The award citation at the Awards Ceremony reads:
This year’s Teacher of the Year has a passion for science, using hands-on activities and technology to inspire students to “dig deeper” into the field of science. In one word, both students and colleagues have described this teacher as “inspiring.” Although working primarily with 7th grade students, this teacher’s influence stretches down to third graders and up through high school by helping to coach students of various grades with their local and county science fair projects.
Upon learning 8 years ago that the school science fair would be among this teacher’s responsibilities, our recipient took the initiative to travel to the California State Science Fair to see firsthand what is expected to compete at the state level. Describing the journey as “eye-opening,” the unique and original project ideas presented at the State Science Fair inspired this teacher to encourage students to move away from more “traditional” science fair projects and find something that really interests them.
This teacher also strives to make the school’s science program part of the community, for example by coordinating a digital Star Lab program for everyone to participate in.
Our recipient sets high expectations for each student, and motivates them to reach their full potential.
Please join me in congratulating our Junior Division Teacher of the Year — from Tom Hawkins School in San Joaquin County — Cassandra de Wood!
Cassandra de Wood was named as advisor on the following project this year: J2108.California State Science Fair / 2011 / Science Fair Teacher of the Year — Junior Division / CalifSF@usc.edu