The award citation at the Awards Ceremony reads:
This year’s Junior Division Teacher of the Year has been sending students to the California State Science Fair since 1992, while single handedly keeping the science fair alive for their school district. Beyond the impact science fairs have had on their students, this year’s winner is also a science education leader, coaching other teachers to implement the Next Generation Science Standards into their classroom. The winner’s district superintendent describes them as “the beacon in our district for the effort, recruiting and supporting other teachers to promote their success and that of other students.”
Students nominating this teacher are excited to go to their science classroom, and credit this teacher’s efforts for their interest in pursuing a career in science. Students are often inspired by this educator to share what they have learned with the elementary school students on their shared campus. Because of this crossover, students are eagerly anticipating joining the middle school science class, often literally running to class from excitement.
This year’s Teacher of the Year has a policy of “all students, all science, every day.” Students raise questions and propose ideas for exploration. When possible, each one of these ideas is indulged by this teacher who fundraises and earns grants to support student learning, whether that is in their gardening club, their aquaponics and garden pond, or robotics kits. Supporting students goes beyond financial and classroom support, and extends to believing in students and defending their ideas when others question the ability of the student to do the work.
Please join me in congratulating our Junior Division Teacher of the Year, from The Heritage School in Phelan, San Bernardino County, Wendi Rodriguez!
Wendi Rodriguez was named as advisor on the following projects this year: J0203, J1006, J1412, and J1810.California State Science Fair / 2015 / Science Fair Teacher of the Year — Junior Division / CalifSF@usc.edu