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Kicking off Teacher Appreciation Week

We can’t say it enough…Congratulations to the 2013 NMSI Teachers and Teacher Trainers of the Year!
It's all about teacher appreciation this week at NMSI. Earlier in the year, we announced awards for eight outstanding teachers for 2012-2013 for academic excellence. These teachers are recognized for demonstrating some of the greatest student achievements from schools participating in the NMSI AP training program. 
Today we recognize one of NMSI’s Teachers of Year, Zestlan Simmons, AP Language and Composition teacher at Booker T. Washington High School in Alabama and one of NMSI’s Teacher Trainers of the Year Jay Fitch, Euless Trinity High School. Why are these teachers so incredible?
Ms. Zestlan Simmons was nominated to NMSI Teacher of the Year because she goes above and beyond to ensure her students are prepared and ready for college coursework. Ms. Simmons provides regular afternoon study sessions where preparation for the AP exam, ACT and SAT skills are ALWAYS a priority. Needless to say, her students consistently meet their goals for qualifying scores.
“When first selected to teach an AP Language class at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School, I have endeavored to accomplish one main objective, which has been to equip students, no matter the skill level, with the abilities to compose coherent and concise college level writing. I have determined that the experience of being in AP Language class not be just a challenging experience, but one of revelation and empowerment,” said Ms. Simmons.
In addition to Teacher of the Year, our Teacher Trainer of the Year is awarded to trainers for their excellence in implementing the NMSI training program to improve classroom teacher skills.
Mr. Jay Fitch exercises NMSI’s lessons to increase rigor in the classroom and promote multi-step deep thinking questions for students to be challenged.
“I am just a teacher that is fortunate enough to get to meet with other teachers and talk about how we can impact our kids. I think I may learn more than them at times. I think I represent NMSI well because to the participants I am just one of them and that allows for great conversation,” said Mr. Fitch. 
These teachers are building the foundation for students and teachers to succeed in STEM. Our hats off to these outstanding teachers!