Kevin Leineweber, an earth science teacher
at McCutcheon High School in Lafayette, Ind., has been selected
as AAPG's National Earth Science Teacher of the Year.
The award includes a $5,000 prize, funded by the
AAPG Foundation. Half of the award money is designated for use under
Leineweber's supervision for education purposes at McCutcheon High
School; the other half is for his own personal use.
Leineweber, 32, will receive his award in March at
the AAPG annual meeting in Houston.
A native of Chicago, Ill., Leineweber received a
bachelor's degree in physical science and earth science from Indiana
University, and is currently working on his master's degree in geoscience
education through Mississippi State University.
He currently is in his ninth year of teaching science
— his sixth year at McCutcheon — and although he's taught several
sub-disciplines within the science realm, he enjoys "earth science,
geology and meteorology the most. I especially appreciate teaching
Earth Science and the Earth Science II class at McCutcheon High.
"I am so excited about this honor and the opportunities
that it can generate for promoting Earth Science in my area," he
said when told of the award.
His teaching philosophy: "I believe that students
must first understand what are our natural resources, and how nature
provides these," he wrote. "Once they understand this, then we can
study how man discovered, extracted and used these resources."
In addition to his teaching duties, Leineweber is
the High School Corporation Department Chairperson for Science for
the Tippecanoe School Corp., and boy's head varsity cross-country
and track & field coach.
An EXPLORER interview with Leineweber about receiving
this honor, his experiences as an earth science teacher and his
approach to teaching will be carried in a future issue.