The official biography below was current at the time of the award.
Shani Bourn has spent her 28-year career teaching life science courses at Hancock High School. During her tenure, she has taught 9th-12th grade biology, Zoology I and II, Marine/Aquatic Science I and II, Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, and Dual Credit Biology. As adjunct faculty, she has taught General Biology I and II at Pearl River Community College, and environmental science at Bryan College.
As Hancock High School’s Science Department Chair for the past 10 years, Shani has mentored science teachers, managed budgets, and coordinated personnel.
Shani implements field activities into her marine science classes. She organizes monthly visits for her students to a local watershed for chemical and biological analyses made possible by a Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher grant. She has successfully integrated Qwizdom response systems with her students.
Shani has participated in Research Experiences for Teachers at the University of Southern Mississippi, the Mississippi Academy for Science Teachers, and Minority Advancement through Recruitment and Retention via the outreach program at Jackson State University.
Shani has presented sessions at state and national conferences and served as a district director for the Mississippi Science Teachers Association. She also contributed to the revision of Mississippi college and career science standards by participating in the state Department of Education’s revision task force.
Shani earned a B.S. in biology and general science education, M.S. in biology education, and Ph.D. in science education, coastal science emphasis from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in adolescence and young adulthood science and is certified as an AP Biology, biology, and general science teacher.