Congratulations to the 2018 awardees! Jane Steinkamp of California receives the Outstanding Administrative Support Award and Dr. Chris Schaben of Nebraska receives the Outstanding Leadership in Science Education Award.  The OASA Award will be presented at the NSELA Leadership Summit and the OLISE Award at the membership breakfast, both in Atlanta, GA.

Outstanding Administrative Support Award 2018 Recipient Highlights:

The NSELA OASA 2017 awardee, Jane Steinkamp, is an incredible leader of leaders who is a great facilitator, negotiator, listener, and consensus-builder. Jane is the chair of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee science subcommittee. This is a strategic position for the 58 California counties with over 1000 school districts that has oversight as to how NGSS standards are implemented in all of California’s school districts. The science subcommittee is partnering with the K-12 Alliance @ West Ed., the California Science Teachers Association, the California Department of Education, and the California Science Project on the Statewide Roll Outs of NGSS. Through Jane’s shared leadership, a new model of collaboration for professional learning and implementation of standards is now the way science is done in California and impacting other subjects. The Roll Outs provide a two-day professional learning opportunity for district teams to learn about NGSS and share their learning. This powerful model is a great success and has led to the newly developed statewide Community of Practice that brings local leaders from around the state together to solve NGSS implementation issues and share successes.

Jane is also a wonderful leadership mentor. Along with Jane’s ability to motivate and encourage people at all levels of the educational system, her leadership style is shared and participatory.

Past accomplishments include working on a teacher team to develop project-based learning integrated modules, assistant principal, elementary principal, and district assistant superintendent for human resources and instruction. Her leadership provided opportunities for student learning in all academic areas including STEM. Due to STEM’s high priority in her current role as Assistant Superintendent, she provides ongoing support for the STEM group through the construction of a large FabLab that serves her county teachers and students to be exposed to cutting edge resources. Outdoor experiences for students are another priority.

The award is presented at the NSELA luncheon held at the annual NSELA Leadership Summit. The award is accompanied by a check for $1,000 and a plaque donated by Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Outstanding Leadership in Science Education Award 2018 Recipient Highlights:

The NSELA OLISE 2018 awardee, Dr. Chris Schaben, is a passionate science/STEM education leader who inspires teachers and students. He is highly skilled at inclusive practices, communication, and collaboration among diverse stakeholders to find unique and efficient solutions for solving problems.  His work as Principal Investigator for two grants has moved his district to a student-centered science program. Through Dr. Schaben’s shared-leadership model for the K-12 Comprehensive Science Teaching and Learning Grant, professional learning opportunities are available for K-12 teachers of science, special education, and ESL. Teachers apply for support in learning that will improve science instruction in their classrooms. The teacher learning is fostered by a partnership with a Science Instructional Coach.  About one hundred teachers have participated, some for multiple years.

Dr. Schaben increases opportunities through other projects for staff and students in his district.  As the PI for the Competitions in the Classroom grant, two district high schools participated in a school-wide Student Space Flight Experiments Program, which led to two experiments flying aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor STS-134. A goal of the grant was to incorporate experimental design as a non-fiction and technical writing experience for all students with a competitive high-altitude balloon launch culminating event.  Chris has been actively involved with the Metropolitan Science and Engineering Fair Inc. for 15 years and is the current President. His leadership has increased student participation in the regional science fair and provides more opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds.

Chris is actively engaged at the regional, state, and national levels. For example, he is the Advisory Board Chair for the Omaha STEM Ecosystem, a nationally recognized community of practice that includes a network of STEM stakeholders committed to providing STEM related learning experiences and career exploration. Over a 10-year period Chris has served as President, counselor for planning, and a delegate from Nebraska for the AAAS national meeting for the Nebraska Academy of Sciences. He is Vice President and Co-founder of the Nebraska Junior Academy of Science. Chris currently serves on the NSELA Professional Development Committee. 

The award is presented at the NSELA breakfast, held during the annual NSTA National Conference. The award is accompanied by a check for $1,000 and a plaque donated by Pearson.