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

Chapter 5 Progress Continues

A third program called "The Thomas Alva Edison Foundation Lecture Series" sponsored by the Edison Foundation and coordinated by the NSSA was also established. This alternated years with NARST (National Association for Research in Science Teaching) who sponsored the O"Bourne Foundation Series. Along with the lecture series was a scholarship for students called the Max McGraw-Thomas Edison Scholarship.

The Summer Leadership Institute sponsored by the NSSA was an overwhelming success. It was decided that another program should be held. It was further decided that the NSSA should apply for a NSF grant to continue the program.

One of the purposes was to train regional teams so they could return to their region and replicate similar programs. A NSF grant was obtained for the summer of 1980.

These Summer Leadership institutes are still being held each summer. It is important to note that these Institutes should be national in scope so that other regional supervisors may attend and gain experience and can become sponsors of future Institutes.

It had been decided that many science supervisors did not have a job description. Many supervisors were having additional responsibilities given to them, many of which were outside the realm of science education and supervision.

As a result, the Membership Chairperson requested all NSSA members to submit copies of their job description, if one existed.

The information was collected, tabulated, published and distributed a "A Model Job Description for Science Supervisors."

The Issues Committee conducted a survey to identify the concerns of science supervisors. They were minimum competencies, science as basic, goals and objectives, evaluating curriculum and mainstreaming. Additional concerns developed at the Summer Leadership Institute included evaluating teachers, job descriptions, lab safety, liability, curriculum development and the availability of regional inservice training for supervisors.

NSSA unveiled its new banner in 1979 at the NSTA Convention in Atlanta. It was to be used at all organizational functions and it could be loaned to other affiliated science supervisor groups.

NSSA received a NSF grant for project, Information Dissemination for Science Education (IDSE). The IDSE location was the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) during the summer of 1980.

Prentice Hall Inc., Educational Book Division agreed to sponsor the NSSA Outstanding Science Supervisor Award. The first recipient of this award was Harold Pratt from Colorado.

From the Presidency of Charles Butterfield (1978 - 79) until the present, the organization has made great strides. Charles had a vision of the future for the organization as do all the others that followed in his footsteps.

As one looks at the list of Past Presidents, Outstanding Science Supervisors and NSTA Presidents, a trend of outstanding leadership becomes evident. The names are intertwined among the three groups. NSSA has been a true organization, promoting leadership in science education.

In the fall of 1980, the NSSA and the Council of State Science Supervisors (CS3)coordinated a nationwide scholarship program sponsored by the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation and the Max McGraw Foundation.

The huge success of the 1979 Centennial of Light Scholarship Program prompted the original sponsor to join with the Max McGraw Foundation to co-sponsor a national scholarship. This program identified ten finalists, two of which received $5,000 scholarships and an all-expense paid trip to the 255th International Edison Birthday Celebration in Cairo, Egypt. The other eight finalists received $1,000 scholarships.

One of the highlights of the NSF/IDSE Summer Leadership Conference, held at the Pocono Environmental Education Center, was "NSSA Listens". Participants were encouraged to evaluate the effectiveness of the NSSA and to make recommendations for ways to make it a more viable professional service organization on the future.

Some of the recommendations were:

The mailing list should be expanded to include non-members to try to increase membership.
NSSA should act as a clearinghouse for information regarding laboratory safety.
Leadership conferences should be held each summer as an on-going service.
NSSA should act as a catalytic organization to encourage the formation of Science Supervisors Associations within a state, such as those found in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
NSSA should form study groups to look for ways to influence national policy in science education. Specifically, the NSSA should address topics such as Science as a Basic, Creationism vs. Evolution, Class Size, and Paraprofessional Aides.
The Annual Iowa Science Curriculum Update Conference was announced for the summer of 1981. NSSA leaders participated in these Update Conferences.

A membership directory was produced by the newsletter editor, Jack Gerlovich. The newsletter was expanded to include professional articles submitted by the membership.

NSSA produced its first position paper on "The Teaching of Creationism in the Science Curriculum".

The Nassau County Science Supervisors Association (NCSSA) developed an idea to get more science supervisors active in professional organizations. It was call "Unified Dues". The NCSSA collected dues for NSSA, the state organization and their own organization. A check was sent to the membership chairperson with names and addresses. This method saved mailing, postage, and an immense amount of bookkeeping.

Gary Downs left the Presidency, Jack Gerlovich left the Newsletter Editor position and LaMoine Motz became the new president for 1982-83.

LaMoine Motz

The new editor for the Newsletter was Wallace "Bill" Ryall. This was to have a far reaching effect on behalf of the NSSA. Bill served for many years. He developed advertising in the Newsletter. He began having the Newsletter commercially printed. He developed a time table; he ran articles about the Executive Board and featured a photo and short biography of each member in following issues. A listing of the many services available to members was also included. Services were provided by the Membership Chairperson.

