Summit School teacher receives national honor in science

Christine Zito
The Summit School science teacher Christine Zito

Christine ZitoA teacher from The Summit School in Edgewater has received a prestigious honor from the National Science Teachers Association.

Christine Zito is one of just four teachers chosen from Maryland as a Lockheed Martin-NSTA Fellow for this year’s NSTA New Science Teacher Academy. She is one of 45 teachers selected nationwide from hundreds of applications and will participate in a host of science-related activities and professional development opportunities.

“Ms. Zito has great passion for science and teaching,” says Joan Mele-McCarthy, executive director of The Summit School. “She has really spearheaded our efforts to infuse STEM throughout our program. It is important that our students have a well-rounded education. We are so proud to have Christine’s talent and enthusiasm on the Summit team.”

The Summit School is known for educating bright students who have language-based learning differences such as dyslexia. The other three Maryland fellows are teachers from public schools in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.

“Each of the fellows has conveyed a strong desire to develop their skills as teachers so that they can better foster their students’ interest in science,” said NSTA Executive Director David Evans. “We are very proud of this year’s group of fellows and are grateful for their commitment to science education and to their students.”

The 2014-2015 fellows were selected on the basis of several criteria, including showing evidence of a solid science background and displaying a strong interest in growing as a professional science educator.

“We believe a strong professional development program is vital to the success of new STEM teachers,” said Emily Simone, Lockheed Martin’s Director of Community Relations. “We are proud to support NSTA’s New Science Teacher Academy and applaud the fellows’ commitment to educate and inspire our nation’s future scientists and engineers.”

Each fellow will receive a discipline-specific mentor, access to a facilitated web-based curriculum devoted to content and classroom pedagogy and an opportunity to participate in a variety of web-based professional development activities. Each fellow will also receive a comprehensive membership package and financial support to attend the NSTA 2015 National Conference on Science Education in Chicago.

The National Science Teachers Association is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.

This year, Lockheed Martin and the Bayer USA Foundation are supporting the 45 new science teachers selected as fellows in the program. Lockheed Martin is funding the participation of 36 science teachers as Lockheed Martin-NSTA Fellows, while the Bayer USA Foundation is sponsoring Bayer-NSTA Fellowships for nine New Jersey-based science teachers.