Metropolitan Business Academy Science Teacher Honored with National Award

Click here to view the story in the New Haven Register.
 
Metropolitan Business Academy Science Teacher Chris Willems has been selected by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) as an awardee of the 2014 Robert E. Yager Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award for Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Willems was formally presented with the award at a ceremony Thursday, July 17, at the NSTA National Congress on Science Education in Washington, D.C.
 
The Robert E. Yager Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes excellence and innovation in the field of science education. The award acknowledges teachers who share Robert Yager's passion for education and continued professional development. It also honors Robert Yager's effort to make excellent science education accessible to students of the 21st century and beyond.
 
"It is incredibly gratifying that the Association understands and acknowledges the importance of the work done by professional educators," Willems said of being honored. "The monumental task of creating truly child-centered classrooms is completely energizing! I am also thrilled to be in a district that allows me to innovate."
 
Six awardees are elected annually from different regions and will have exhibited excellence and innovation in the field of science education and embodied the mission statement of NSTA. The individual awardees will each receive a $1,000 award, up to $1,000 for travel expenses to attend the NSTA National Congress on Science Education, and a plaque.
 
Willems has taught in New Haven since 2003 and has previously been recognized in 2009 as the Connecticut Science Teachers Association Awardee for Excellence in High School Science Teaching and in 2011 as the Connecticut Biology Teacher of the Year. Willems’ essay spoke to his passion of relevant and engaging science learning and of building trusting relationships with students and colleagues.
 
"We are really proud of Chris and his history of achievement. I commend him for his continued dedication to excellence and to the many students whom he has taught, supported, and encouraged during his career," said Superintendent of Schools Garth Harries.
 
 
Richard Therrien, the district's K-12 Science Supervisor, stated, "All of New Haven Public Schools' staff salute Chris on this well-deserved recognition."