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Enrollments in AP Biology Have Doubled at this School Thanks to this Teacher

American students that are engaged in rigorous coursework, excited about opportunities in STEM, and are college-ready all have been sharing tons of appreciation for teachers this week.
Today, we’d like to recognize another outstanding NMSI Teacher of the Year: Irene Mahoney, an AP Biology educator at Chelsea High School in Chelsea, MA.
This is Ms. Mahoney’s sixth year teaching AP Biology and she knows exactly what it takes to see remarkable results in her classrooms. The enrollments in AP biology have doubled, from 12 students enrolled in the 2008-2009 school year to the current enrollment of 24 students. The percentage of passing scores have increased 25%, from 58% in the 2008-2009 school year to 83% last year in the 2011-2012 school year. This is a school where 80% of the student population receives free or reduced lunch and identify English as a second language.
How does she succeed in the classroom? Engagement is KEY. Ms. Mahoney thrives in instructional approaches and extensive laboratory work that keeps students entertained and always learning.
Piece of cake, right? “I’d be lying if I said my first year wasn’t exhausting, challenging and quite frankly painfully difficult. However this is what gave me the fuel to work on the curriculum constantly that first year. So many students over the years have such an impact on not only their lives but mine,” stated Ms. Mahoney.
These teachers go from good to better thanks to training by teachers for teachers. NMSI’s teacher trainers are dedicated to provide teachers with the tools and resources to help students prepare for competitive STEM fields. A prime example of exceptional teacher training is Stephanie M. Carter, NMSI Teacher Trainer of the Year. She is just that – dedicated, passionate and willing to go the extra mile to ensure her teachers are going from good to better.
“The greatest professional development need is one that is rigorous, sustained, and tied to the Common Core State Standards. For teachers across the U.S., NMSI has been meeting that need and the results are expected and undeniable,” stated Ms. Carter.
So, why do you teach AP?