People on the Move

Educators Tapped for National Awards and Honors

Editor’s Note: The following is a special edition of People on the Move, THE Journal’s recurring series covering noteworthy honors and promotions in K–12 education and ed tech. Submit your own news by sending a news release to [email protected] or by completing our form to submit ed tech industry leadership news ( or our form to submit news about educators’ honors and leadership roles (

National Science Teaching Association Names 2023 Awards Recipients

The National Science Teaching Association has 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. 

Following are the educators recently honored with their awards at an NSTA meeting in Atlanta:

  • Corteva Excellence in Agricultural Science Education Award: 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 Stetler, Teacher, 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: George Hademenos, Physics Teacher, Richardson High School, Richardson, Texas

  • NSTA Distinguished Informal Science Education: Dana Wright, Informal Educator and Exhibit Specialist, NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia

  • NSTA Distinguished Service to Science Education Award: Heidi Schweingruber, Director of the Board on Science Education, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, Washington, D.C.

  • NSTA Distinguished Teaching Award: 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 Awards:

    • Winner: 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:

    • 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 Awards:

    • 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

Learn more about and apply for the 2024 NSTA Awards at

Lily Wong Fillmore Named Recipient of Dr. Michael Casserly Legacy Award for Educational Courage and Justice

The Council of the Great City Schools has named Lily Wong Fillmore, Ph.D., as the 2023 recipient of the Dr. Michael Casserly Legacy Award for Educational Courage and Justice, the nonprofit said in a news release. 

The award recognizes an individual who has made “outstanding contributions in K–12 urban education by taking courageous and passionate stances on the issues of educational justice and equity,” the organization said.

Fillmore, who earned her Ph.D. in linguistics from Stanford University, was a faculty member of the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Education from 1974 to 2004. There, she focused her research, teaching, and writing on improving education outcomes of multilingual learners, specifically researching social and cognitive processes in language learning, cultural differences in language learning behavior, sources of variation in learning, and primary language retention and loss.

Fillmore has conducted studies of second-language learners in school settings of Latino, Asian, American Indian, and Alaskan Native children. Previously, she was instrumental in establishing a volunteer corps to teach in farm labor camps in California from 1954 to 1964, the Council said.

Since retiring from Berkeley, Fillmore has worked with urban school teachers to improve academic language and literacy instruction for English learners and multilingual learners, partnering with CGCS since 2010 to work with specific districts among the Council’s membership to ensure English language learners have access to the high-quality, rigorous instruction needed to meet college and career readiness standards.

“Dr. Lily Wong Fillmore has been a tireless advocate for the language rights of traditionally marginalized students for decades. Her groundbreaking work on language acquisition and literacy development for English language learners has been crucial in raising the rigor of their education experience and ensuring these students thrive academically,” added Council Executive Director Ray Hart. “Throughout her distinguished career, Lily’s efforts to create linguistically and culturally affirming learning resources have challenged, inspired, and empowered educators to support the academic needs of multilingual learners. This award is a fitting tribute to Lily and her dedication and deep commitment to helping historically underserved students attain their greatest potential.” 

Learn more about the Council at

Mississippi Principal Named Curriculum Associates’ 2023 Inspire Award Winner

Kiana Pendleton, Ph.D., principal of Laurel Magnet School of the Arts in the Laurel School District in Laurel, Mississippi, was recently named the winner of Curriculum Associates’ 2023 Inspire Award — the top prize in the company’s annual Extraordinary Educators program, according to a news release.

“Dr. Pendleton is a standout leader who understands the support and resources teachers and students alike need in order to succeed,” said Emily McCann, vice president of educator community at Curriculum Associates. “Dr. Pendleton’s dedication to her school community and her hard work day-in and day-out is admirable.”

Pendleton’s career in education began with a tutoring role with America Reads in Jackson, Mississippi. Before joining the Laurel School District in April 2018, Pendleton served as a teacher, interventionist, and district reading specialist. 

For her “outstanding leadership and dedicated service” as principal of Laurel Magnet School of the Arts, Pendleton was named Laurel School District’s Administrator of the Year in 2019, Curriculum Associates said. She was also later named a finalist for the title of Mississippi Administrator of the Year by the Mississippi Department of Education.

Of her many accomplishments, Pendleton notably helped move her school from a “B” to an “A” on the 2018–2019 state testing results, achieving the highest rating the school has seen on the state’s accountability model in more than a decade.

Learn more about the Inspire Award and Extraordinary Educators program at

Scholastic Launches Teacher Fellow Cohort to Inject Classroom Expertise Into Development 

Children’s publishing company Scholastic has named its inaugural Teacher Fellow Cohort, a team of 12 high-performing K–8 teachers who “will collaborate with Scholastic Education Solutions' product development, research and publishing teams across the school year, offering a direct pathway to their diverse expertise and the real-time experiences of their classrooms,” according to a news release. 

Scholastic said the program’s goals are “to promote innovative co-design and action research for Scholastic's instructional offerings and to provide unique professional development opportunities for these educators.”

Teacher Fellows were selected through an open call for applications, which were reviewed based on measures of problem-solving skills, overall teaching experience, classroom practices, and more. Each fellow will complete a capstone project during the program, to be showcased at a summit at Scholastic's New York City headquarters later in 2023. Fellows will also receive a stipend of $2,000 as well as at least $500 retail value of books and materials from Scholastic. Learn more about the Teacher Fellow program at

Following are the 2022-2023 Teacher Fellows, who will serve through July 2023: 

  • Dorita Barr, Grade 6-8 Reading Specialist/Instructional Coach, Crossroads Preparatory Academy, Kansas City, MO

  • Anjuli Dyal, K-1 Teacher, P.S. 121Q, South Ozone Park, NY

  • Jenifer Evans, Grade 3 Teacher, Hahaione Elementary School, Honolulu, HI

  • Anna Hart, Grade 5 Teacher, Monaview Elementary School, Greenville, SC

  • Lisa Johnston, Grade K Teacher, Brinnon School, Brinnon, WA

  • Jadah Jones, K-5 Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, Norfolk Public School District, Norfolk, VA

  • Christina Landburg, Grade 4 Teacher, Carthage Intermediate Center, Carthage, MO

  • Andrew Laudel, Grade 7 Teacher, Brunswick School, Greenwich, CT

  • Annikah Mercedes Moaratty, Grade 2 Teacher, Royal Academy of Excellence, San Antonio, TX

  • Tierra Pitchford, Grade 1 Teacher, Caldwell Elementary School, Round Rock, TX

  • Genelynn Pugliese, Grade 1 Teacher, ASCEND School, Oakland, CA

  • Robin Simmons, K-5 Instructional Coach, Hillside Elementary School, Madera, CA

National Alliance of Black School Educators Names Patricia Smith of St. Charles Parish the 2022 NABSE $10,000 Scholarship Award Recipient

The National Alliance of Black School Educators recently named Patricia Smith, director of federal programs for St. Charles Parish Public Schools in Louisiana, as the recipient of the 2022 NABSE $10,000 Scholarship Award, the alliance said in a news release.

The scholarship will support Smith as she pursues a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Southeastern Louisiana University. 

Smith has served as a strong leader throughout her 27-year career in education, which has included roles as an assistant director of summer and graduate placement programs, teacher, principal, coach, curriculum specialist, and, now, director of federal programs, NABSE said. 

“Collectively, these positions have provided her with unique perspectives which contribute to the sustainable academic success and social-emotional growth of the students and staff she leads,” the alliance said.

Learn more about NABSE and the award at