Educators Erin Lukomska-Schlauch, Jamie Proctor and Karen Shelton Honored for Commitment to STEM Education at Maryland Tech Council’s 33rd Industry Awards Ceremony
Gaithersburg, MD – May 20, 2021 – Today, three Maryland public high school teachers have been awarded Maryland Tech Council’s (MTC) STEM Educator of the Year award in recognition of their commitment to STEM education and the extraordinary dedication demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Erin Lukomska-Schlauch and Karen Shelton, both of Charles Herbert Flowers High School in Springdale, Maryland, and Jamie Proctor, of Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Maryland, were recognized as STEM Educators of the Year during the Maryland Tech Council’s Industry Awards Celebration today.
The three educators were nominated by their peers, receiving recommendations from students, teachers, friends and family. Learning Undefeated, a nonprofit organization that provides life-changing STEM experiences for K-12 students, as well as AstraZeneca, a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company, co-sponsored the annual STEM Educator of the Year Award. Awards were presented by co-sponsor AstraZeneca’s Head of US Government Affairs, Julie Garner, and co-sponsor Learning Undefeated’s Vice President of Communications and Events, Janeé Pelletier.
“These incredible teachers are deserving of our STEM Educator of the Year Award,” said MTC CEO Marty Rosendale. “Their work with Maryland students is creating a talented future workforce who will continue to propel our great state forward. We applaud each award winner for their selfless acts and work to make a difference through STEM in the lives of students.”
“These educators represent an unwavering commitment to Maryland’s science, technology, engineering and math students in such a challenging year,” said Pelletier. “We honor their accomplishments, particularly all the creative ways they brought STEM subjects to life while students were learning at home.”
Department chair and science teacher at Charles Herbert Flowers High School, awardee Erin Lukomska-Schlauch demonstrates a passion for science and belief that STEM education is a powerful foundation for success. She believes it’s her rapport with her students that allowed them to make it through such a difficult time this past year.
“Ms. Lukomska-Schlauch is one of the most intellectual, compassionate, and passionate teachers I ever had the pleasure to be taught by,” raved one of her students. “Even in a pandemic, her passion can be seen through the lesson plans. She creates interactive lectures filled with fun projects and labs that utilize basic household materials so that students can follow along. She’s genuinely one of a kind.”
Wilde Lake High School Science Teacher and Instructional Leader Awardee Jamie Proctor has worked as an educator for thirteen years, teaching courses like biology, forensic science, environmental science and earth and space science. Her peers remark on her dedication to students and STEM, citing a mastery of the ideals and practices.
“Jamie is a master teacher who is a powerful force in implementing a comprehensive and authentic science program for our students and community at Wilde Lake High School,” said Marcia L. Leonard, Wilde Lake High School principal. “She creates a simultaneously rigorous and supportive classroom for her students, not an easy feat, and she ensures that her students are engaged in authentic learning experiences throughout the year. Jamie is exactly the type of instructional leader we need in our schools.”
The final awardee, Karen Shelton is a Science and Technology Internship Program Coordinator for Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS). Shelton worked tirelessly this past year to ensure that students in the PCGPS Science and Technology Program didn’t sacrifice any experiences due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As one of three coordinators in the county, she managed to ensure students were able to practice STEM skills hands-on through innovative hybrid learning techniques. In Fall 2020, Shelton collaborated with non-profit organization Learning Undefeated to custom-develop an at-home science kit for more than 2,000 PGCPS high school students.
“Karen Shelton’s strong commitment to student-led investigations and hands-on experiences enable students to build the skills they need to succeed in a STEM career,” said Learning Undefeated Education Program Manager Kristin Diamantides. “The students at Flowers High School are lucky to have Ms. Shelton finding creative ways for them to engage with STEM.”
MTC is Maryland’s largest technology and life sciences trade association and hosts an annual Industry Awards Celebration each year. The event recognizes the leaders and innovators in the life sciences and technology communities from Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic Region.
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About Learning Undefeated
Learning Undefeated (formerly MdBio Foundation) is a non-profit organization that provides life-changing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education opportunities for underserved communities. Through innovative and experiential education programs for grades K-12, we are sparking interest in STEM careers and building the workforce that will drive the innovation economy. Learning Undefeated’s flagship education program features mobile STEM labs that have provided hands-on learning opportunities to more than 300,000 K-12 students in 18 states since 2003. Learning Undefeated also operates several other celebrated STEM education programs including digital and hybrid learning, college and career exploration experiences; mentorship; student competitions; after-school programs; curriculum development; and disaster recovery education. Visit learningundefeated.org or follow on social media @LearningUNDFTD.
About the Maryland Tech Council
The Maryland Tech Council (MTC) is a collaborative community that is actively engaged in building strong technology and life science industries by supporting the efforts of our individual members. We are the largest technology and life sciences trade association in the state of Maryland, and we provide value by giving members a forum to learn, share, and connect. MTC brings the region’s community together into a single, united organization that empowers our members to achieve their business goals through advocacy, networking and education. The vision for the Maryland Tech Council is to propel Maryland to become the number one innovation economy for life sciences and technology in the country. For more information: mdtechcouncil.com.