By LYNN HAMILTON
by MICHELE DRISCOLL
Times Staff Writer
Jeff Sayers, a math and science teacher at Northview High School, was among 110 educators who were recently presented with a 2003 RadioShack National Teacher Award (RSNTA) for "demonstrating a commitment to academic excellence in mathematics, science or technology."
He has also been named Indiana Physics Teacher of the Year. Last year he was chosen to be a mentor for Teacher Leaders in Research-based Science Education, funded by the National Science Foundation through the National Optical Astronomy Lab in Tucson, Ariz.
"I mentor three local teachers to help develop research teaching materials for their students. I'll continue in this program indefinetly because one of the problems we face is teachers in the areas of math, physics and science don't often continue teaching. They realize they can get more money for less stress in other fields. It's a problem Indiana faces statewide. I hope I can stimulate teachers to develop such strong bonds to their students, schools and communities that they won't want to leave teaching," Sayers said.
Sayers earned a bachelor of science degree in physics in 1967 from Ball State University, a master of arts degree in astronomy in 1970 and a master of science degree in secondary education in 1973, both from Indiana University, and a master of arts degree in computing in education in 1997 from Columbia University, a teachers' college in New York City.
He is working toward a doctor of education degree in instructional technology from Columbia and has been teaching for 33 years.
He is a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Science Teachers Association, National Education Association, Indiana State Teachers Association, Indiana Academy of Science, Hoosier Association of Science Teachers and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
"I'm very proud to have been nominated for a RadioShack National Teacher Award by a fellow teacher and school administrator," he said. "The award gives me special satisfaction because it means I've achieved a degree of success and recognition in my profession."
His school is also very proud of his receiving the award. "Northview is very lucky to have a nationally recognized science teacher like Jeff Sayers," said Ken Wallace, principal. "Our students have greatly benefited from his teaching and expertise, both as students at Northview and in their level of preparation for college."
"I challenge my students," Sayers added. "If I expect more from them, they'll usually respond and sometimes surprise themselves at what they can accomplish.
As part of this award, Sayers received $3,000 in cash and Northview will receive a $500 RadioShack Tech Tool Grant which can be used to buy equipment, software or supplies for the school.
"By investing in teachers," said Laura Moore, senior vice president and chief communications officer for RadioShack Corp., "RadioShack is strengthening communities and ensuring that more American Youth prosper."
The RSNTA recipients were also recognized at the National Science Teachers Association convention March 27-30 in Philadelphia, Penn. Individual awards were presented by Leonard Roberts, the chairman and chief executive officer of RadioShack Corporation, on March 28 during a dinner and reception at the Philadelphia Marriott Hotel.
Four of these educators are from Indiana, including Sarah Collins, a math teacher at Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis; Greg Louk, a science teacher at Jefferson High School in Lafayette, and Michael Wolter, a science teacher at Muncie Central High School in Muncie.