Teacher Spotlight: Ava Rebecca Bartoo

Teacher Spotlight: Ava Rebecca Bartoo

Meet Ava Rebecca Bartoo
8th grade science
16 years in the classroom
I have a diverse background of educational experience in science from initiating STEM programs, leadership opportunities, and developing networks for quality educational experiences with colleagues at the state and national level, inspiring students to use Geo Inquiry projects to impact their community, and coaching teams. I have 16 years of experience teaching in the public and private sectors in the state of NM. I have had much success with my students throughout the years and was recently designated as a NM Exemplary teacher, never falling below highly effective. I had the awesome opportunity to serve as a NM Teacher liaison this school year traveling, participating in webinars, participating in a state wide network with other teachers, administration, and colleagues about changes to policies, legislation, rule adoptions, and happenings in education.
My last 11 years I have been teaching science content at the Truth or Consequences Middle School 6th-8th. My diverse experiences teaching engaging hands on science, providing extra- curricular activities after school, and providing college and career readiness preparation within lessons inspire students to see real world applications of science. Our district is plagued with many issues that are familiar around the state. We are 100% free and reduced lunch, limited resources for staff, students, and families. In addition there are drug problems, teen pregnancy, and limited jobs for families. Though these factors are present we have still had success the school I am at has been an A school for three consecutive years and recently I was selected to serve on the Secretary Teacher Advisory team with the secretary of education for the 2018-19. No matter what situations we face in education there is hope, we can face them together and we can still strive for excellence for all children in our state no matter what issues the communities are facing.
Within the last eleven years I have coordinated and implemented many STEM programs for the students at my school. Coaching science Olympiad for 9 years for 6th, 7th and 8th grades has been a great experience. The kids have qualified for state 8 times since I started here. It was offered as an after school scholastic after school club for students interested in science. I also coordinated other programs such as the Space X race for space rocket build teams for 2 in-consecutive years. My first rocket team won a payload spot valued at $13,000 and was launched from Space Port when it was still dirt. My second team built a Geiger Mueller counter that was part of a payload that was launched from a much larger rocket at Space Port America at their new site. I also prepared by 6th grade students for the Challenger learning experience two years in a row. I earned my Master’s degree in Administration and graduated in 2008. During the summer of 2013, I participated in a class during the summer to become a Mimio certified trainer and provide technology that I use daily in the classroom. I have served on several boards in education throughout the years at the state level as well. I was part of the NM SBA review committee for Science in 2009. I am also became a National Geographic certified educator. This year I served on the NM Course Map review team for the Next Generation science standards that were adopted by our state. I also served on the NGSS instructional review team to review material proposed to be adopted by NM for K-12 aligned with NGSS and its 3 Dimensional practices. My most rewarding experience has been the National Geographic Geo Inquiry Project that ended with my 8th grade class getting updated water fountains for the 34 year old school. It was part of my National Geographic teacher certification process and was aligned with NGSS and mirrored service learning projects I have seen become so popular on a national level.

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