Veteran geosciences teacher Jacqueline “Jackie” Bath of Littleton, Colo., a freshman earth sciences teacher at ThunderRidge High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo., has been named the 2015 AAPG Foundation’s Teacher of the Year.
Bath, who also teaches geology as an elective to high school juniors and seniors, has been teaching at ThunderRidge for 18 years – and coincidentally, in receiving the honor becomes the 18th recipient.
The annual TOTY honor bestows a $6,000 prize, which will be split between Bath and ThunderRidge High – $3,000 to the school for educational uses under Bath’s supervision, and to Bath $3,000 for her personal use.
She also will receive an expense-paid trip to the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Denver, May 31-June 3, where she will be presented the award at the All-Convention Luncheon.
Of winning the award, Bath said she was excited and honored.
“To be recognized as AAPG’s Teacher of the Year is truly humbling and I am grateful.
“My career, as an earth science educator has been a journey,” Bath said. “My passion for geology and the geosciences provides inspiration to develop activities that actively engage students in meaningful ways.”
Bath’s students are “actively engaged in learning and applying concepts” through a collaborative classroom environment. She is revered by her colleagues as “innovative,” “engaging” and “inspiring.”
Reading through her class curriculum and letters of recommendation provides a clue as to why she was nominated: from podcast lectures and interactive tutorials, to simulations, labs and direct exposure to local, regional and global issues, Bath creates a sort of geological utopia, in which students are encouraged to immerse themselves and make real-world decisions.
A feature story on Bath and her teaching experiences and philosophies will be included in the May EXPLORER.
Bath was one of six TOTY finalists, competing for the prize with teachers who had won top teaching honors in each of the six AAPG Sections. The finalists were all submitted to a panel of national judges, led by committee chair Laura Zahm.
The five semi-finalists will receive $500 awards from the AAPG Foundation. They are:
- Sue Boucher (Eastern Section finalist).
- Jennifer Reyes (Gulf Coast Section finalist).
- Katherine Hoover (Southwest Section finalist).
- Shannon Chatwin (Midcontinent Section finalist).
- Stephan Kiouses (Pacific Section finalist).
Military Veterans Scholarship Program Launch
Thanks to the many generous supporters who contributed to the U.S. Military Veterans Scholarship Program in late 2014, the AAPG Foundation has met and exceeded its initial threshold goal of $500,000.
Thanks to this generous support, applications for the MVSP are now open on the Foundation website. The first scholarship awards are expected to be announced this summer.
The MVSP program encourages applications from both active U.S. military service members (including National Guard and Reserve), or veteran members separated from active military service who have been honorably discharged and are entering or re-entering a post-secondary undergraduate program in a field of geoscience – either full-time or part-time – at a four-year accredited college or university.
Scholarship awards range from $2,000-$4,000.
For more information visit the Foundation website, at foundation.aapg.org.