The 2007 NMAS Outstanding Science Teacher Awards

by Harry F. Pomeroy, Jr. Awards Chairman, NMAS

Karen Griego-Kraig

I am honored to receive the Academy’s distinguished award and am grateful to those who nominated me.

I have been fortunate to have always been among inspirational individuals. I am the daughter of edu- cators who turned questions I had into an opportunity for exploration, the student of a junior high sci- ence teacher who made learning a fascinating journey, and the wife of a scientist who shares my passion for science.

This year I began my 25th year in education, my 23rd at Pojoaque Valley Middle School, and my final year in the field, with a continued determination to make science friendly, meaningful, and tangible. I initiated single-gender classes in Math and Science and have witnessed a marked improvement in young women’s interest in pursuing careers in science. Additionally, this year marks the tenth year that I have coordinated a Math and Science Olympics: every student in every classroom, a participant. The final competition in a capacity-filled gym places academic endeavor in the limelight.

This year, as in my first year in the classroom, I will continue to lead by example. I am not a science authority and often learn along with my students. They see that learning is lifelong and enriches us in all aspects of our lives. My fondest hope is that I will continue to inspire my students to question, to become lifelong learners, and to appreciate and protect the wonders of our imperiled world.

Chasity Montes

It has been a great honor to receive this award for being an Outstanding Elementary Science Teacher for 2007.

The results of my hard work have been validated by our NM Standards Based Assessment results in Sci- ence. In 2006, my 3rd grade students achieved an 80% proficiency rate and in 2007, they achieved an 89% proficiency rate, exceeding the district (80%) and state (83%) average.

I would like to thank New Mexico Academy of Science for the recognition of my outstanding scores and my dedication to science and my students.

This really opens the door for me knowing that over the years of teaching I am in my prime when it comes to science. This lets me know not to change my teaching techniques because what I’m doing in the classroom it’s working!