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Press Release

National Science Teaching Association Names 2023 Recipients of Its Awards Program

Top Science Educators from Around the Country Honored in Celebration of Excellence

ARLINGTON, Va.—March 20, 2023—The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) announced the recipients of its 2023 NSTA Awards program, which honors K–12 teachers, principals, professors, and other science education professionals for their outstanding work and achievement in science education. Awardees will be recognized during a special evening celebration taking place during the NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 24.

“Congratulations to all the outstanding NSTA award winners. NSTA Teacher Awards are one of the highest honors any educator can receive. We are extremely proud of the work these incredible educators have accomplished. Each one of them is an exemplary role model for their colleagues and an inspiration for their students,” said NSTA President Elizabeth Mulkerrin.

NSTA is honoring the following award recipients:

Angela Award

  • Taia Saurer, Student, Compass Charter School, Mission Viejo, California

Corteva Excellence in Agricultural Science Education Award, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience

  • Patricia Patchin, Fourth-Grade Teacher, Innovation Academy, Oro Valley, Arizona

Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award for New Teachers

  • Antonia Boger-May, Teacher, Penn High School, Mishawaka, Indiana
  • Bryan Bolton, Eighth-Grade Science Teacher, Hallsville Middle School, Hallsville, Missouri
  • Daesha Childress, Teacher, John Thomas School of Discovery, Nixa, Missouri
  • Lizz Holtz, Teacher, Glenn C. Jones Middle School, Buford, Georgia
  • Hillary Hunsaker, Teacher, Conway School, Mount Vernon, Washington
  • Hannah Kiser, Science Teacher, Pullman High School, Pullman, Washington
  • Taylor Moon, Teacher, The Derryfield School, Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Nolan Ortbahn, Science Teacher, Harrisburg High School, Harrisburg, South Dakota
  • Mackenzie Pryor, Teacher, Wolcott College Prep, Chicago, Illinois
  • Natalie Reeder, Tukwila School District, Tukwila, Washington
  • Konstanze Seifert-Ethier, Teacher, Hillsborough Middle School, Hillsborough, New Jersey
  • Bekah Spencer, Teacher, Penn High School, Mishawaka, Indiana
  • Jenniffer LM StetlerTeacher, Chamblee Middle School/DeKalb County School District, Chamblee, Georgia
  • Jelena Stojicevic, K–5 Science Lab Teacher/Sarasota County Schools, Bay Haven School of Basics Plus, Sarasota, Florida
  • Melissa Thomas, Teacher, F. A. Day Middle School, Newton, Massachusetts
  • Alexandria Wicker, Seventh-Grade Science Teacher/Brevard Public Schools, Andrew Jackson Middle School, Titusville, Florida
  • Olivia Witherspoon, Teacher, John Thomas School of Discovery, Nixa, Missouri

Northrop Grumman Excellence in Engineering Education Award, sponsored by the Northrop Grumman Foundation

  • George Hademenos, Physics Teacher, Richardson High School, Richardson, Texas

NSTA Distinguished Informal Science Education, sponsored by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program

  • Dana Wright, Informal Educator and Exhibit Specialist, NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia

NSTA Distinguished Service to Science Education Award, sponsored by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program

  • Heidi Schweingruber, Director of the Board on Science Education, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, Washington, D.C.

NSTA Distinguished Teaching Award, sponsored by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program

  • Kenneth Huff, Science Teacher, Mill Middle School, Williamsville, New York 

NSTA Fellow Award

  • Brooke Whitworth, Associate Professor, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

Robert H. Carleton Award for National Leadership in the Field of Science Education

  • Christine Royce, Professor, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania

Robert E. Yager Foundation Excellence in Teaching Awards

  • Lai Cao, AP Physics Teacher, District VII, Baton Rouge Magnet High School, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Jeff Grant, Teacher, District XII, Downers Grove North High School, Downers Grove, Illinois
  • Evie LaFollette, Teacher, District VI, Dobyns-Bennett High School, Kingsport, Tennessee
  • Brian Mulcahey, Science Department Chair, District I, Catholic Memorial School, West Roxbury, Massachusetts
  • Christine M. Paradise, STEM Teacher, District XIII, Epperly Heights Elementary, Mid-Del Public Schools, Del City, Oklahoma

Shell Science Teaching Award, sponsored by Shell USA, Inc.

  • Awardee: Catherine Walker, Science and Engineering Teacher, Dimond High School, Anchorage, Alaska
  • Finalist: Crystal McDowell, Science Teacher, Greenbrier High School, Evans, Georgia
  • Finalist: Jennie Warmouth, Elementary Teacher, Spruce Elementary, Seattle, Washington

Shell Science Lab Regional Challenge, sponsored by Shell USA, Inc., outfitted by Carolina Biological Supply Company

  • Grand-Prize Winner (Elementary School Level): Arianna Martinez Moody, Harvey Brown Elementary School, Houston, Texas
  • Grand-Prize Winner (Middle School Level): Jeffrey Gale, Fairmont Junior High School, Pasadena, Texas
  • Grand-Prize Winner (High School Level): Cecelia Gillam, Hahnville High School, Boutte, Louisiana

Shell Urban Science Educator Development Award, sponsored by Shell USA, Inc.

  • Roy Basa, CTE/Science Teacher, Twin Buttes Cyber Academy, Zuni, New Mexico
  • Briana Clarke, Middle School Science Teacher, Envision Academy High School/Park Day School, Oakland, California
  • Sharon Delesbore, Dean of Instruction P-Tech Health Science Program, Hightower High School, Missouri City, Texas
  • Richard Embrick, STEM Teacher, David Crockett Middle School, Richmond, Texas
  • Cecelia Gillam, Science Teacher, Hahnville High School, Boutte, Louisiana
  • Maritha Green, STEM/Biology Teacher, Whidby Elementary School, Houston, Texas
  • Kandice Taylor, Middle School Science Teacher, Brinkley Middle School, Jackson, Mississippi

Sylvia Shugrue Award for Elementary School Teachers

  • Andee Felker, Fourth-Grade Teacher, Shadow Valley Elementary, Ogden, Utah

NSTA encourages science educators to apply for its 2024 NSTA Awards. For information, visit

About NSTA
The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is a vibrant community of 40,000 science educators and professionals committed to best practices in teaching science and its impact on student learning. NSTA offers high quality science resources and continuous learning so that science educators grow professionally and excel in their career. For new and experienced teachers alike, the NSTA community offers the opportunity to network with like-minded peers at the national level, connect with mentors and leading researchers, and learn from the best in the field. For more information, visit or follow NSTA on TwitterFacebookInstagramYouTube, and LinkedIn.

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Kate Falk, NSTA
(703) 312-9211

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