It is a great honor to receive this award. It is an honor not only for myself, but also for the coworkers, mentors, and administrators who gave me the opportunity to advance my teaching abilities. I hope that the Presidential Award will catalyze collaboration between myself and other educators who are excited to advance STEM education. My love for science and knowledge was inspired by a high school science teacher and I strive to pass that passion on to my students.

James Stith Newcastle, WY | 7-12, Science, 2017

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

James Stith has been an educator at Newcastle High School since 2011. He currently teaches 10th-grade Environmental Science, 11-12th-grade Anatomy & Physiology, and 11-12th-grade Scientific Research & Design. He also coaches Speech & Debate. James’ passion is creating opportunities for students to experience science in a variety of manners, especially via hands-on learning. He has been instrumental in developing an outdoor summer education program, which teaches ecology and geology in a place-based setting. He and Newcastle’s close-knit science department have also established and mentored smaller groups throughout the school year to allow students to explore their own interest in subjects such as photography, caving, and radio. James has presented at state, regional, and national conferences for mathematics and science education. He is working with the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium to build a traveling Arduino education trunk as well as a classroom set to give to a Wyoming teacher through a mini-grant opportunity. James received a B.S.Ed. in history and biology education from Black Hills State University and a M.A. in science education from Western Governors University. He is certified to teach secondary biology and history and is currently working on his certification to teach computer science.