Beth is retiring after 29 years of teaching, nine of those years most recently teaching 9th grade science at Great Falls High School. She has also had the privilege of teaching middle school science at both East and North, Environmental Education to grades K-12, numerous outdoor summer camps, and she was a technology coach for two years.
She has collaborated with others to receive grants to develop and implement outdoor science investigations for students in Great Falls. In addition, she has had the opportunity to take students to Florida and Hawaii multiple times for science trips. Since she has been at the high school, students have travelled to Costa Rica, Japan, and Italy and Greece and upcoming trips to the Galapagos Islands, Europe and Australia/New Zealand.
Working with astronomers and the Spitzer Space Telescope for eight years, provided the opportunity to have students engage in authentic research and interact with NASA astronomers and present at astronomy conferences around the country was very rewarding. One of the pictures is two of my students and Neil DeGrasse Tyson at an astronomy conference where we presented!
Beth had the unique opportunity to research bryophytes and epiphytic plant communities in the Queen Charlotte Islands and western British Columbia. Professionally, she presented at the National Science Teachers Association twice, leads various science and technology workshops in Great Falls and the state for other teachers. She was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching for Montana in 2003 and was a Montana Teacher of the Year Finalist in 2011.
International teaching has also provided highlights of her career as she travelled to Ukraine in 2011, as a teacher ambassador, through the (TEA)Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program through the state department. She was able to work alongside teachers and students in Nouvokrainka, Ukraine.
In December of 2015, she embarked on a voyage to Antarctica as a Grosvenor Teacher Fellow which helped learn about a part of the world she has never seen and then was able to share the experience with her school and community. Finally in the summer of 2019, Beth was a fellow through LRRT (Limited Resource Teacher Training) and worked with teachers and students in Rwamagana, Rwanda.
Throughout her career in education, her goals have ultimately been to help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, become scientifically literate, foster more global perspectives, and inspire and empower students to understand how their decisions and actions will shape the future. She has always encouraged students to be curious and be an explorer of the world.
I will definitely miss my colleagues and students….retirement is bittersweet! Teaching is a difficult profession, but the rewards never end! One door is closing, but others will open…I'm not sure of immediate plans but definitely I am going to be spending time with my family, including my six grandchildren!