Teacher of the Year

The Science Teacher of the Year Award is given annually by ASTA to recognize and honor our colleagues who exemplify quality science teaching. The award is presented to one teacher from the elementary level, middle school/junior high level, and the high school level at the annual ASTA convention. Nominees must be certified, full-time classroom teachers and current members of ASTA.

An additional award is presented to an outstanding novice teacher who exhibits exceptional potential for a career of quality science teaching. Nominees for this award must be certified, full-time, within their first three years of teaching experience at either the elementary, middle school, or high school level and members of ASTA.

ASTA recognized four teachers from across the State of Arizona

as Outstanding Science Teachers of the Year and six teachers received Honorable Mention on Saturday, October 28th during the ASTA Conference, Level Up!  Each awardee received a plaque, complimentary registration and membership to ASTA for 2018 conference, $100 gift certificate from Educational Innovations, and an additional gift from the Award Sponsor.

Novice Science Teacher of the Year 
Caroline Estrada Carlson – teaches 7th & 8th Grade Science at Irene Lopez School in the Roosevelt School District in Phoenix
Mrs. Caroline Estrada Carlson demonstrates what it means to truly have high expectations for her students while still having warmth, humor, and rapport with them, which is not always easy in middle school! She consistently goes above and beyond to tackle leadership projects with enthusiasm and has a genuine passion for teaching science that comes across in her daily instruction. She is innovative in her lessons and maximizes every moment of the day to meet her students’ needs. Even as a new teacher she serves in many leadership roles including our mission cabinet, providing valuable input toward school initiatives. Mrs. Estrada Carlson makes contributions not only to her students and our campus, but also to our community.
Thank you PASCO and Educational Innovations for sponsoring the Novice Science Teacher of the Year.

Elementary Science Teacher of the Year
Robyn Yewell – Teaches 5th Grade at Marion Donaldson Elementary School in the Amphitheater District in Tucson
Ms. Robyn Yewell is an exemplary teacher that not only leaves a positive impact on her own class but on the entire community. She takes on many roles as teacher, leadership team member, Math/Science committee chair, Invention Convention organizer, and student council leader just to name a few.
She is also a STEMAZing Teachers Leader for the STEMAZing Project and trains other teachers to incorporate STEM in their classrooms in Arizona.  She provides an excellent example of learning to both students and teachers by always striving to gain more knowledge, which

currently includes earning her National Board Certification. Robyn teaches her students that failure is ok and to embrace a growth mindset by providing opportunities for them to have an idea and keep trying it out until they have success.
Thank you STAX3D and Educational Innovations for sponsoring the Elementary Science Teacher of the Year. STAX 3D in addition is awarding Robyn with an Up 2 Mini 3D printer and a tool box including 4 books, craft supplies, Inspiration Cards, and storage case.

Middle School Science Teacher of the Year
Angela Mitchell – Teaches 7th & 8th Grade Honors Science at Shea Middle
School in the Paradise Valley Unified School District in Phoenix
Ms. Angela Mitchell is a very caring and nurturing teacher and is willing to go the extra mile to help all students. And we mean ALL students including mentoring pre-service teachers from ASU and GCU, and technology training for the staff at Shea Middle School. She challenges her students with engaging lessons, hands-on labs, and peer collaboration. As an active community member Angela serves on the Arizona Game and Fish Teacher Advisory Board bringing environmental awareness to her students and our community. She is an important leader on campus serving as the Science Department Chair for 13 years and a valuable member of the AVID and PBIS site teams. Angela always strives to improve our school culture and our ability to deliver quality instruction to all learners.
Thank you Steve Spangler Science and Educational Innovations for sponsoring the Middle School Teacher of the Year award.

High School Science Teacher of the Year
Stephan Nowbath – Teaches Geology and AP Biology at La Joya Community High School in the Tolleson Union District in Avondale
Dr. Nowbath loves science and has dedicated his life to teaching and inspiring high school students. His kids are fiercely loyal and he is sincerely respected by his students because of his honesty and kind heart; they fervently give their best effort in order to match his. Stephen is a science teacher to ALL students and has been facilitating collaboration between the special education life skills class and the science department so ALL students can experience the world of science. He actively mentors staff and pre-service teachers from the state universities not only in educational pedagogy but in the process of science. It is under Stephan’s leadership as Department Chair that our school has significantly increased the number of students completing four years of science instruction, willingly! Our school has a strong science focus because of the work that Mr. Nowbath does to support students and colleagues.
Thank you Vernier Software and Technology and Educational Innovations for sponsoring the High School Science Teacher of the Year award.


