Opportunities such as visiting Washington, D.C., and meeting the President; being invited to be the speaker at school district in-service meetings; being hired by NSF to teach summer workshops for five years to middle school science teachers in California and Oregon; being hired by my district to teach college-credited instructional classes to teachers; and being able to attend the National Science Teachers Association annual conference are just a few of the experiences that were offered to me.

Joanne Thompson Boise, ID | 7-12, Science, 1984

Joanne Thompson taught AP Biology at Capital High School in Boise, Idaho. Before her retirement in 2006, she was in education for 37 years. Each year as an AP Biology teacher, she was able to encourage several students to participate in biological research projects with professors at Boise State University (BSU). These projects were then entered into a research competition at the University of Utah, where she would take the students to attend four days of seminars and the research competition. Joanne believed her students benefitted from the experience of seeing biology in action in the community. She required "Outside Credits" which were obtained by attending various opportunities available in the community outside of school hours. For example, students could watch surgeries at a veterinarian clinic, attend science lectures at BSU, or go on fieldtrips to see a cadaver and demonstration at BSU Kinesiology Department. She also organized and developed a seminar and Career Day at St. Luke’s Hospital. Three areas of interest were selected by each student and medical staff developed a presentation for the students of their specialty. Students in small groups traveled to the hospital to experience the staff’s demonstrations and presentations. Joanne was able to have Ore Ida Company purchase and donate new AP Biology books to all high schools in the city. Joanne has a B.S. in biology and an M.S. in guidance and counseling. She has been awarded Idaho Teacher of the Year, Biology Teacher of the Year, as well as the 1984 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

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