The slate for NMLSTA Board of Directors is listed below. Please read the candidate's teaching philosophy and biography. posted below
Shannon Sullivan Hudson
Educational philosophy and key goals: Middle school science education is imperative to helping children learn to think for themselves and solve problems. As I travel as District Director for NSTA, I am amazed at the different strategies middle level teachers use to help their students find success. Teachers must be empowered with the resources to help middle students learn naturally- and in their own time. My personal goal is to promote those techniques. As a board member, my first goal will be to promote problem based learning and pedagogy specific to middle school learning styles. My second goal is to continue to support Meet Me In The Middle Day at the National Conference. These few precious hours are the most powerful networking opportunities that I have ever seen.
Background and Experience
1983- 1988 Purdue University,West Lafayette, Indiana
- Elementary education major, junior high science minor, reading minor
- Kappa Delta Pi honorary academic fraternity member
1998-2000 Indiana Wesleyan University Indianapolis, Indiana
- Earned master degree in curriculum and instruction
- Was selected class Leadership Award Recipient
1990-present Crawfordsville Schools, Crawfordsville, Indiana
Science, health and reading teacher
- Taught sixth, seventh and eighth grade science and health using a problem-based learning format
- Taught essential skills reading and tutoring after school
- Sponsored activities such as National Junior Honor Society, Odyssey of the Mind, National Junior Honor Society, and a service learning club (ATEAM)
- Science department chairperson for 20 years
- Presented at conferences such as Hoosier Association of Science Teachers, Inc. (HASTI), National Gifted Conference, NSTA (National Science Teachers’ Association), and the National Service Learning Conference
- Grants include two Lilly Teacher Creativity Grants, numerous Montgomery County Education Fund Grants, Toshiba grants, and local foundation grants to fund local projects
- Numerous publications for the Hoosier Science Teacher (HASTI), Middling Around (IMLEA)
- Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant (2nd) (2016)
- NSTA (National Science Teachers’ Association) District X director covering Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan (2015-2018)
- Master Naturalist (2013 to present)
- Project Leaning Tree (PLT) trainer (2012 to present)
- Historian to the Board of Directors of the Hoosier Association of Science Teachers, Inc (1988- present)
- National Vernier Technology Award (2012)
- Indiana Middle Level Association (IMLEA) (2007- present)
- Health Physics National Science George Eicholtz teacher of the year (2010)
- Biocrossroads Award winner to pursue professional development through the Indiana Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (I-STEM) Resource Network
- Indiana Computer Educators Teacher of the Year (2006)
Biographical Outline: I would like to be considered for the Board of Directors for the National Middle Level Science Teachers Association. I hold a bachelor degree in elementary education from Michigan State University and a master of science degree in computer education from Nova Southwestern University. My experience as a science teacher covers pre-kindergarten through eighth grade in Michigan, Florida and Pennsylvania in both public and private school settings. In addition, I have been a middle school science department chairperson, conducted outreach programs to schools, museums and community activities, authored a science newsletter and books for teachers on science activities and contributed to three major textbook companies. I have served on the board of NSTA’s Science Scope board and have been a reviewer for submitted manuscripts for over ten years. Currently, I am on the NMLSTA board and serve as the liaison to Science Scope, maintain a presence for NMLSTA on Pinterest, assist on NMLSTA’s membership website and contribute to the planning and execution of NMLSTA’s Meet Me in the Middle Day. This year I received the Betty Abbott Excellence in Teaching Award from the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania. I am a member of the Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association, National Science Teachers Association, and the National Middle Level Science Teachers Association. At my school, I serve on the task force to create a maker space in our building.
Educational Philosophy: My educational philosophy has always been to have students actively involved in doing science and making science relevant to their lives. I connect what we are learning to real science experiences and experts using project based and inquiry learning teaching methods. Showing students that science is everywhere and helping them see their role in science is key.
Key Goals for NMLSTA: 1. Continue to be a valuable resource for middle-level science teachers (lessons, ideas, resources, networking). 2. Grow the membership so that science teachers have a network of experience they can access for ideas and collaboration, both between teachers and between classrooms across the country. 3. Provide timely information on national student contests, media events, learning opportunities through NSTA, grants, conferences and events.
Melissa C. Sleeper
Philosophy: “Mrs. Sleeper is Sci Crazy!” states the medal I was awarded by the faculty at one of my schools. That phrase captures my feelings about science education. I am a passionate and enthusiastic STEM educator who works hard to ensure all students in my care have a learning environment that encourages their sense of wonder, actively engages them in discovery, and helps them to develop a lifelong love of learning. Fostering excitement about learning is easy when STEM is used as a focus. Children are natural wonderers. They are innately curious about their surroundings. They want to know the how, the what, the where, the when, and perhaps most importantly, the why of things. STEM education provides the perfect vehicle through which children can answer their own questions about the world around them. In my classroom, students are actively engaged in finding answers and developing true conceptual understanding. We investigate problems, conduct research, build models, and communicate our results in a variety of ways. We make mistakes, but persevere because mistakes are how we learn.
Biographical Outline: I am a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Adolescence Science currently teaching Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth-grade science at Gifford Middle School in Vero Beach, Florida. I am a career changer that worked in a STEM field (agriculture economist/statistician) before I became a teacher. As the spouse of a Foreign Service Officer, I have moved often. This has helped me develop a unique perspective. I have taught in overseas schools, private schools, and public schools. I have taught culturally diverse and bilingual students. I have taught every grade level, K -12. I have taught in an inclusive classroom where students ranged from being gifted to having an intellectual challenge. In addition to my teaching, I have been a science coordinator in a primary year’s program school, an elementary science resource teacher, an assistant principal in a secondary school, and a district level science curriculum and instructional resource teacher. I hold a B.S. in Agriculture Economics from the University of Maryland, a M.A.T. from Johns Hopkins, and a M. Ed. in Science and Math Education Leadership from George Mason University. As part of the program for my M. Ed, I was a summer intern at the Smithsonian Marine Station in Florida. This internship allowed me to learn first-hand the work of research scientists. I am an active member of the National Science Teachers Association and frequently present at national and regional conferences. I have served as the Chairperson of the Advisory Board for Science and Children, served on the Preschool and Elementary Science Committee, served as the Chairperson of the Special Needs Advisory Board, served on the Elementary Extravaganza Committee, and currently serve on the Aerospace Programs Advisory Board and as a reviewer for Science and Children. I have also served on the Board of the Council of Elementary Science International (CESI). In addition, I have presented for NMLSTA, the Association of Multicultural Science Education (AMSE), and the Society of Presidential Awardees (SEPA) at regional and national conferences. I am an Educator Ambassador for NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) Mission. This position has allowed me to educate others about NASA’s MAVEN Mission as well as NASA’s Journey to Mars and to get them excited about space exploration. I have also completed FDA/NSTA’s Food Science and Safety Professional Development Program and have trained teachers about food safety and nutrition. I am a member of NOVA’s Education Advisory Board. I was also selected as a finalist for an Einstein Distinguished Teacher Fellow finalist.