Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)
LoriAnn Pawlik, administrative intern at Penn Elementary School, is one of four Virginia finalists for the 2018 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. A winner in science teaching and one in math teaching will be named.
As a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) teacher at Penn, Pawlik worked with teachers at all grade levels to support math instruction, analyze data, and plan instruction for remediation. She created unique learning experiences that took students deep into the world of scientific discovery, from learning to be citizen scientists studying clouds, streams, and tulips, to envisioning a habitat for people on Mars and tracking Monarch butterfly migration and water mass movement with the NASA JPL satellite.
Pawlik connects her science background to the PWCS goals and Virginia Standards of Learning, “insisting on 21st century skills such as communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration for our Penn students,” she said.
She was promoted to administrative intern at the start of the 2018-19 school year, and in that position will continue to lead teachers in STEM learning and provide professional development in math and science. She is also a Divisionwide professional development leader in science for grades 2-5. She served on the team of PWCS educators who revised the elementary science handbook and helped interpret how new standards for science correlate to instruction.
“She takes her students to the next level and teaches about the world and all that is interconnected within it,” said Penn Elementary Principal Dr. Elliot Bolles.
Reflecting on her career in PWCS and how she honed her skills in science and math, Pawlik said, “When I first came to PWCS, I took every professional development class on science and worked with the Office of Energy Management to learn more about sustainability practices. Giving educators such opportunities leads to innovation in the classroom, and that yields the next generation of scientists—that’s Positively PWCS,” Pawlik said.
The state winner will be announced next year. Finalists were selected by review committees convened by the Virginia Department of Education based on their exemplary knowledge and skills in five dimensions of teaching, including mastery of science; instructional methods and strategies; effective use of assessments to evaluate, monitor and improve student learning; reflective practice and life-long learning to improve teaching and student learning; and leadership in education outside the classroom.