1992

Jane C. Hill
Northside Elementary
Arlington

Melinda Mills
Clear Lake Intermediate School
Houston

Robert Dennison
Jersey Village High School
Houston

       
1991

Jim Weber
Oliver Wendell Holmes High School
San Antonio

   
       
1990

Michael Hoke
West Orange Middle School Orange

   

 


Contact Information

For more information about the award and application process, please contact:

Attn: Gail Schatte 
TMA Excellence in Science Teaching
401 W. 15th St.
Austin, Texas 78701-1680

(800) 880-1300, ext. 1600, or (512) 370-1600
Email: Gail Schatte 


To Donate

To make a tax-deductible donation to the TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching Program, visit the TMA Foundation. For more on the programs the foundation funds, contact Lisa Stark Walsh, TMA Foundation, at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1666, or (512) 370-1666.

 



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