Winning the Presidential Award opened doors and gave me confidence to expand my own professional development and learning experiences in science and education throughout the remaining 20 years of my 35-year full-time teaching career. I would have to say my initial (and subsequent) expedition to Antarctica was a key factor. I found out about the former Teachers Experiencing Antarctic and the Arctic (TEA) Program while attending the PAEMST award ceremony in Washington, D.C. It changed my life.

Elizabeth Trummel Crystal Lake, IL | K-6, Science, 1996

Elizabeth “Betty” Trummel earned her B.S. in elementary education (K-9 certification) from the University of Illinois in 1978. She spent 35 years teaching elementary school in Illinois and Massachusetts; her last 27 years teaching fourth grade at Husmann Elementary in Crystal Lake, Illinois, where she was when she received her 1996 Presidential Award. Betty taught “Science Methods for Elementary Teachers” at Northern Illinois University (NIU) for ten years. Betty earned her M.S. in science/outdoor education from NIU in 1991. Betty’s love of teaching has spanned the globe and gone beyond the walls of her classroom, and her passion is connecting people through education and learning experiences. Three deployments (1998, 2006, 2012) to Antarctica as a science communicator/education outreach specialist with different NSF-sponsored research projects had an enormous impact on her teaching. As part of the Homeward Bound expedition, Betty returned to Antarctica (2016) with 76 women in science from around the world. Going back 20 years, Betty had a teacher exchange program with educators in Lulea, Sweden. Exchanges have focused on science/environmental education and building cooperation between cultures. In addition, Betty led a study abroad program in Sweden and Finland for the College of Education at the University of Illinois. Since 2010, Betty has been a part of the non-profit, A to Z Literacy Movement, and has traveled to Zambia four times to work with pupils and teachers, provide professional development, and learn from her Zambian colleagues. Betty has been awarded as a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Illinois, and Outstanding Young Alumni of Northern Illinois University. In her "retirement" she remains active as a world-wide educator and guest speaker.

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