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Berrendo Middle School science teacher receives statewide recognition

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Trevier Gonzalez Photo Berrendo Middle School science teacher Jessica Sanders, above, instructs her seventh-grade class, including Jazmine Villegas, right, on folding and crafting a cell cycle diagram out of paper while also explaining the process of Meiosis to students.

On Saturday, the New Mexico Academy of Science presented the New Mexico Science Teacher of the Year award to Jessica Sanders.

Sanders teaches sixth and seventh grade sciences at Berrendo Middle School. The science academy identified Sanders as a consistent and exemplary teacher within RISD, adding that she esteems students and the entire district staff as an imperative part of the science education structure.

“Sanders has been pivotal in bringing her middle school and school district forward in STEM Education and she looks forward to being an educational leader with the implementation of NGSS,” said Anton Sumali, community relations director for the New Mexico Academy of Science. “Mrs. Sanders is noted for providing numerous STEM opportunities to not only her student population, but furthermore to her local Girl and Boy Scouts councils. Mrs. Sanders continues to advocate for rigor in scientific content for the future of Science Education in New Mexico.”

Trevier Gonzalez Photo

Sanders has also authored and won the Devon Science Grants grant, the Prices Dairy Grant, the Girls Moving Forward in Sports Grant and is currently a top 16 finalist for the Golden Apple Award, which is set to be announced at the end of November.

Each year, the New Mexico Academy of Science solicits nominations from middle schools and high schools around the state for science teachers that have gone above and beyond the call in teaching science to their students. The winners are announced at the NMAS Annual Meeting, which is usually held in early November. The Outstanding Science Teacher awards have been given since 1968. Prior to 1990, awards were given to a K-12 teacher and a post-secondary instructor. From 1990-2016, awards were given to two K-12 teachers annually, one to an elementary grade level teacher and one to a middle or high school level teacher. Starting in 2017 the Teacher of the Year awards will focus on science teachers teaching grades 6 to 12. The American Chemical Society presents a monetary award to the NMAS winning teacher.