TMA Physicians Award Teachers Who Inspire Students’ Love of Science

For Immediate Release
May 17, 2012  

Contact: Pam Udall  
phone: (512) 370-1382
cell: (512) 413-6807  

Brent Annear
phone: (512) 370-1381
cell: (512) 656-7320

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DALLAS- The Texas Medical Association (TMA) awarded six Texas teachers the 2012 TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching. The winners were recognized May 18 at TexMed, the association’s annual meeting, in Dallas.

According to the National Science Foundation’s Science and Engineering Indicators 2010 report, only 23 percent of Texas eighth-graders and 25 percent of fourth-graders have achieved proficiency in science. The TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching strive to improve these dire statistics by recognizing innovative teachers.

First-place educators in elementary, middle school, and high school each receive a $5,000 cash prize and their school receives a $2,000 resource grant. Second-place winners’ schools receive a $500 resource grant.

“These dedicated educators help create the physicians of tomorrow by inspiring students of today with the possibilities available in the field of science,” said Michael Speer, MD, Houston, who will become TMA President on May 19.

Finalists were determined by an 11-member team of science professionals who volunteered their time and curriculum expertise to the science teacher’s award program. The finalists are narrowed down by a special panel of the TMA Board of Trustees, the association’s governing board.

First-place winners are Paula Bagwell of Belmar Elementary School in Amarillo, Elizabeth Klammer of St. John’s Episcopal School in Dallas, and Matthew Wells of Cypress Lakes High School in Katy. Second-place winners are Jo Williams of Spicewood Elementary in Austin, Elizabeth Freeman of Westwood Junior High in Dallas, and Kimberly Beck of Seymour High School in Seymour.

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 gifts from major donors. For the eighth year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas has made a generous gift to the program. Other top donors to this year’s program are Potter-Randall County Medical Society and Gerard Joseph Ventura, MD, Nacogdoches.

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing nearly 46,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 120 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.  

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May 06, 2016

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