Teachers from across the Cobb County School District are being recognized through the Cobb STEM Distinguished Educator Awards Program.
“This program is designed to recognize exceptional K-12 teachers in our district who have made a commitment to meaningfully implementing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in their classroom,” says Tania Pachuta, STEM Professional Learning Specialist for the district. Teachers apply by submitting a portfolio of evidence documenting the various STEM experiences they have engaged in and provided for their students throughout the year. Examples include Tami McIntire (Palmer Middle) who partnered with Cobb EMC on a Heat Loss STEM Project, and Alexa Dean (Tritt Elementary) whose students had a chance to Skype with a Weather Channel Meteorologist. Portfolios are reviewed and points are awarded based on certain criteria. The program was modeled after the Georgia Department of Education STEM Educator Laureate Program.
Award winners receive various prizes, with the top winner earning a Sphero robot for use in their classroom, along with a trip to a Georgia educator conference of their choice. This year’s top winner, Dr. Tamieka Grizzle, is the STEM Lab Instructor at Harmony-Leland Elementary School. “Applying for the Cobb Distinguished STEM Educator Award was important to me because not only were the standards set high to attain the title, but it also held me accountable to ensure I was doing my very best to serve K-5 students at my school when it came to the interdisciplinary teaching of STEM….[It] ignited my passion and my goal to get students involved in STEM education, and I encourage all STEM educators to pursue this prestigious award. It is a wonderful feeling and very rewarding to be recognized for your hard work,” said Dr. Grizzle.
Awards are generously sponsored by nexAir, LLC, a leading distributor of atmospheric gases and welding supplies with locations across the mid-south, including Marietta.
The top five winners are: Tamieka Grizzle, Harmony-Leland Elementary; Richard White, Griffin Middle; Chelsea Chandler, Shallowford Falls Elementary; Susanne Smith, East Side Elementary; and Ginny Buttram, Hayes Elementary. More information about the program, including a full list of award winners, can be found at www.stemcobb.com.
Dr. Sally Creel, Supervisor
STEM and Innovative Practice
Contributing Author: Tania Pachuta, Professional Learning Specialist, STEM & Innovation