The National Science Teachers Association (NTSA) has awarded an Everett educator with a prestigious honor and an invitation to its National Conference later this year. Jacey Vaughan, an eighth grade science teacher at the Keverian School, received a 2014 Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award for New Teachers.
“Jacey is an outstanding young teacher and a credit to our district in general and the Keverian School in particular,” said Superintendent of Schools Frederick F. Foresteire. “She embodies our district-wide efforts to cultivate passion and aptitude in science among all of our students.”
Teachers who are NTSA members in good standing and who have less than five years of full-time experience are eligible for the Simmons Award program. As a recipient, Vaughan will receive $1,000 to attend the NTSA National Conference April 3-6 in Boston, where she will learn about the latest in science content, teaching strategy, and research to enhance and expand her professional growth. The conference also provides teachers a prime opportunity to collaborate with science education leaders and peers.
Vaughan is a second-year teacher at the Keverian School. She received her undergraduate degree from Merrimack College and a master’s from UMass-Boston. She is currently at work on a second master’s degree from American International College.
The keynote speaker at this year’s conference will be Dr. Mayim Bialik, who is best known in her television roles as “Blossom” and Amy Farrah Fowler in the hit comedy, “The Big Bang Theory.” Dr. Bialik has always been passionate about education and made it a top priority in her life. She received her BS in neuroscience and Hebrew and Jewish studies and later earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA. Her dissertation was an investigation of the rare genetic disorder Prader-Willi syndrome.
The Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award is named in memory of a former longtime teacher in Irvington, New Jersey. He distinguished himself by spearheading the evolution of science projects through competitions and science fairs. He was a published author with his most notable contribution being a book entitled “The Young Scientist: Activities for Junior High School Students,” which offers problems and exercises to develop independent thinking in science students. Published in 1951, it was preceded and followed by several articles in educational journals of the period.