Meet Our Winners

2017 Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching


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First-place winners:

Teresa Kelm — Elementary School Winner

2017 STA Winner Ms. KelmMrs. Kelm teaches fifth grade science at Connally Elementary School in Waco.  "I want to make science fun and engaging for students, to make it alive and applicable," she says.  Learning is a hands-on activity in Mrs. Kelm's classroom, where she calls students "Starfleet Cadets" from the science fiction franchise Star Trek's Starfleet Academy. With "Captain Kelm" at the helm, the cadets fondly explore new science concepts, perform experiments, and challenge themselves daily. "She is a difference-maker and a hero," says Connally Elementary principal Gina Pasisis. "It is no wonder that so many students tell me Captain Kelm is their favorite teacher."

Quote from essay: "Knowing that I helped them discover success makes all the hard work worthwhile."


Terri Henry — Middle School Winner

2017 STA Winner Terri HenryMrs. Henry teaches eighth grade science at Benold Middle School in Georgetown. Her classroom is never quiet or dull - students are always absorbed in learning through touching, hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, and doing. "Science is a hands-on experience - I could not imagine teaching any other way," she says. "Mrs. Henry possesses the ability to make science come alive, enabling the most challenging students to achieve mastery-level learning," says Benold Assistant Principal Joseph Ferguson. Outside the classroom, Mrs. Henry volunteers for several after-school programs, helping students with homework and teaching computer coding, crafts, photography and videography, underwater robotics, and practical skills for 21st century jobs.

Quote from essay: "I believe that all students learn best through experiences: the act of touching, hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, and doing."

Monica Amyett — High School Winner

2017 STA Monica AmyettMrs. Amyett teaches 9th- through 12th-grade biology and engineering classes at Azle High School in Azle. "I attempt to convey my love for the subject in hopes that I might inspire future scientists, medical professionals, and teachers," she says. To encourage her students pursue these careers, Mrs. Amyett established a robotics team and a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program at Azle High School. Her lessons always link sicence to practical applications so students know science is essential in everyday life. "Mrs. Amyett is one-of-a-kind," says Azle junior Ainsley McDonald-Boyer, a NASA High School Aerospace Scholar and student of Mrs. Amyett. "She has helped me to shape my future." 

Quote from essay:  "I support and celebrate achievement for each student."



Second-place winners: 

Therese Ermer — Elementary School Winner

Therese Ermer teaches at Salinas Elementary School in Universal City.  

Quote from essay: "I want (students) to realize that we don't know everything, but together we can teach each other and learn collectively."

Jana Lindley — Middle School Winner

Jana Lindley teaches at Clark Middle School in Abilene.

Quote from essay: "A teacher must create a safe learning environment where students feel comfortable enough to make a mistake and take chances in their educational learning experience without fear of ridicule."

  Julieta Banuelas — High School Winner

Julieta Banuelas teaches at Fabens High School in Fabens.

Quote from essay:  "My lessons might be effective on their own, but without my passion for science, they would lack excitement."

Third-place winners: 

Holly Land — Elementary School Winner

Holly Land teaches at South Bosque Elementary School in Woodway.  

Quote from essay: "I try to share my sense of wonder with my students and encourage their own by presenting problems and then giving them the tools that they need to solve them."

Gena Lopez — Middle School Winner

Gena Lopez teaches at Ennis Junior High School in Ennis.

Quote from essay: "Students have more inside of them than they realize, and I know if we can help find that spark within them we can change their lives."

Karey Moore — High School Winner

Karey Moore teaches at Aledo High School in Aledo.

Quote from essay:  "I am committed to being a life-long learner with the hope that the young people I influence will decide to do the same."

Rookie winners: 

Lexi Law — Elementary School Winner

Lexi Law teaches at Ben Franklin Elementary School in Wichita Falls.  

Quote from essay: "When designing my lessons, I always take into consideration 'How is this fun and memorable?'."

Brittany Monds — Middle School Winner

Brittany Monds teaches at Clarendon Junior High School in Clarendon.

Quote from essay: "The mark I leave on my students is everlasting and it is up to me to decide if the mark is positive or negative."

Krystal Scott — High School Winner

Krystal Scott teaches at Goodrich Independent School District in Goodrich.

Quote from essay:  "I honestly believe that as a teacher we truly educate the students on not only the basics, but also life and how to be contributors to society."

For a Full List of Winners Click Here


Recognition of the Program

The Senate of the State of Texas was pleased to recognize May 9, 2017, as the Texas Medical Association Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching Day. This special occasion took place in conjunction with National Teacher Appreciation Day. 




Ernest and Sarah Butler Award for Excellence in Science Teaching main page

Published On

February 28, 2017