As teachers, we consistently and carefully reflect upon our practice for refinement. I truly believe teachers are in the top tier of professionals in the world. This has been an opportunity of deep reflection, and I am excited for the refinement it has spurred. The award represents a collective of learning experiences and growth with students and professional teams throughout my career for which I am most grateful. It is a great honor to stand among the ranks of such esteemed colleagues.

Christina Pavlovich Livingston, MT | K-6, Science, 2020

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

Christina "Chris" Pavlovich has taught fifth grade at East Side Intermediate School for 10 years. She has been teaching for 13 years and spent the first three years at Winans Elementary School. Chris founded and currently directs Watershed Warriors, a place-based, interdisciplinary environmental education program. Her goal in education is to engage science through place-based projects in order for the subject to be relatable, relevant, and accessible. She brings place-based field data into classrooms through partnerships with Montana's Office of Public Instruction, Montana State University, Montana state agencies, teacher leaders, and local scientists. These projects contextualize science in place and time for students and teachers. Current project examples for classrooms include identifying and monitoring pika habitats as indicators of climate change, discussing cause and effect relationships of Earth's systems through local stream restoration projects, examining correlative data between native and nonnative fish species and wildfires, and learning about the processes of sampling ospreys as indicators of water quality. Chris was awarded the Teresa Veltkamp Advocacy Award for Excellence in Indian Education in 2021; recognized by the Montana Science Teachers Association in 2018 for Distinguished Service to Science Education; named Montana Watershed Teacher of the Year by the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program in 2017; and awarded Montana Educator of the Year by the American Fisheries Society in 2013. Chris has a B.A. in elementary education and a M.S. in science education from Montana State University; she is pursuing a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction at the institution. She has a Class 1 certification in Montana kindergarten through eighth grade education.

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