Avondale High School Teacher Selected for National Science Teacher Association Award
Vanessa Logan has only been teaching high school Science for three years but she has already caught the eye of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). Logan, in her first year at Avondale High School, has been selected to receive the NSTA Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award for New Teachers at the organization’s annual Awards and Recognition Program in Los Angeles next month. The program, created to raise awareness and exposer to the outstanding work being done in the science education field, recognizes exceptional and innovative science educators. Logan, who was a computer science major at The College of Wooster in Ohio, wanted to use her major in a field with a lot of personal interaction so she turned her attention to becoming a teacher.
“It always seemed like the right thing for me,” she said about becoming a teacher, “I love the interaction with the students and the high school environment has so many opportunities for meaningful relationships where students learn from teachers but teachers also learn from students.”
Avondale High School ninth-grader Paige Schuster is glad that Logan made the choice to go into teaching and to join the Avondale staff, “she is not only a great teacher but a great person as well because of the way she teachers our class,” Paige said. “She makes sure that we have fun but at the same time it’s a serious learning environment where everyone can easily learn,” she said.
The environment that Paige references includes Logan employing teaching methodology that engages the students as navigators of their own learning. “My classroom is very choice-based,” she explained, “and I also like to flip the class so that students watch recorded lectures at home and then come to class for the lab and the lesson. That way we have a chance for dialog about the content and hands-on lab work.”
Sharon Hyde, Avondale High school principal, was not surprised when she learned that Logan was selected for the award. “Vanessa is innovative and creative in her approach to teaching. The students respond to her as a teacher and more importantly as a mentor. She is an amazing role model for our students and deserves this honor.”
Logan is honored to receive the award but she is also excited about the benefits associated with being a recipient. “Being selected means there is a lot of professional development through resources like webinars and workshops that I may not have been connected to before,” she said. “This is an opportunity for me to take teaching to the next level and to take my students with me.”