Arlington, Va., October 1, 2012—The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) mourns the loss of Dr. Emma Walton, 79, who worked as a science education consultant for NASA’s Aerospace Education Services Project at the space agency’s Ames Research Center and served as the Association’s president from 1999 to 2000. Walton died last Saturday due to complications from a stroke.
“Emma had an enduring impact on NSTA and the greater science education community,” said Gerry Wheeler, NSTA Interim Executive Director. “She was a passionate and enthusiastic science educator whose dedication to the improvement and enhancement of science education helped hundreds of students and teachers nationwide. She will be deeply missed.”
Walton’s commitment to the education field spanned more than four decades. She began her career as a high school biology teacher in Metairie, Louisiana. After 10 years as a science teacher, she moved to administrative positions in education and taught as an adjunct instructor for several universities. An ardent and well-recognized science education leader, Walton served as president of the National Science Supervisors Association (NSSA), now known as the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA), the Alaska Science Teachers Association (ASTA), the Alaska Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (AASCD), served as a program director with the National Science Foundation, and was a consultant with the National Science Resource Center (NSRC). Additionally, Walton played a critical role in the development of curriculum for the Anchorage School District.
An NSTA member since 1974, Walton also contributed extensively to the Association. In addition to her tenure as president, she served as a division director; presented many sessions at conferences; co-chaired the 1986 area conference in Anchorage; and worked on a number of committees, advisory boards, judging panels, and task forces.
Walton received many awards in recognition of her lifelong service to science education. She received the Robert H. Carleton Award for National Leadership in Science Education, the NSTA Distinguished Service to Science Education Award, the NSTA Search for Excellence in Science Education Award for Outstanding Science Supervision, and the NSTA Search for Excellence Award for Outstanding Elementary Science Program. She was also recognized by the Society of Elementary Presidential Awardees with its Distinguished Service Award, was named Outstanding School Administrator by the Anchorage School District, and was a finalist for the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year.
Walton received a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California, a master’s degree in science education from Bowie State College in Maryland, and a bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Oklahoma.
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA 's current membership includes approximately 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.
Kate Falk, NSTA