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Four Campuses Earn National STEM Certification at Little Elm ISD

Brent Teachers who are STEM certified

Brent Elementary STEM certified teachers were white coated during their celebration.

Chavez Teachers wear white coats for STEM

Chavez Elementary STEM certified teachers were white coated during their celebration.

 

May 20, 2021

Little Elm ISD is striving to be the first district in Texas to be STEM certified and the first district to have all of its campuses certified through the National Institute for STEM Education, or NISE.

Four campuses at Little Elm ISD have recently earned its National Certificate for STEM Education (NCSE): Brent Elementary, Chavez Elementary, and Strike and Walker Middle Schools. This makes a total of six out of nine campuses with three more coming the next school year. Lakeview, Oak Point, and Little Elm High School are working toward its certification and Hackberry and Prestwick became certified last school year.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and it offers hands-on and relevant learning experiences for students.

Each campus had to form a STEM team to work through 27 indicators with the focus on creating an environment for learning, building scientific learning, and engaging students in scientific and engineering practices. Jennifer Bernabo, District science coordinator, said for a campus to be certified, at least five teachers on that campus had to earn their national STEM certification. It takes about 60 hours of work for a teacher to complete the necessary requirements. “This was on top of their regular job duties and some completed the work in addition to their required reading academy certification they had to receive,” said Bernabo. Between the four newly certified campuses, 45 teachers earned their certification, making the total of 63 teachers STEM certified across the District.

Daniel Gallagher, superintendent, said he is proud of the work teachers have committed to doing in order to help the District reach its vision of becoming the Destination District. “We began this journey of STEM certification three years ago. Our goal back then was to ensure that no matter what zip code you lived, every child will have the opportunity to have STEM as part of their curriculum,” said Gallagher. “We are proud to say we have nearly every campus certified and by this time next year, we will be STEM certified across the District.”

The NCSE recognizes individual school campuses for their commitment to, and growth in, teachers’ implementation of 21st Century and STEM strategies. Evolving from STEM professional development and curriculum created at Rice University, NISE STEM certificates integrate the most recent research and best practices in STEM, 21st Century Learning, and professional development.

The following educators earned NCSE:

Strike Middle School

Manuel Castillo

Jeani Gonzalez

Tiffany Troxclair

Hilary Fulgham

Kalee Measles

Michael Horvath

Nick Wester

Tabetha Millirans

 

Walker Middle School

Sara McNutt

Kassie Hitchcock

Doug Nicewarner

Sheila Hill

Elnora Fields

Stacy Lambert

Crystal Young

Leigh Ann Dailey

Kyla Heffernan

 

Brent Elementary

Damian Groves

Carrie Sheppard

Ericka Torre

Aloysia Mallet

Sarah Rosa

Jessica Robinson

Jose Viloria

Ashleigh Nay

 

Chavez Elementary

Arcadia Ramirez

Heather Kremer

Blaise Brockman

Wende Smith

Audrey Pruitt

Amanda Cooke

Laurie Turner

Shanna Nichols

Kristin Fox

 

Additional STEM Certifications Earned:

Hackberry Elementary

Mariza Escamilla

Sarah Phillips

Marta Flores

Remi Connolly

Noemi Ballesteros

Jamie Hatcher

Florencia Sanders

 

Prestwick Elementary

Cristal Casey-Smith

Kaleigh York

Hannah Kim

Rachel Stockton

D’Ann Duchene