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16 teachers, staff earn Edison Award for STEM excellence

Sixteen teachers and staff at the Junior/Senior High School have again received The Governor's Thomas Edison Award for Excellence in STEM Education and Student Research. The Ohio Academy of Science, which runs the program, recognized 45 school districts and 491 teachers statewide for excellence during the 2020-2021 school year.

OH teachers and staff have now received the Edison Award nine times in the past 10 years. Award recipients are:

  • B. Tim Adkins, math and science teacher
  • Gerry Davis, STEM teacher
  • Patty Dowd, STEM teacher
  • Diane Drabek, math teacher
  • Dan Feuerstein, math teacher
  • Paul Genzman, math and science teacher
  • Mary Kate Hafemann, science teacher
  • Kristin Johnson, art teacher
  • Joan Keckler, math teacher
  • Michael Leeds, instrumental music director
  • Hannah Lehmann, art teacher
  • Jeremy Nixon, science teacher
  • Liz Puskala, science teacher
  • Nicole Silvers, science teacher
  • Brooks Spiess, technology coordinator
  • Anthony Torio, math teacher

"This is a tremendous honor and recognizes the daily commitment made by these teachers and staff to our students," said Ben McMurray, principal of Ottawa Hills Junior/Senior High School. "Their dedication to STEM initiatives, effective pedagogy, and student development goes beyond the classroom and helps define the high standards we have as a district."

"This really is a multi-departmental, building-wide recognition, and reflects the contributions of members spanning across grade levels and content disciplines," writes B. Tim Adkins, chair of the Science Department. "It really speaks to the value that Ottawa Hills JHHS, and the wider community  that we serve, places on STEM education."
Each school receives a special Governor’s Award certificate and each teacher receives a complimentary membership to The Ohio Academy of Science.

To be eligible, schools must conduct a local science fair with 12 or more students and have two or more of these students participate in the 2021 Virtual District Science Day; or have six or more students participate in the 2021 Virtual District Science Day when no local has been conducted. In addition, students must participate in at least one more youth science opportunity beyond the classroom.

Established in 1985, The Governor’s Thomas Edison Awards recognize Ohio schools and teachers who stimulate scientific student research and technological design and extend opportunities beyond traditional classroom activities.