Local News Articles Showing the Good in Education

Many teachers are humble about their successes. Every day, they go about their business teaching their students, planning lessons, grading papers, working on committees, and otherwise maintaining the field of education. Some of these teachers are absolutely, unbelievably amazing, and devote their entire lives to teaching their students. But the same moral clarity that guides their selfless work for students, keeps them from pridefully advertising the work they do. Consequently, the public at large often has no idea how many amazing things teachers are doing, and no idea how truly awesome teachers are.

That’s not me. I believe that it is my duty to shout from the rooftops about what I am doing in my profession. It’s certainly not for fortune, it costs me money and time. It’s part of the same civic duty that drives me to be the teacher I am. I believe that everyone benefits when teachers take the time to communicate to the public at large the difficult challenges they face, and the diligent and creative work they are doing.

Recently, a few articles have helped me in this cause:

One of my former students gave me props for encouraging him to pursue Agricultural Science:

“FFA preps flock for national convention”


I was interviewed for the following article about my work in the Einstein Fellowship, TNLI (Teacher’s Network Leadership Institute), MESA, and the Einstein Fellowship 20th Anniversary Summit:

“Local Teachers Strive to Improve their Craft”


I coached a team of students to build cardboard boats for the “Boat Regatta” sponsored by Santa Maria Parks and Recreation Department.

“Teens Sink or Sail at Cardboard Boat Regatta”


STEM Education and the Reauthorization of ESEA

Seeking Discussion Panelists for the Einstein Fellowship 20th Anniversary Summit-

Session: STEM Education and the Reauthorization of ESEA

UPDATE: The participants on this panel have been selected.

More information on the Summit can be found here:


Become a Teacher Who Works on Public Policy- Einstein Fellowship


During the 2006-2007 school year, I had the opportunity to work in the U.S. House of Representatives as an Einstein Fellow. This experience was life changing for me, and enabled me to work directly on education and science legislation with Congressman Mike Honda. If you are a Math or Science teacher (or Elementary or Special Ed. who teaches these subjects) who would like to become involved in public policy, consider applying for the Einstein Fellowship. The Einstein Fellowship is one of the few opportunities teachers have for becoming directly involved in the policy making process. This year, the Einstein Fellowship will be celebrating it’s 20th year.

The following press release was lifted from the NSTA Newsletter:

Apply Now For The 2010–2011 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program

The Triangle Coalition, an NSTA partner, is seeking nominees for the 2009–2010 Einstein Fellow program.

As an Einstein Fellow you will spend a school year in Washington, DC sharing your expertise with policy makers. You may serve your Fellowship with Congress or one of several government agencies, such as the Department of Energy, NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The Einstein Fellowship program provides an opportunity for teachers to inform national policy and improve communication between the K–12 STEM education community and national leaders. Selection is based on excellence in K–12 mathematics, science, or technology teaching; demonstrated leadership; an understanding of national, state, and local education policy; and communication and interpersonal skills.

The Fellowship program was created in 1990 with support from the MacArthur Foundation. Congress formalized the program in 1994 by passing the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Act. The Triangle Coalition administers the program under the direction of the Department of Energy. The application deadline is January 13, 2010.

Link to apply online:


See the article in the Washington Post about the Fellowship

Article in edweek– requires subscription

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship: Perspectives of a Science Teacher Working in the U.S. House of Representatives

I spent a year working in the U.S. House of Representatives on education and environmental policy in 2006 to 2007. In the Summer of 2009, I returned for a brief while to reprise my role. The following paper describes my experiences.

Download or view the .pdf of this paper


Al Gore, Luke Laurie, Mike Honda-in photo on the wall of the official Capitol "Shaft"

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship is a federal program that awards outstanding teachers of mathematics and science with the opportunity to work on federal policy in Washington D.C. for one year. The author was a recipient of the Einstein Fellowship in 2006, after working for nine years as a junior high science teacher specializing in robotics and engineering outreach. This paper summarizes the process of receiving the fellowship, the work completed during the fellowship year, and the perspectives of a classroom teacher working directly on education policy. The author returned to the classroom at the culmination of his fellowship year. On the eve of the 20th year of the Einstein Fellowship, readers may discover the significance of this program, and, if willing, pursue the fellowship and policy work themselves.