Latest News: Faculty Engagement Corps Journal Day 2: Homecoming
Education alumna receives nation's highest teaching honor
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Jody Stone (center), with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation Cora Marrett
Jody Stone—who graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Science in 1976 and a Master of Arts in Teaching in 1978—was one of only 97 teachers nationwide selected for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching this year.
President Barack Obama says in a White House press release that teachers selected for this award “stand as excellent examples of the kind of leadership we need in order to train the next generation of innovators and help this country get ahead.”
Winners were honored in Washington, D.C., and received a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.
Stone, who earned her doctorate in education from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1984, is a National Board Certified teacher in adolescent science. For the past 34 years, she has taught high school chemistry at Malcolm Price Laboratory School at the University of Northern Iowa, where she is also on the College of Education faculty and the graduate faculty in science education.
Michelle Griffen, one of Stone’s former science education graduate students, says Stone’s dual role of professor and classroom teacher make her a unique mentor.
“I felt Jody was not only helping us strive for an ideal of what is best practice in science teaching, but she was also ‘in the trenches’ with us practicing what she preached,” Griffen says in her letter nominating Stone for the award. “This dual role as professor and teacher allows her to teach her courses with an integrity that impacts all of her graduate students and then, in turn, the students they teach in their K-12 science classrooms across the state.”
Stone says she’s most proud of the positive influence she’s had on students throughout her career.
“I firmly believe I have significantly impacted all of my students by creating an atmosphere where the sky is the limit for each and every student,” she says. “Using humor as I demand excellence seems to combine in a strangely wonderful way to motivate my students to reach for the stars.”