The award citation at the Awards Ceremony reads:
This year’s Junior Division California State Science Fair Teacher of the Year did not start their professional career as an educator, but has fully embraced this career change. Students explain that this teacher “not only teaches science, but lives science.” In fact, with the amount of time this educator spends with students in their classroom which opens to students at 5:15 in the morning, and all summer, during lunch periods, in one-on-one meetings with students, and texting and emailing students and parents to step outside as a family and catch a glimpse of the International Space Station late at night, we definitely believe that statement!
The impact this teacher has had on their students is astounding, sending 157 students to the California State Science Fair over the past 19 years. Even more important than the numbers is the confidence in and love this teacher has for their students and the love the students return, often referring to this teacher as another parent figure in their lives. Many of this teacher’s former students are now engineers and scientists that cite their 8th grade science fair project as the start of their careers with some even returning to the Science Fair world — this time, as judges!
Please join me in congratulating our Junior Division Teacher of the Year — from Thurgood Marshall Middle School in the city of San Diego, San Diego County — Elaine Gillum!
Elaine Gillum was named as advisor on the following projects this year: J0120, J0403, J0804, J1315, J1715, J2110, S0507, S0628, S1017, and S1313.California State Science Fair / 2017 / Science Fair Teacher of the Year — Junior Division / CalifSF@usc.edu