Show your appreciation

Appreciation can be powerful. There’s still time to show your appreciation for a leading STEM resource in your community through the Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) Excellence Awards.

Since 2018, these awards have recognized leaders that inspire and educate the next generation of Ohio innovators. Awards are currently issued in three categories: teaching, leadership and partnerships. Nominations close in just 10 days.

To get you into that appreciation mindset, the OSLN team has some of our own to share. A full accounting of all the dedicated Ohioans who made a difference for STEM wouldn’t fit in a blog post. Here are a few of the teachers, principals, and partners who helped advance STEM education in our state.

OSLN Excellence Awards accepting nominations until Feb. 24

Robin Fisher and Dina Popa – submitted by Kelly Gaier Evans, OSLN Director

I am so grateful for Robin Fisher (Dayton Regional STEM School) and Dina Popo (NIHF High School)! Over the past year, each have said yes over and over to share their expertise to schools across the network! You model what it looks like to share best practices beyond your school. Your passion for STEM education drives change for students across Ohio. Thank you!

Gary Herman – submitted by Sandy Guinto, STEM Relationship Manager

I would like to give a huge shout out to Gary Herman, a Curriculum Coordinator for the Putnam County Educational Service Center.  Gary has been a key partner in the launching of our Northwest Ohio STEM Rural Ohio Fellowship cohort.  He helped promote the Fellowship to local educators and administrators, helped arrange a location for our cohort convening and has been a positive support for the teachers who joined our 2022-2023 STEM Rural Ohio Fellowship cohort.  Gary is always looking for innovative ways to engage educators in their work with STEM best learning practice and to help make connections between schools and local resources. Gary is a true partner in the STEM journey of Putnam County not just for OSLN, but for the teachers and administrators he serves every day.

Anne Hribar – submitted by Anna Pyles, STEM Project Specialist

I would like to give a shout out to Anne Hribar, Tutor and STEM Building Leader at Incarnate Word Academy. Anne has been actively involved in our programs and because of her sweet disposition and great sense of humor, I get excited when I see her name pop up on our attendees list. Anne is a question-asker, which demonstrates an admirable level of determination to find what is best for her school, teachers, and students, and speaks to her dedication to STEM best practices. I also love people who leverage all their assets, including folks like me who are in supportive rolls. It reignites my love for my job when educators like Anne speak up and ask questions that I get to answer to their fullest extent.

Nadine Phillips – submitted by Ifrah Aliawl, STEM Project Specialist

Nadine Phillips is my former science department colleague at Reynoldsburg High School. I have had the privilege of working with her for several years. In that time, I have found her to be kind, resourceful, and incredible supportive. She is ready to help you out when you need her. She knew all of the technologies that we used as teachers, and helped across the board, beyond the science department.

Taylor Zapolnik – submitted by Naz Kavak, STEM Relationship Manager

Here’s a shout out to Taylor Zapolnik from Metro Early College Middle School/High School! Taylor teaches middle school English Language Arts and has recently been lending her expertise and insights to the Metro expansion project. Taylor excels at fostering meaningful relationships in her classroom by relating to her students first and foremost as people, recognizing their varying interests, needs, and abilities, allowing her to create collaborative learning spaces where all are welcome.

Betsy Henning, Jackie O’Brien, Amanda Sopko, Monica Dawkins, and Elizabeth Ruebusch, the Instructional coaching team from Indian Hill Elementary and Primary Schools! – submitted by Sandra Wilder, STEM Relationship Manager

They embody the spirit of collaboration and working as a team! As members of our inaugural Fostering STEM Institute, they always share their knowledge and experiences, and model what learning for application looks like in practice!  They are open to new ideas, they are supportive of others, and they always show up brave and ready to change the world of education!

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