Los Alamos High School Biology teacher Stephanie Mitchell/Photo Courtesy LAPS
Los Alamos High School biology teacher Stephanie Mitchell has been named Outstanding Biology Teacher for New Mexico by the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT).
“I am really honored that I was nominated for the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award and thrilled that I received it,” Mitchell said. NABT Awards recognize teachers for their expertise in science, for contributions to the profession and service to life science teaching or leadership in learning communities.
“Stephanie is a teacher who is continually, quietly pursuing excellence in her classroom,” noted Carter Payne, LAHS principal and former colleague in the Science department. “I have a deep respect for her intellectual curiosity, commitment to her students, and leadership with her colleagues in our department, school, community and the state .”
Mitchell has been teaching at LAHS since 2006. She has taught biology, honors biology, Advanced Placement (AP) biology and AP physics courses during her tenure.
Mitchell has also been honored as an Educator of Distinction by several Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation scholarship recipients over the years. Most recently, she was chosen by Catherine Rousculp who wrote, “Mrs. Mitchell has made the challenging subject of Biology enthralling for me, taught me the importance of curiosity and discovery, and helped me gain the confidence to make mistakes and speak up.”
Upon being nominated, Mitchell had to submit a video lesson, four letters of recommendation, a personal essay and resume as part of the application process.
“All young children are inherently curious about the world,” she wrote in her essay. “My job as a science teacher is to rekindle that curiosity. I want my students to love science, to think science is a fun and accessible career choice, and to realize that scientists are just people like them who use the scientific method and peer review to form conclusions. I want my students to grow into thoughtful adults who can challenge popular misconceptions with knowledge, critical thinking skills, and scientific practices. “
Mitchell will receive her award at the NABT Professional Development Conference in Chicago in November.