Richard Clark

Dues were increased to $12. A membership contest was held each year. The NSSA member obtaining the most new members received a hand-carved bird done by former President, Bud Knighton. Members put their initials on the new tri-color membership brochure and from that the tally was done for the Membership Award. This award was presented at the annual meeting. Bob DeBlasi was the first recipient of this award.

Bill Ryall ran extra copies of each issue of the Newsletter. Copies were sent to non-members as a method to increase membership. Extra copies were always provided at all state and regional meetings.

Robert Gorey was appointed the NSSA Computer Software Exchange Chairperson. Free software was exchanged among science supervisors. Bob Gorey coordinated this service.

Ken Roy began to submit articles of professional quality for publication in the Newsletter. Ken was also President of the Connecticut Science Supervisors Association.

Jerry Resnick

The membership directory of 1985 - 85 was the first directory to be published with full financial support of Prentice Hall. It contained many of the topics not found in the Directory which is currently call the Handbook.

Harold Pratt

Harold Pratt took over the reins as President for 1985 - 86. Bob Fariel left the membership committee position; Bob had chaired this committee since 1979. He became the Nominations and Elections Chairperson for one year. Bob was replaced by Ed Tronolone. James Terlizzi became Region A Director. The Executive Board voted to make changes to the By Laws. Some of the major changes were:

Establishment of three types of membership: active, associate, and life.
Establishment of the position of Executive Secretary, which was an uncompensated position.
Robert Fariel became the first Executive Secretary. This coincided with the need to coordinate the many functions of NSSA. An Executive Secretary allowed the organization to have continuity from one presidency to the next. Bob also retired from his science supervisory position at this time.

The spring of 1986 saw the Video Tape Exchange established. NSSA began publishing The Third Sourcebook for Science Supervisors under the editorship of Gerry Madrazo and LaMoine Motz. NSSA provided seed money for affiliates that wanted to develop workshops and conferences.

Merik Aaron

Merik Aaron conducted the Summer Leadership Institute, which was modeled after the highly successful 1980 IDSE. Prentice Hall funded this Summer Leadership Institute.

A long range planning meeting was held and Ken Roy, President Elect, served as chairperson. John Bartley served as the program chairperson for the meeting.

Chapter Six
Prentice Hall and Addison Wesley Connections

While working in my office one day, Craig Wayman, the new Prentice Hall textbook sales walked in and introduced himself. Craig sold our school science books for the coming year. One book was Patterns of Earth Science and one of the authors was Harold Pratt. This textbook was different than most earth science books as it had fewer pages and lots of activities. Prentice Hall provided inservice for teachers using their textbook which few book companies did at that time.

Craig asked me if I wanted to go to the teacher inservice sessions for the new earth science book which was being held at Bear Mountain, NY. Forty teachers from all sections of the United States attended. It was there that I met another Prentice Hall representative, Kelvin Keen. This would become important several years later.

As a result of attending this inservice course, Craig and I became close friends. Craig climbed the professional ladder at Prentice Hall and when Bud Knighton. left the presidency and Charles Butterfield became President, we approached Craig to ask if Prentice Hall would sponsor the Outstanding Science Supervisor Award. He said "Yes" and they have now sponsored the award for over 20 years.

Prentice Hall continues to financially support the publishing of the Membership Directory , now called the NSELA Handbook which combines directory and the By Laws. Prentice Hall places ads in the Newsletter, now called The Navigator, and supports the Summer Leadership Institutes.

Craig Wayman has retired and the new Prentice Hall representative is Dan Boucher. Dan is currently assisting NSELA with the Mini-Conference being held at the 1999 NSTA National Convention in Boston, MA. NSELA looks forward to a continued long relationship with Prentice Hall.

Kelvin Keen had left Prentice Hall and became an Addison Wesley representative. Addison Wesley was expanding rapidly into the science textbook field in the upper grades of K-12 education and Kelvin recommended Robert Fariel as a potential writer for an earth science textbook. This connection enabled NSSA to approach Addison Wesley to sponsor the Breakfast each year at the NSTA National Conventions.

Addison Wesley (presently a division of Scott Foresman) has been very supportive of the NSSA and is currently supportive of NSELA, not only with the Breakfast sponsorship, bust also with the Summer Leadership Institutes and in placing ads in The Navigator.

Other textbook companies and science supply vendors have contributed to the programs of NSSA and NSELA over the years and their help is most appreciated. NSSA and NSELA are proud to have them all as supporters.

