The Dart Minds Inspired Award for Excellence in Teaching STEM was held on May 2 at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands to recognise outstanding educators in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics – collectively known as STEM.
Dart Education Programmes Senior Manager Glenda McTaggart says the Award for Excellence in Teaching STEM is Dart’s way of celebrating educators who have made a significant, positive difference in their students’ lives through STEM teaching.
“It recognises superior teaching, innovative instructional practice, high educational standards, creation of productive learning environments, and the ability to inspire and motivate students,” she says.
St. Ignatius Catholic School teacher Von Ryan Abrantes received the High School Award, Island Montessori teacher Lune Vermeire the Elementary School Award, and Cayman International School teachers Jeff Szeryk and Krista Finch received Merit Awards.
The teachers were nominated by their peers and evaluated through a blind selection process. The selection panel consisted of a representative from the Dart Scholar Selection Committee, a Ph.D. level industry professional in a STEM field, a member of the US National Science Teachers Association and retired principals from Cayman and overseas.
As the recipients of the 2019 Excellence in Teaching STEM awards, Abrantes and Vermeire will attend a STEM educators conference compliments of Minds Inspired and receive a cash award of US$1,000. The award also included a US$3,000 grant for each school to enhance its STEM educational resources.
Minds Inspired’s focus on STEM is grounded in the Dart family’s belief that these subjects are essential for success in and beyond the classroom. Dart Executive Vice President with responsibility for community development Pilar Bush says teachers are fundamental to inspiring and nurturing students’ passion for STEM learning.
“Teachers play a pivotal role in developing a passion for STEM subjects,” she says. “It matters to us that students are inspired and prepared, and we know that teachers are the epicenter of students’ learning. Excellence in teaching is critical to their engagement and willingness to pursue challenging STEM subjects.”
For more information, visit mindsinspired.ky.