ONSLOW COUNTY TEACHER NAMED 2002-03 CHRISTA MCAULIFFE FELLOW
Shawn Reintjes, a 6 - 8 grades math and science teacher and science lab coordinator at New Bridge Middle School, Onslow County Schools, was named the 2002-03 North Carolina Christa McAuliffe Fellow in state-level judging held yesterday at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Deputy Superintendent Brad Sneeden presented Reintjes with the prestigious award.
Next school year, Reintjes will receive the Fellowship, valued at $30,000, to implement her program proposal, "Environmental Science? Get Real!" The project's goals are two-fold: to recycle one of the drying beds at the City of Jacksonville's old wastewater treatment facility to propagate three species of Spartina (a marsh grass) for the purpose of wetlands restoration and educational research; and provide classroom equipment kits and teacher training so that other schools can participate in environmental studies at the site. The project will be coordinated between the City of Jacksonville, North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, and New Bridge Middle School.
Reintjes said that middle school learners need to see relationships between science and their everyday lives. "Activities that help them learn about themselves and their world really motivate my students. Students involved with this project also will observe and work closely with scientists, possibly stimulating future career choices," Reintjes said.
A teacher at New Bridge Middle School since 1998, Reintjes has planned and conducted workshops centered around calculator-based labs and graphing calculators for teachers of Science and Math and worked with the City of Jacksonville and with scientists from NCSU's College of Veterinary Medicine as a Science Institute Leader working with the Sturgeon City Project. She is a three-time Bright Ideas Grant recipient and a member of the North Carolina Science Teachers Association and National Science Teachers Association.
Other state finalists were:
- Cecelia Zimerle, Forrest Hunt Elementary School, Rutherford County Schools
- Sonia Pearson, Hiddenite Elementary School, Alexander County Schools
- Lisa Wear, Horizons Unlimited-Supplementary Education Center, Rowan-Salisbury Schools
The Christa McAuliffe Fellowship program is administered by the Council of Chief State School Officers and state education departments in memory of the first teacher in space. McAuliffe and other members of the space shuttle Challenger crew were tragically killed in the 1986 shuttle accident. The Fellowship program provides funds to experienced and outstanding public and non-public school teachers for special projects, partnerships, sabbaticals or other programs.
For more information, please contact Eleanor Goettee, Center for Recruitment and Retention, DPI, 919.807.3356.
About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.
For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.