The History of The National Science Education Leadership Association
formerly The National Science Supervisors Association
By Robert Fariel

NSELA would like to extend its deepest thanks to Bob for taking the time to research, remember and write the history of NSELA when it was the NSSA. His dedication to this task and the hours spent are continuing expressions of his professionalism. Bob is a Past-President and the former LISE Director.

Credit: First additions and edits were done by Ken Roy, Mike Jackson, Pat Bowers, Norman Anderson, and Peggy Holliday for the March, 1999 Edition.


In writing the history of the National Science Supervisors Association, now called the National Science Education Leadership Association, it was a test of memory.

The difficulty of what to include and what to omit was a constant struggle.

I became a member in 1962, the same year that I became a life member of the NSTA. In 1962, I was promoted from a classroom science teacher to science supervisor. I needed all the help I could get as this was only my fourth year in science education.

It was the NSSA and the individual science supervisors that I came to know who helped me the most.

It was not until 1977 - 78 that I became "active" in the NSSA. Walter "Bud" Knighton was about to become Past-President and Charles Butterfield was the incoming President. Charlie and I were good friends and we were both active in our local science supervisory organizations.

The Nassau County Science Supervisors Association held a SCIMEX (Science Materials Exhibit) each fall for teachers and supervisors of science. Science suppliers and book companies leased display tables and a dinner was held followed by a keynote speaker.

In this way, the NCSSA raised funds so that the organization would supply services to science supervisors. Charlie visited the SCIMEX as a keynote speaker. He returned to the Bergen County Science Supervisors and the following year they held a SCIMEX.

As Charlie became president of the NSSA, he appointed me as membership chairman. This was my "real" beginning in the NSSA. The many years of service to the organization was a labor if love never to be forgotten.

Continue to Chapter 1