The following teachers are recognized as Honorable Mention Teacher of the Year.  Each honoree received a complimentary annual membership from the ASTA.
Novice Science Teacher of the Year
Kimberly Soukup – Dobson High School
Elementary Science Teacher of the Year
Craig Elliott – Boulder Creek Elementary School
Allison Estrada – Senita Valley Elementary School
Middle School Science Teacher of the Year
Nichole Spencer – Wilson Elementary School
Gail Terhune – Sahuarita Middle School
High School Science Teacher of the Year
Rebecca Bell – Duncan High School
Melissa Girmscheid – Centennial High School
Past Winners

Rachel Tankersley (ES)
Maura Neill (MS)
Michael Frank (HS)
Sandra Crusa (NT)
Dianne Bonney (ES)
Kaci Heins (MS)
Amber Henry (HS)
Meredith Schulte (NT)
Svea Anderson (ES)
Baldwin Gutierrez (MS)
Michael Vargas (HS)
Zachary Kovach (NT)
Rellie Lawyer (ES)
Mariano Guerra (MS)
Christine Sapio (HS)
Lucinda Price (NT)
Erik Von-Burg (ES)
Nancy Foote (MS)
Marni Landry (HS)
Lynn Mitts (NT)
Rita MacWilliam (ES)
Erik Hanchett (MS)
C. Lane Walburger (HS)
Aaron Done (NT)
Marguerite Samples (ES)
Louie Robles (MS)
Paul McElligott (HS)
Rachel Casmer (NT)
Stephanie Angle (ES)
John Jay Higbee (MS)
Geraldine Fisher (HS)
Kellie McLean (NT)
Stacey Green (ES)
Colette M. Bos (MS)
Cheri Kinney (HS)
Amy Stump (NT)
Greg Londot (ES)
Ruth Heaton (MS)
Sandy Harness (HS)
Brian Kievit (NT)
Susan Sain (ES)
Alexia Wacks (MS)
Amanda Grimes (NT)
Kathy Foley (ES)
Tammy Naef (MS)
Therese Govert (HS)
Beverly Waters (HS)
Linda Coyle (MS)
Brenda Penrod (ES)
Amy Smith (MS)
Eric Bodznick (HS)
Ellie Feldner (ES)
Norris Phelps (MS)
Walt Thomas (HS)
Xan Simonson (MS)
Kathy Krucker (HS)
Roger Rohrbach (ES)
Bob Cunningham (MS)
Larry Deutsche (HS)
Mary Brown (ES)
Debra Bjorna (MS)
Jan David Snyder (HS)
Richard Rice (ES)
Richard Rice (ES)
Noma Cardiff (MS)
Nancy Garavito (HS)
Richard Orvin Hogen (ES)
Dan Barrera (MS)
Larry Dukerich (HS)
Joanna Doyle (ES)
Patricia Bayham-Mazier (MS)
Kathy Friedman (Junior HS)
Bob Campbell (ES)
William Walther (MS)
Ann Justus (HS)
Janet Hoy (ES)
Gloria Joe (MS)
Karen Lee (ES)
Lois Ann Rosensweat Rowe (MS)
Daniel C. Wood (HS)
Larry Ladue (HS)
Jackie Cleveland (ES)
Mike Trimble (HS)
Anthony L. Occhiuzzi (HS)
Ann Parra (ES)
Randall Blecha (MS)
Ann Justus (HS)
Cheri Balkenbush (ES)
Karen Milne (MS)
Dick Dutton (HS)
Phyllis Early (ES)
Brenda Pierce (MS)
Malcolm Wells (HS)
Charles Hoyt (HS)
William O’Donald (HS)

ES – Elementary School Level: MS – Middle School Level; HS – High School Level; NT -Novice Teacher