Kenneth Roy

In the spring of 1987, NSSA had grown in numbers and complexity necessitating splitting the position of Secretary-Treasurer into two positions. As Ken Roy became President, the Annual Business Meeting was streamlined. All motions had to be sent to the Executive Secretary prior to the annual meeting to save time. The Executive Board met inn closed door session prior to the Old and New Business Meeting. All committee reports were distributed several weeks prior to the general meeting. This saved an immense amount of time and allowed more work to be accomplished. (The first meeting Robert Fariel attended lasted two and a half days and little was accomplished.)

NSSA developed liaisons with KIDNET, Alliance for Environmental Education, and Econet. The Journal was revived also.

Emma Walton

As Emma Walton became President of NSSA, she was greeted with some problems. Jim Cook resigned from the McGraw Foundation so the NSSA was faced with the loss of the Edison-McGraw Scholarship Program. Emma initiated the NSSA Presidential Award. The first recipient was Jim Cook. The Third sourcebook for Science Supervisors was distributed as a benefit to all the NSSA members.

Ken Roy was appointed NSSA National Director. One of the first actions by Ken was to apply for affiliation with AAAS (American Association for the Advance Advancement of Science), ICASE (International Council of Associations for Science Education) and the Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology Education. Ken Roy and Bob Fariel were interviewed by the AAAS Executive Board in Washington, DC and affiliation with the AAAS was completed in November of 1988.

Ken was able to get financial support from Kendall Hunt to pay for a guest speaker at the AETS/NSSA Luncheon.

Ken Roy and Bob Fariel met with Barry Worthington of the U. S. Energy Association. Barry suggested our affiliation with the USEA. He also suggested that the Edison-McGraw Foundation might entertain a proposal for reinstitution the Scholarship Program. Barry had left the McGraw Foundation to be the Executive Director of USEA.

One of NSSA's long -range plans was to secure funds through grants for a leadreship training center, which would serve science supervisors. The center would sponsor summer leadership institutes, seminars and other programs to foster leadership development. Grant proposals were sent to many foundations, science equipment suppliers and textbook companies.

During a988 sufficient funding was secured to initiate the opening of a leadership development and resource center which was named the Leadership Institute for Science Education (LISE). The first program was in July of 1989.

John Bartley

LISE was located at the campus of Central Connecticut State University. It was supported by several corporations and associations. LISE's objectives and goals were:

To provide programs and resources to develop leadership skills and knowledge-based curricula.
To establish a cadre of trained leaders to plan effective leadership training programs.
To facilitate communication among science supervisors on specific issues.
To develop programs and resources for aspiring, neophyte, and veteran women and minorities in science leadership roles.
To promote collaborative pilot programs for education of science supervisors at the university level.
To develop training and support programs for science leaders in schools with a majority of "at risk" students.
To provide communications between the NSSA and professional organizations, government, business, and other entities.
The LISE Center also provided the LISE Letter to all the NSSA members.

Other exciting news was the reestablishment of the Thomas Edison/Max McGraw Scholarship Program, based on a proposal and meeting with the McGraw Foundation. It was this grant that enabled the NSSA to pay Ken Roy's stipend. Part of the agreement was that Ken had to coordinate the scholarship program. An account to handle LISE funding was opened as an account separate from the NSSA treasury monies. Bob Fariel handled the LISE account and the NSSA treasurer handled all other NSSA monies.

The new Edison-McGraw Scholarship Program operated differently than the previous program. The program was held in Chicago each year and included a junior and a senior division. There were five finalists in each division. The money prizes were sent directly to the university of the scholarship winner. The McGraw Foundation provided the funds for travel and all expenses to the students. The Foundation also provided an administrative fee which was used to pay the National Director's stipend.

During the presidency of John Bartley, every operation ran smoothly until the Summer Leadership Institute held in Beaumont, TX. Hurricane Chantel's arrival on the Texas coast caused the Institute to be canceled.

Garland Johnson

Garland Johnson became the next President and announced that there was to be an Executive Secretary search. Bob Fariel left as the LISE Treasurer and Executive Secretary in March, 1992. The one day mini-conference prior to the NSTA National Convention was held in Houston, TX.

LISE began a second publication, "Science Leadership Trend Notes." This was available to organizations by subscription. NSSA also began the fourth set of revisions of the Sourcebook for Science Supervisors. Again, LaMoine Motz and Gerry Madrazo were responsible for the revisions.

Jack Padalino

At the annual meeting of NSSA in 1991, there was a realignment of the regions in an attempt to equalize the membership and vote. Region A had 437 members while Region E had only 46 members. The title of Executive Secretary was changed to Executive Director in anticipation of Bob Fariel's retirement.

