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.) 

 

Information regarding 2014 recipients will be posted by April 20th!


  Congratulations to the 2013 Winners!

 The Texas Medical Association (TMA) awarded six Texas science teachers with the 2013 TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching. First-place prizes were awarded today to elementary, middle, and high school teachers at the association’s annual conference in San Antonio. These educators help create tomorrow’s physicians by inspiring students in the field of science.

Martha McLeod of Fulton 4-5 Learning Center in Rockport, Mary Jean Tykoski of Cooper Junior High School in Wylie, and Jodie Deinhammer of Coppell High School in Coppell are this year’s elementary, middle, and high school winners in the competition (see winner bios below). TMA awards each recipient a $5,000 cash prize, and their school receives a $2,000 resource grant towards its science programs. 

Second-place winners are Liberty Heise of The Girls’ School of Austin in Austin, Dana Clark of Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School in Dallas, and Anna Loonam of Bellaire High School in Bellaire. Schools of the second-place winners’ receive a $500 resource grant to enhance science classroom learning.

According to the National Science Foundation’s Science and Engineering Indicators 2012 report, only 29 percent of Texas eighth-graders and 29 percent of fourth-graders have achieved proficiency in science. The TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching can help improve these numbers by recognizing innovative teachers and providing them resources to continue motivating 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; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, which has generously supported this program for nine years; Dr. Gerard and Mrs. Carrie Ventura of Nacogdoches, who have supported the program for two years; and the Potter Randall County Medical Society in Amarillo.   

 

 

2013 STA Winners

2013 STA Winners
Pictured left to right: MJ Tykoski of Cooper Junior High school in Wylie; Ernest Butler, MD; Sarah Butler; Jodie Deinhammer of Coppell High School in Coppell; Martha McLeod of Fulton 4-5 Learning Center in Rockport.  

Meet the winners of the 2013 TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching:

  Martha McLeod — Elementary School Winner

Mrs. McLeod teaches fourth and fifth grade students at the Fulton 4-5 Learning Center in Rockport. She earned her bachelor of science degree from Texas A&M University and her post-graduate teacher certification specializing in biology from West Texas State University. “[Mrs.McLeod] truly is the dedicated, creative, and hard-working teacher that all teachers should strive to be,” said Jeremy Saegert, principal of Fulton 4-5 Learning Center. “I embrace teaching as an opportunity to inspire and empower students to feel personally changed by the experience of learning,” said Mrs. McLeod. Her students look forward to taking care of a wide variety of class pets such as hedgehogs and snakes and  take pride in joining her competitive birding team or volunteering for the local aquarium. The National Teachers Hall of Fame (NTHF) inducted Mrs. McLeod into its NTHF Class of 2013. Each year only five teachers across the country are selected for the honor.

Mary Jean Tykoski — Middle School Winner

Mrs. Tykoski teaches eighth grade science at Cooper Junior High School in Wylie. She earned her bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Michigan. Her love of science was influenced at very early age by her father, and she constantly read science books while other kids were playing. Her students’ parents and colleagues describe her as a great motivator and say she is always preparing her students for their future. Principal Tami Nauyokas of Cooper Junior High School said, “Her positive attitude and love of science and children are reflected in the outstanding quality of science instruction that she has worked to develop and promote in her classroom.”  

Jodie Deinhammer — High School Winner

Mrs. Deinhammer teaches 11th- and 12th-grade anatomy and physiology classes at Coppell High School. She graduated with a bachelor of science degree from the University of North Texas and is working towards her master’s of science in education at Texas Christian University. “She is a master at guiding her pupils through their learning journey in biology,” said Jeff Turner, superintendent of Coppell Independent School District. Mrs. Deinhammer said, “For me motivating a student to want to learn is much more powerful than watching them memorize basic facts that they won’t recall in a week anyway.” Her students agree that she is a great motivator and mentor, and creates a smooth transition from high school to college through her teaching.  

Past Excellence in Science Teaching Award Winners  

 Year 

Winner Names - School, City (when available)

   
 2013 Martha McLeod
Fulton 4-5 Learning Center
Rockport
  
Mary Jean Tykoski
Cooper Junior High School 
Wylie
Jodie Deinhammer
Coppell High School
Coppell
  
       
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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