WAXAHACHIE — To offer an initiative that provides a fundamental approach, empowers teachers, inspires students and advances studies in T-STEM [The Texas Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics], numerous schools statewide have become STEM academies. In 2008, Global High School opened it is doors to not only a new school but an opportunity to be a STEM Academy for WISD.

Serving as a road map for benchmarks, program requirements and indicators that facilitate individual STEM academy growth, T-STEM created the T-STEM Academy-Design Blueprint. Each year, Educate Texas selects qualifying teachers to receive their “Teacher Appreciation Award” and one of this year’s recipients happens to be Global High School’s honors chemistry, honors physics, and dual credit chemistry teacher, Evelyn Restivo.

According to the Educate Texas website, “The Blueprint Rubric Continuum includes four stages of growth including developing, implementing, mature, and role model. Each Academy may differ in their areas of strength as evidenced by their self-evaluation and resulting Annual Action Plan. The Blueprint provides resources such as benchmarks, program requirements, key elements for success, and example artifacts from successful schools allowing campuses to see their status along the rubric continuum.”

Restivo stressed that chemistry and physics classes are essential for students as they prepare to become innovative professionals.

“Science is based on factual information that follows multiple design processes allowing increased diversity using actual laboratory conditions to enhance learning. If science is presented without the lab experiments, it is of little value since it is in the experimentation that students are given the opportunity to become scientists instead of just spectators of science,” Restivo explained. “Using a learner-driven system prepares students to provide a frame of reference for concepts so the knowledge gained is a direct result of their own work and productivity. In science, concepts are developed through a series of experiments, each viewing a different aspect of the topic that when combined provides multifaceted learning and understanding.”

Part of the Global High School family since its door opened, Restivo has implemented T-STEM initiatives in her classroom since 2008.

“[...] It is important to stress getting the requirements, looking at the research, organizing and developing ideas, building prototypes, completing experimentation, assessing information, revising as necessary, presenting results, listening to comments, communicating with others and reflecting on the entire process,” Restivo said.

She shared that it was an honor to be nominated and selected for this award.

“It is incredibly rewarding to know that your principal and your school family appreciates and values your efforts to prepare students to advance academically and succeed in future careers,” Restivo said.

Restivo also noted how great her principal Ken Lynch is as well as her assistant principal, Jamie Mills.

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Kelsey Poynor, @KPoynor_WDL

(469) 517-1454