Pittsburgh Penguins October 2021 Teacher of the Month
Chartiers Valley Middle School; Chartiers Valley School District
Tell us about yourself!
I started off as a high school biology teacher twenty-six years ago. I then moved to the middle school and taught seventh-grade science for seventeen years. I did a two year stint teaching eight grade science before becoming a STEAM teacher for the sixth and seventh grade. It was then that I started using the Future Goals Hockey Scholar program. For the last four years I was moved back to seventh grade science, but I continued using Future Goals Hockey Scholar because of how well it covers physical science and STEM principles in a way that is fun for the students. I decided to become a teacher after working for three years at a Boy Scout camp as the Ecology/Conservation area director. I enjoy science and learning new things about the world around me and I wanted to pass that on to others. One of the aspects of teaching I love is seeing the “light bulb” go on as a student figures out a solution to a problem or just understood a concept they were struggling with. I am an Eagle Scout with Troop 109 here in Pittsburgh and I currently help out New Light Congregation with their Zoom services at the synagogue.
Who is your favorite NHL® player and why?
I liked Darius Kasparaitis. He was a tough defenseman without often fighting or “playing dirty.” Also, I remember students back then who were in the fan club saying that he was very nice and would always talk with them, pose for pictures, or sign autographs.
What is your favorite part of the Future Goals™program? How do you see STEM in the game of hockey?
My favorite part is the way the activities are set up. Just like the work we do in class there is a pretest, lesson, lab activity, collection of data, analysis of data, drawing conclusions, and post-test. All of this is done in a fun, interactive manner with realistic hockey situations. STEM is used in hockey in everything from the proper ice temperature, to the angle used to bank a pass, to the shape of the curve on a skate blade. Students have commented that they knew answers to questions on standardized tests because they remember the game in Future Goals.
If you played hockey, what position would you play and why?
In a strange world, where I played hockey, I would be a goalie. I used to have quick reflexes and I good eye when I was younger.