One of Sinagua Middle School’s eighth-grade science teachers is having a very good year. Jillian Worssam was named the 2017 Coconino County Teacher of the Year Wednesday evening. Worssam is also the 2017 Viola Excellence in Science Education award winner.
The runners up to the award, or Ambassadors for Excellence, were 10th-grade Coconino High School English teacher Angela Buzan and special education preschool teacher Sara Zsenai.
According to information provided by the Coconino County Superintendent’s office, Worssam teaches and manages the afterschool oceanography club and STEM/Makerspace club. She created the Scientist in the Classroom Program at Sinagua, which recruits scientists from the business, government and organizational world into the classroom each month to talk to students about what they do.
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The program also includes an annual field trip to a STEM related business or organization. And it encourages scientists to work one-on-one with honors science students at the school for an entire year.
Worssam is the current chair of the Flagstaff Festival of Science and has volunteered at the festival for 15 years and served on its board for six years. She also helps to plan the Flagstaff Community STEM Celebration every year. She was also named the very first STEM Teacher of the Year in 2012 from Flagstaff STEM City.