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May 7, 2019 - Six Teachers Recognized for Innovation in STEM Teaching

Three Plano ISD teachers have received the Texas Instruments Foundation Innovations in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Teaching Awards, and an additional three teachers were named award finalists. All six teachers were recognized at the May 7 school board meeting. The winners are: Daniel Anaya, Renner Middle School science team leader; Rebecca Bottin, Rice Middle School science teacher; and Rebecca Grant, Haggard Middle School, math teacher.

For twelve years our district in partnership with the Texas Instruments Foundation and the Plano ISD Education Foundation has recognized outstanding teachers in STEM. Thanks to the generosity of the Texas Instruments Foundation over these years 1.8 million dollars collectively has been awarded to Plano ISD teachers and their schools. Each winner of the Innovations in STEM award receives $10,000 cash ($5,000 personal award and $5,000 for their school to be used toward classroom technology or professional development).

Innovations in STEM Teaching winners

Andy Smith Executive Director of the Texas Instruments Foundation; Rebecca Grant, Haggard Middle School math teacher; Daniel Anaya, Renner Middle School science team leader and Rebecca Bottin, Rice Middle School science teacher.

Winner: Daniel Anaya, Renner Middle School

Daniel Anaya serves as the science department chair and the leader of the eighth grade science collaborative team. The team uses various programs to organize and disaggregate student achievement data, and they use this data to inform their lesson planning or to diagnose areas they may need to revisit or reteach. According to Renner Middle School Principal Jill Engleking, "Mr. Anaya is a leader on our campus social emotional learning & positive behavior interventions and supports team. He is our North Star when it comes to grounding decisions in data, reminding us all to consider supporting the good that the students do every day as opposed to focusing solely on issuing consequences for the negative."

Winner: Rebecca Bottin, Rice Middle School

Rebecca Bottin finds ways to make learning fun and engaging at the same time. Aside from the great energy she provides to her class instruction, she also enjoys bringing resources from outside the classroom to help supplement the instruction. Chris Glasscock Rice Middle School principal said that, " Mrs. Bottin is not only a master teacher who desires for all of her students to be successful, she is also an individual who cares deeply about others and one who you can depend on to do the right thing at all times. She is eager to take on new challenges in both the science department and as a campus leader."

Winner: Rebecca Grant, Haggard Middle School

Rebecca Grant exemplifies effective math instruction and leads her students in activities and learning that are every bit as engaging as they are challenging. Haggard Middle School Principal Shauna Koehne says, "I have such respect and admiration for the exceptional job Mrs. Grant does for our campus, district and community. I enjoy working as her colleague and supervisor, and I feel fortunate t have her talent and leadership at Haggard. She remains one of the most dedicated teachers on our staff and always has her students' very best interest at heart."

The finalists in STEM Teaching are: Jerry Grizzle, Plano West Senior High School science teacher, Michele Poovey, Jasper High School science teacher and Mark Yoder, Plano Senior High School science teacher. 

finalist: Michele Poovey and Mark Yoder

Finalists: Jerry Grizzle (not pictured); Michele Poovey (left photo) and Mark Yoder with Andy Smith Executive Director of the Texas Instruments Foundation and Karen Shepherd coordinator for secondary science.

Finalist: Jerry Grizzle, Plano West Senior High School

Jerry Grizzle is one of the few original staff members still teaching at Plano West Senior High in its twentieth year. Jerry's knowledge of physics and science, and his high expectations defines his relatable instructional style, making his student very comfortable and eager to participate. Plano West Assistant Principal Lisa Carrigan says that, "Jerry truly recognizes the importance of providing a positive school experience for students in his classroom. He is a master of effective instructional practices, and he instructs to connect with his students. Jerry is a vital part of the science department at Plano West. 

Finalist: Michele Poovey, Jasper High School

Michele Poovey does not coast through her lessons. Her preparation, attention to detail, exuberant personality and well-crafted instructional skills come together to create the most beautiful mosaic of learner-centered instruction we have ever witnessed. Her principal, Matt Endsley, has this to say about Michele, "She is a most deserving candidate for this award. Every single time I walk into her room, I am amazed at the high level of collaboration, learning and fun. And I mean every single time! We could not be more proud to have Michele representing our campus as a TI STEM Award finalist and look forward to her continued leadership at Jasper High School."

Finalist: Mark Yoder, Plano Senior High School

Mark Yoder brings in experts from the community to educate students about native landscaping, water, soils and chemicals. Then the students begin to work on their designs, ultimately turning their project into a formal proposal. According to Sarah Watkins Plano Senior High School principal, "Mark has made science real for his students. He has taught them scientific concepts, but he has also given them the opportunity to apply those concepts to the real world. They leave his class with skills they will use for the rest of their life."