Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The 2016 WINNER of the JMU High School Physics Teacher of the Year Award

Starting this fall semester of 2016, the Department of Physics and Astronomy has initiated the "JMU  High School Physics Teacher of the Year Award".

The faculty in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at JMU are grateful for the hard work and efforts of the many high school teachers who prepare their students to continue their studies in the physical sciences and sympathetic to the many sacrifices and challenges they face in their work as a secondary science teacher.

This award is our recognition of a different high school physics teacher each year who is nominated by their former students, currently enrolled at JMU in STEM majors. To be considered for the award, the nominee should be an individual who exhibits exceptional dedication to teaching physics and has an outstanding record of going above and beyond in providing education and guidance necessary for the success of the students.

 We are proud to announce that 
the 2016 recipient of the JMU High School Physics Teacher of the Year Award

Mrs. Sonia Faletti
Science Teacher at Bishop Ireton High School, Alexandria, VA 
(Stanford University - B.S. & University of Virginia - M.A.)

The student who nominated Mrs. Faletti is Isabel Ledesma, currently an Engineering major at JMU. Here is Isabel in her own words describing the exceptional attributes of Mrs. Faletti:
"Mrs. Faletti never failed to make my day. She was always enthusiastic about learning, especially learning about physics and its many applications. Whenever a student struggled with understanding a concept, she really took the time to explain what the problem may be and guided the student to a complete understanding of the concept. Additionally, she was energized by the discoveries that each individual made in her class. She was excited to see the look on one's face when he or she finally understood the concept or when their minds were blown away. Her wit and her smile were truly contagious, as one could never leave her class saying that it was not fun. My favorite aspects of Mrs. Faletti's class was the many demonstrations she did and the weekly hands-on labs. These were what made physics concrete for me to see and apply to everyday life. Mrs. Faletti never failed to entertain and educate each student. She is a wonderful guide through the mysterious and intriguing world of physics." (Isabel Ledesma)

Mrs. Faletti will be visiting us at JMU on Tuesday, November 8th (Election Day) when she will get to meet with our faculty and students, see our facilities, and receive a gift in recognition of the award. Feel free to join us in welcoming Mrs. Faletti at JMU!

This fall, our debut season of this award program, we had an amazing response from students with 20 nominations submitted (13 physics majors, 6 engineering majors and 1 math major).  
To all students who took the time to put forward their nominations we send you a big THANK YOU! We truly appreciate you joining efforts in recognizing those high school teachers out there who have made a positive impact on your studies of physics and related fields!!