May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

Thank You and Farewell

Posted: Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

by Tim Williamson

It’s hard to believe that two years have gone by so quickly!  As my presidency comes to a close, I would like to reflect on a few of the challenging issues that we have faced, and say thank you to some wonderful people who have helped me along this fast-paced, ever-changing, and incredible journey.

Unfortunately, as most of you know, the downturn of the economy did not spare us. As a result, CSTA has gone through some structural and financial transitions over the past two years. With the help of our experienced and knowledgeable executive director, Christine Bertrand, your CSTA Board of Directors took on the difficult task of balancing our budget during these severe economic times.  We carefully examined our income and expenditures and made some serious decisions that allowed us to balance-out the budget during these trying times.  After a complete overhaul of our publications structure, going all electronic, we were able to eliminate a big part of our expenditures. We also decided to restructure our administrative staff, again to save some money and bring our budget more in-line with our income. This task was made much less difficult by the unfortunate, yet anticipated, retirement of our wonderful executive director of 15 years, Christine Bertrand.  A very dedicated and effective search/transition committee consisting of Rick Pomeroy, Dean Gilbert, Meg Burke, Christine Bertrand, and me began this restructuring process by discussing the pros and cons of reducing number of office staff personnel. It was decided to eliminate an office position and promote our existing staff members. Jessica Sawko was promoted to the executive director position and Connie Morrill was promoted to manager of programs and membership.  There were many other “belt tightening”, cost saving measures, all resulting in a balanced budget with our reserves remaining at required percentages. I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to Christine, Jessica, Connie, my search/transition committee, and all of the board members for their contributions in keeping the California Science Teacher’s Association strong and financially viable. We couldn’t have done it without everyone’s cooperation.

The members of CSTA’s Board of Directors are some of the most hard-working and dedicated people I have ever had the privilege to work with. These people are volunteers and receive no compensation for their hard work. I would personally like to thank them all for their time, expertise and thorough work ethic. This group is the machine that makes things happen for you, the CSTA members.

Our CSTA office staff, consisting of Jessica Sawko, Executive Director and Connie Morrill, Manager of Programs and Membership, is the backbone of our organization. They quickly adapted to their new positions and made what could have been a very difficult transition a very smooth one. A huge thank you to both of them for putting up with my bothersome phone calls and incessant emails. We are so lucky to have you both!

And finally, my heartfelt thanks to you, the CSTA members. Your continued support through your dues, conference attendance, volunteering, and outstanding science teaching to California’s youth helps keep the California Science Teacher’s Association one of the finest, effective, and influential state content associations in the US.

So, as of July 1, 2011, I pass the torch to Rick Pomeroy. His tenacity, determination, and just plain old hard work will allow CSTA to continue to thrive, even during these difficult economic times. Have a wonderful summer break and enjoy some well deserved R&R. You’ve earned it!

Written by Tim Williamson

Tim Williamson is a science methods instructor at CSU Long Beach and is a member and past-president of CSTA.

Leave a Reply

LATEST POST

CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

Teachers engaged in workshop activity

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop at the 2016 CSTA conference.

Don’t miss your chance to register at the early bird rate for the 2017 CSTA Conference – the early-bird rate closes July 14. Need ideas on how to secure funding for your participation? Visit our website for suggestions, a budget planning tool, and downloadable justification letter to share with your admin. Want to take advantage of the early rate – but know your district will pay eventually? Register online today and CSTA will reimburse you when we receive payment from your district/employer. (For more information on how that works contact Zi Stair in the office for details – 916-979-7004 or zi@cascience.org.)

New Information Now Available On-line:

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Goodbye Outgoing and Welcome Incoming CSTA Board Members

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Jill Grace

Jill Grace, CSTA President, 2017-2019

On July 1, 2017 five CSTA members concluded their service and four new board members joined the ranks of the CSTA Board of Directors. CSTA is so grateful for all the volunteer board of directors who contribute hours upon hours of time and energy to advance the work of the association. At the June 3 board meeting, CSTA was able to say goodbye to the outgoing board members and welcome the incoming members.

This new year also brings with it a new president for CSTA. As of July 1, 2017 Jill Grace is the president of the California Science Teachers Association. Jill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, a former middle school science teacher, and is currently a Regional Director with the K-12 Alliance @ WestEd where she works with California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative districts and charter networks in the San Diego area.

Outgoing Board Members

  • Laura Henriques (President-Elect: 2011 – 2013, President: 2013 – 2015, Past President: 2015 – 2017)
  • Valerie Joyner (Region 1 Director: 2009 – 2013, Primary Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Mary Whaley (Informal Science Education Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Sue Campbell (Middle School/Jr. High Director: 2015 – 2017)
  • Marcus Tessier (2-Year College Director: 2015 – 2017)

Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Finding My Student’s Motivation of Learning Through Engineering Tasks

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Huda Ali Gubary and Susheela Nath

It’s 8:02 and the bell rings. My students’ walk in and pick up an entry ticket based on yesterday’s lesson and homework. My countdown starts for students to begin…3, 2, 1. Ten students are on task and diligently completing the work, twenty are off task with behaviors ranging from talking up a storm with their neighbors to silently staring off into space. This was the start of my classes, more often than not. My students rarely showed the enthusiasm for a class that I had eagerly prepared for. I spent so much time searching for ways to get my students excited about the concepts they were learning. I wanted them to feel a connection to the lessons and come into my class motivated about what they were going to learn next. I would ask myself how I could make my class memorable where the kids were in the driver’s seat of learning. Incorporating engineering made this possible. Learn More…

Powered By DT Author Box

Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the California NGSS k-8 Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils Updated Recommended Literature List

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled an addition of 285 award-winning titles to the Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list.

“The books our students read help broaden their perspectives, enhance their knowledge, and fire their imaginations,” Torlakson said. “The addition of these award-winning titles represents the state’s continued commitment to the interests and engagement of California’s young readers.”

The Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list is a collection of more than 8,000 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. Reflecting contemporary and classic titles, including California authors, this online list provides an exciting range of literature that students should be reading at school and for pleasure. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama to provide for a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. Learn More…

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

Powered By DT Author Box

Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.