Phillip Gay

It was necessary to close the LISE Center as Ken Roy had to return to full time work in his school district. Despite the loss of the Center, operations continued under the direction of the Executive Director. Garland Johnson became the Professional Development Committee Chairperson and procured local committee chairpersons and directed the NSSA Mini-Conferences which were offered one day prior to the opening of the NSTA National and Area Conventions. "Trend Notes" continued as Joe Maurer served as its editor.

Jeane Dughi

NSSA began publishing a journal, The Science Educator, on a regular basis with Jack Rhoton serving as editor. In an attempt to reach more of the membership with professional development opportunities, Angela Romano agreed to an appointment as the Mini-Conference chairman. These were to be held before each regional and national NSTA conference. She was extremely successful and the regional conferences were established as part of the NSSA outreach program. In the spring of 1993, through another collaboration with the Apple Corporation, Michael Jay and the President, a three day Strategic Planning meeting of ten Executive Board members was held in Chicago to establish a five year plan for NSSA. Among several constitutional changes, the plan called for a name change for the organization to National Science Education Leadership Association, (NSELA). NASA was represented at the UNESCO Forum, Technology 2000, in Paris by Jeanne Dughi and the Executive Director. After nomination by the President, Ken Roy became the North American representative to the international organization, thus strengthening the position of NASA in international science education. Ken Roy was appointed as the first NSSA Executive Director with a stipend. The operation of LISE also continued under the direction of Bob Fariel, Garland Johnson, and Ken Roy.

Michael Jackson

Jane Hazen

For the 1995 NSELA Summer Leadership Institute, Michael Grote and Jane Hazen co-chaired the event at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. Mere than 60 participants form across the country spent an exciting week with national presenters. The printed proceedings were mailed to all NSELA members.The NSELA Listserve and Home page were set up by Joseph Peters of the University of West Florida.

Michael Jackson and Harold Pratt worked with Tricia Kerr of the Council of State Science Supervisors and Annenberg staff to develop a set of materials to introduce administrators to the National Science Education Standards. The Annenberg/NSELA/CSSS Awareness kits for administrators include a complete set of resource materials.

Mini-conference were held at Baltimore (Karen Bundy - chair, Tom DuMars, and Charles McElrath), San Antonio (Susan Ward Cory-Chair, Terry Brandhorst, and Kenn Heydrick), and St. Louis (Ed Ortleb-chair, Marcia Daab, Vaughan Morrill, Becky Litherland, and Paul Markovits).

The elections gave us a 1996 leadership team of Tom Fangman, Treasurer; Robert Warwick, Region B; Kathy Sparrow, Region E; and Thomasena Woods, President Elect.

Four issues of the newsletter were published with Carol Mitch as editor. Our journal, The Science Educator was published by editor Jack Rhoton, and our newest sourcebook, Issues in Science Education was published jointly with NSTA by our editors, Jack Rhoton and Patricia bowers.

Nancy Kellogg

Thomasena Woods

Becky Litherland

Jerry Doyle

Mini-conferences were held at the NSTA Regional at Detroit (Chairs, Rochelle Rubin, LaMoine Motz) and the NSTA National at Orlando, FL (Chairs, Jerry Doyle, Nancy Kellogg, and Jim Nelson). The summer leadership institute was held at beautiful Cambria, CA with Jerry Valadez as chair. The election results were that Mary Ingle (Region D, TX) Judi Backman (Region F, WA) and Robert Siggins (Secretary, MA). Four issues of The Navigator were published with Kenn Heydrick as editor. The journal The Science Educator was published with Jack Rhoton as editor. The Prentice Hall Outstanding Science Supervisor Award went to Patricia Bowers of North Carolina and the Casio Supporting Administrator Award went to Jerry Valadez of California. The NSELA web site was moved to designed by Harold Biebel with Jerry Doyle as webmaster.

Kathleen Sparrow

Kenn Heydrick

I have found that NSELA "feeds my needs" as a science education leader more profoundly than any other organization because the focus is on leading science education, which is a different lens than becoming a great science teacher.

Michael Brinkman, Secondary Science Curriculum Coordinator, Grand Prairie, Texas

Science Educator Journal

252 CoverThe Science Educator  is a refereed journal dealing with topics and issues of interest to professionals involved in science education leadership across a variety of roles, institutions and agencies.

Navigator Newsletter

... is a quarterly email newsletter sent to NSELA members.  Included are upcoming events, regional updates, news relevant to science education and more.

Position Statements

NSELA has recently updated a series of position statements related to classroom and laboratory safety.  Read the latest statement "Safety and Duty of Care". 


BestSTEMBookLogoNSELA has published several books in cooperation with the National Science Teachers Association.

Also check out the 2017 Best STEM Books and The STEM Coaching Handbook by NSELA member Terry Tally.

Do you have a book you would recommend to science education leaders?  Send it to the web master to be featured here!