[Skip to page content]
< Back

NMSI Celebrates Great Educators During Teacher Appreciation Week

Teachers are real life superheroes. Those who choose to teach have the ability impact the lives of millions of children, which often times asks them to go above and beyond the normal job requirements of an educator. Knowing the pivotal role teachers play in a student’s success NMSI aims to provide educators with recourses and tools to maximize their impact in the classroom. During the week of May 2, NMSI takes a moment to recognize, celebrate and thank the many educators we partner with who make a difference in the their students' lives by sharing a little about what works and excites some of our teachers in the classroom.

Katherine Hergenrether
AP Teacher, Chemistry, Calculus AB, Eisenhower High School
“The most valuable aspect of the program for my students has been the materials that have been provided by NMSI.  The high level assessments and review materials have really helped the students adjust to the higher level reasoning that is required by the College Board, and that will further help them in college. My students move on to college very well prepared for the challenges there because they have already been living it in the AP program during their high school years. 
Many of the professional development trainings that teachers are required to go to throughout the year do not meet our individual specific needs and improve our effectiveness in the classroom. The NMSI trainings are definitely an exception to that. The training is directed at the teacher’s needs.  Specific concerns are addressed and solutions are presented.  In addition, the support available through the network of excellent teachers, the mentor program, and the incredible resources advance the abilities of many teachers.
I was given a method and additional structure that really helped to focus my class as I was working to develop it early in my career.  Without the guidance and material, it would have taken me much longer to get the class to the point I am at now which would have done a disservice to many students.  Often as AP teachers, we find ourselves on an island in our schools as the only teacher who has that specific course.  The NMSI program allows you as a teacher to “get off the island” and be part of a group of amazing people who are all working to improve the abilities and lives of our students.”
Shirl Williams
Teacher, Houston County High School
 “NMSI’s impact on our career choices cannot be understated - it’s the understandings of science, discovery of literary genius, and examinations of mathematics that develop tomorrow’s innovators.  In these classes – hidden behind piles of problems, and our own fair share of stress – we find our passions. NMSI helps do what every education system in the world strives for – creating a better future, and it does it in the most intuitive way: building it from the ground up with enterprising young students. With the help of our teachers, administration, families and friends we’ve done something to be proud of – but it’s the least of what each and every one of us can do in the long run.”

Jason Walker
Director of Blended Learning, NMSI
“My favorite lesson that I ever taught was a lesson that I taught every single year in collaboration with the AP Lit teacher when she had her students reading Frankenstein.  I would make sure that when her students were going over that novel, I would be covering biotechnology (cloning, replicating DNA, etc.).  I would then lead a discussion with her classes and mine called a “line discussion.”  The idea was that I would lead a discussion of what is currently possible in the field of biotechnology and ask the students…”Does this cross your line?”  The idea was to keep going until every student’s line was crossed.  I stated that there would be no “judging” of others opinions, but every student was supposed to have an opinion.  Ultimately, I wanted to educate the students on what was possible and then stress that we do not live in a society anymore where we ask “Can we?” but rather “Should we?”  I would also go so far as to cross students’ lines, then give them a scenario that would “stretch” their line, again trying to get them to get to a place where they were having to develop an opinion based on biological concepts that could possibly be used in today’s society and getting them to take a stance one way or the other…then getting them to realize that depending on the scenario, their line could stretch.”

Stephanie Markman
Manger, Growth and Strategy, NMSI
“You have those moments when you teach where you can actually see a kid get something. It is the most rewarding, invigorating, and triumphant moment. And when it's something you know is challenging them, it's even better. Literature is full of so many hidden gems under the surface of a text. Sometimes you have a feeling of trepidation when preparing a lesson that will stretch students, when you know they may not get it on the first try, or when you're trying something new. As I watched my students tackle a piece of text and truly uncover the symbolism and meaning beyond the words on the page, I knew that they were accessing something completely new and different. The inquisitiveness and engagement they displayed made that particular lesson one of my best ever.”