Two Cherokee County School District teachers have been named 2023 Georgia STEM Scholars!
Teresa Bailey and Kimberly Harrison, both of Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy, earned the honor that is presented annually by the Georgia Youth Science & Technology Centers. Only 23 elementary and middle school teachers from a pool of statewide nominees were recognized as 2023 Don Cargill STEM Scholar Award winners.
Honored educators are selected for their excellence in teaching students about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and their innovation in integrating STEM lessons in elementary and middle school education. Each honoree receives a $500 award to purchase classroom STEM supplies.
“Over the last year, these educators created imaginative classroom lessons that taught and supported STEM education,” said Amanda Buice, executive director of Georgia Youth Science & Technology Centers. “As parents, employers and citizens, we hope all our teachers are competent, enthusiastic and caring. Our awardees certainly meet and exceed these criteria … They exemplify everything we want and hope our teachers will be.”
What sets the honorees apart from other outstanding teachers, she said, are two key factors. STEM Scholars must show an aptitude for identifying unique strengths and potential in their students and demonstrate a record of creating and presenting engaging classroom lessons. They also must have led student-based projects with impact that reached beyond their classroom, involving their entire school and community.
Ms. Bailey, who teaches STEM Odyssey lab classes, and Ms. Harrison, who teaches AIM Gifted classes, will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower at the School Board’s December meeting.
“Ms. Bailey and Ms. Harrison demonstrate excellence in STEM instruction daily, and we’re so proud to see their dedication earn them this well-deserved recognition,” Dr. Hightower said. “STEM education is critically important to all of our students, and Clark Creek has been a model for schools in our district and statewide for outstanding STEM learning. Ms. Bailey and Ms. Harrison have been instrumental to Clark Creek’s STEM success – congratulations and thank you!”
This prestigious accolade follows numerous other honors earned by Ms. Bailey and Ms. Harrison. Among recent honors, Ms. Bailey earned the Georgia International Technology and Engineering Educators Association Teacher Excellence Award for elementary schools, and Ms. Harrison was named Clark Creek’s 2022 Teacher of the Year.