Southern Tioga School Teacher Recognized for STEM

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Rachel Smith, a Gifted Education teacher/coach at Southern Tioga School District, has been selected as one of 72 teachers for the 2019 Teacher Forum. The Teacher Forum is part of 100Kin10, a national network focused on training and retaining excellent K-12 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers. Their goal is to add 100,000 more STEM teachers to classrooms across the country by 2021 and Ms. Smith has been noticed for her first-hand impact in our region.

“I am honored to have been selected to join this amazing group of educators and change makers,” shared Rachel Smith. “They are working to change the landscape of STEM education in our country through a systematic and well-designed plan. I am excited to be able to share my perspectives as a female engineer and a rural educator at this national platform.”

Pennsylvania’s economic growth depends largely on students wanting to study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). According to the PA Department of Education, there will be 590,000 new and replacement jobs in Pennsylvania through 2026, with STEM jobs growing at over 9 percent. And over the next ten years, 71 percent of new jobs will require computer science skills.

With this growing demand, the district continues to serve as a catalyst for innovation and high-quality STEM education.

Earlier this year, Mr. Sam Rotella, Superintendent, and Mr. Jesse Maine, Director of Curriculum & Technology, were accepted as two of 36 ambassadors in the Pennsylvania STEM Ambassadors Program. This program was designed to shape the future of STEM education in the commonwealth, by targeting vital policy conversations to legislative leadership in the areas of STEM Learning ecosystems, computer science, state and federal policy for formal and informal education, and workforce needs.

For Southern Tioga School District, STEM is more than just a subject – it is a way of learning for students and teachers.“It’s important to provide leadership opportunities to teachers, without having to leave the classroom. We encourage our staff to think beyond the walls of their classrooms and realize the impact they have, not just on our students, but fellow educators, stakeholders, and our community,” said Mr. Rotella.

Over the next year, Ms. Smith will work with other members of the 2019 Teacher Forum to engage in the national conversation on STEM teaching and contribute to 100Kin10’s mission to get and keep great STEM teachers in all our nation’s schools.