The Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST) has selected three Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) teachers to receive the annual RISE Award for exemplary contributions to science education. The VAST Recognition Award in Science Education, or RISE Award, is presented to only a small number of teachers at all levels in Virginia schools. School administrators and businesses may also be recognized for their support and contributions to high-quality science education. On November 17, VAST held the RISE Awards Ceremony as part of the Career Development Institute Conference in Roanoke. These PWCS teachers, selected for RISE Awards by the VAST Awards Committee, are among only 13 recipients in the state for 2023:
In the elementary school category: Keaton Beaumont, fifth-grade science teacher at Del City Elementary, who has been teaching at Del City Elementary School since joining the department in 2017. Prior to working in education, Beaumont held positions in the private sector and served in the Army, where he held positions such as Congressional Affairs Officer for the Department of the Army and Branch Chief for Compensation/Benefits for the Joint Chiefs of Staff Pentagon. Beaumont holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, and a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College; Defense and Strategic Studies from the US Army War College; and elementary education from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.
“I teach to inspire excellence every day in my students, other faculty, and the community surrounding the school,” Beaumont said. “Del City Elementary School has formal outdoor classroom spaces that the school community uses daily. The unique campus and local curriculum help students learn about diverse ecosystems. I promote environmental literacy in all content areas and integrate computer-based learning at all grade levels study by developing resources designed to use school technology as a learning tool. My students bring their devices to school every day. Through the introduction of computer technology, students increased their scores on learning standards in science by more than 30 points last year. I provide rigorous, authentic instruction, and I will do everything What is essential for every student every day.As an educator, I strive to grow academically, professionally, and personally by setting high expectations for the students who come to my classroom.
IMiddle School Category: Scott Markley, 8th grade science teacher at Fred M. Lane Middle SchoolHe joined the school department at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year. Before joining PWCS, he taught multiple subjects at the middle and high school levels at Veritas Collegiate Academy in Beijing, China, and later became head of the Classics Department there. Markle holds a master’s degree in education from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree in history from George Mason University. He also holds a Virtual Teaching Specialization from the University of California, Irvine.
Markley finds creative ways to interact and communicate with his students. One includes a stuffed animal named Vern who helps Markley introduce some of the more abstract science concepts and motivates students to solve difficult questions.
“I treat my shared experiences as if they were real life,” Markle said. “It got 100% approval from me, which encourages my students to do the same. To say I’m not ashamed is to misunderstand it, because the real shame would be if I didn’t. This award means that good work is being done at PWCS. The award Not possible without the teachers around me who are constantly uplifting and inspiring me, and certainly not possible without my students who are constantly pushing me to be better for them.
In the category of respected science teacher: Dr. Jason Calhoun, Principal of the Governor’s School of Innovation Park Since 2016, he has worked at PWCS for 25 years, including as supervisor of the department’s science education and family life program for eight years, and science department chair at Gar-Field High School for nine years. He holds a doctorate in education from George Mason University, with a focus on science education leadership, administration, and supervision. He holds a master’s degree in chemistry from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Morehouse College.
“At The Governor’s School @ Innovation Park, our mission is to engage students in rigorous academic study, challenging them to acquire knowledge, develop understanding, think reflectively, and take intellectual and creative risks in solving problems. Receiving this award is a testament to how important science and technology educators are Our STEM mission is to prepare all of our students to have impact and success beyond their horizons. “As a lifelong educator, I try to reflect the values of innovation, diversity, flexibility, and equality to continue improving opportunities for those in the next generation of the STEM pipeline,” Calhoun shared.
The VAST RISE Awards highlight the excellent work done by science teachers across the Commonwealth. They recognize the service of science education to one’s school, the school system and the VAST region in which they work. The awards are grouped into 12 categories: Distance Teaching; Elementary (Pre-K-5); Middle School (6-8); biology; chemistry; geology; physics; environmental sciences; At-Risk Students (K-12); Resource teacher; science teacher; Community partnership between university/college faculty members. The number of awards given each year is determined by the Awards Selection Committee based on the qualifications of the nominees. Winners are invited to attend the VAST Virtual PDI and will be recognized during the PDI. Visit Spacious location For additional information.