Science educator up for Teacher of Year

By Sean Pearson
Homer Tribune

Homer Middle School eighth-grade science teacher Hal Neace’s refreshing approach for tackling science often involves everything from building model dinosaurs and toothpick bridges to designing a bottle car using an empty polyethylene bottle and two single rubber bands.
Some of these relatively unique methods Neace employs not only keep his students energetically engaged in learning about science, but also garner the attention of his colleagues.
The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development named Neace as one of four finalists in the 2007 Teacher of the Year honors.
A screening committee recommended the four finalists from a field of applicants submitted by school superintendents and school district selection committees. The committees typically consist of parents, school administrators, teachers, students and business and other community leaders.
Neace, who holds a master’s degree in marine biology from the University of Oregon, often uses an integrated curriculum that bridges life science, earth science and physical science.
“Science is for everyone and anyone who has a sense of curiosity, a sense of wonder and interest in the world around them,” Neace stated in his science curriculum Web site. “The questions are endless and limited only in our ability to ask them.”
Neace has been teaching for 31 years, with a majority of those taking place at Homer Middle School.
“Teaching continues to be a most rewarding career for me, and I look forward to more exciting years ahead,” Neace said. “I see Homer as not only a great place to live, but a wonderful community to teach in.”
Alaska Department of Education and Early Development Commissioner Roger Sampson will invite a statewide team consisting of elected presidents of major parent and education associations to select one of the finalists as 2007 Alaska Teacher of the year and one as Alternate Teacher of the Year. The selection committee will review the applications, view a video of each finalist in an actual classroom situation and interview each teacher. The winner will be announced in November.

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Posted by on Aug 23rd, 2006 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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