The greatest gift is the giving of time and talent to help inspire students to learn and succeed; the greatest reward is watching students realize they can. To be acknowledged for excellence in teaching science is an extreme validation of professional practice and a humbling tribute to personal values. I am blessed with a deep passion for learning and teaching as a direct result of the gifts imparted by my mentors. An award of this magnitude celebrates the success of students and teachers.

Necole Hanks Powell, WY | K-6, Science, 2018

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

Necole Hanks has been an educator for 15 years and currently teaches at Powell Middle School where she has taught sixth grade science for 10 years. Prior to having her own classroom, she was an education support professional at Powell, teaching reading and providing Title I instruction. Learning-through-doing events are Necole’s favorite way to connect her students with the community. Two such events were Genius Hour Ted Talks and Engineering and Energy Expo. In her classroom, Necole has designed and taught her class using a blended online and face-to-face format. Necole’s passion for teaching and learning transcends the classroom. She coaches a Science Olympiad team, sponsors the Environmental Action Club, and engages young females through “Girls in Science” outings. Necole is an active member of Wyoming Science Teachers Association, National Science Teachers Association, Wyoming Education Association, Powell Education Association, and American Association of University Women. She has presented classroom technology sessions via these organizations. Necole is the 2018-2019 Park County School District 1 Teacher of the Year and finalist for Wyoming Teacher of the Year. Necole earned a B.S. in microbiology from Colorado State University and M.Ed. in secondary teacher education from the University of Phoenix. She is certified in biology and middle school science.