This award has been a big opportunity for me to reflect on and deepen my professional growth in science teaching. I am certain big social issues my students will face in their lifetime will require scientific endeavors. Climate change, pandemics, sustainable agriculture, clean air, and water will all require science and engineering solutions. The award has motivated me to keep that mission of trying to inspire young children to be habitual critical thinkers who have some global challenges ahead.

Julie Fry Yakima, WA | K-6, Science, 2020

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

Beginning her career in 1990 at Hoover Elementary School, Julie Fry has taught all core subjects in first grade for the Yakima School District. At the time of this award, she continues to teach first grade at Roosevelt Elementary School. In her fifth year of teaching, Julie had the opportunity to co-teach English at Nanyo High School for the Japanese Exchange in Teaching program in Japan. Julie's passion for hands-on science instruction in the primary classroom has been a professional focus her whole career. In 2000, she began a 20+ year relationship with a local Educational Service District to help support this work in the larger region. She has been a leading primary science professional development consultant, served on steering committees for implementing NGSS, participated in state leadership groups such as Leadership Alliance for Science and Education Reform, and trained hundreds of teachers in the region on first grade science curriculum. Julie is a strong advocate for "all standards for all children" and decries any student being pulled from science instruction for learning interventions. She structures her young students' learning pathways around their questions about observable phenomena and prioritizes hands-on activities to alleviate misconceptions and build conceptual understanding. A recent state project has been developing NGSS aligned storylines with lessons for Open Educational Resources in Washington. The storylines include integration opportunities for English Language Arts and Math. Julie holds a B.A. in education and an M.Ed. in reading from Central Washington University; is certified as a K-12 reading specialist; is National Board Certified; and was a PAEMST State Finalist in 2016 and 2018. She won the local Crystal Apple educational award in 2020.

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