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Andrea Cull, Heritage Community Charter School Teacher, Caldwell, ID, Wins NWPE Grant
posted by: Cindy Omlin | February 01, 2012, 06:50 AM   

andrea cull fbThe LaMotte's advanced water monitoring kit will provide the opportunity for all 6-12 students at Heritage Community Charter School to monitor various freshwater sites to assess quality and pollution. Ms. Cull says that students will conduct on-site field testing, design and conduct independent research projects, and apply to Seimen's contest for scholarships and awards.  She believes the activities will provide the opportunity to engage students who don't find science relevant to real life, increase inclusion of special needs students, and enrich the education of gifted science students.  Connnecting students to nature is a key to sparking interest in science and because the local area of the school is surrounded by agriculture and protected public lands, Ms. Cull considers it the perfect region to study the effects of man on the environment.

Ms. Cull believes that having a choice of professional associations will raise the level of professionalism in education.  "I could have chosen any science profession, but I chose teaching because I believe in the value of public education. Having a choice of professional organizations may be the only way to combat the powerful unions that misrepresent the true values of public education and talented teachers. Even though income opportunity may discourage some, raising the professional persona will attract the best and brightest candidates who are looking for a career that can make a difference in the world."

After moving from Italy in July to start her new job in Idaho, Ms. Cull looked for an organization that was in line with her beliefs about education and which could help her develop professionally.  "As soon as I heard about NWPE, I joined! I was always uncomfortable with the role of the NEA in politics and do not believe that unions should protect bad teachers.  The liability and grants were also a benefit."

NWPE awards classroom grants and teacher scholarships up to $500.  The deadline for spring 2012 applications is March 31.  Teachers can apply online at NWPE's website.

Picture:  Andrea Cull (L) with NWPE Executive Director Cindy Omlin (R) 

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