Sapulpa High Science Teacher Wins “Excellence in Teaching” Award

The beginning of the week started about like any other Monday for Sapulpa High School science teacher Aaron Rice. Until he checked his email inbox.

(SPS) – The beginning of the week started about like any other Monday for Sapulpa High School science teacher Aaron Rice.

Until he checked his inbox.

The subject line on one particular email was eye-catching: 2019 Excellence in Teaching Award.

The message was from the Vice President of the Tulsa Geological Society Foundation Board and she was informing Mr. Rice he had taken second place in the Excellence in Teaching competition.

“Appears you are doing such wonderful work there at Sapulpa High School,” wrote TGSFB Vice President Cailean Carlberg.

The Foundation solicits applicants from the greater Tulsa area to be recognized as outstanding earth science teachers.

“I am very excited,” said Mr. Rice. “It has been a good year.”

Yes, it has.

First, in order to provide more science options for students, the High School added Astronomy and Meteorology to the curriculum this year. And then, shortly after the school year started, the science department received a donation of a 15-inch Dobsonian telescope and various astronomy materials from Gary Denton. But the “good” doesn’t end there.

Carlberg went on in her email to say that Mr. Rice would receive a $750 cash prize. A third of the money is earmarked for the classroom.

“I plan on getting some meteorology equipment, such as a weather station for the meteorology class to measure the weather conditions to graph and calculate the transfer of energy from the Sun to the Earth and predicting the weather.” 

The remainder of the prize money goes to Mr. Rice himself to do with as he pleases. But, if you think he’s taking that $500 and going on vacation, think again.

“The portion of the prize that I receive will end up being used for further materials needed for Astronomy and Meteorology.”

Thank you for the work you do in the classroom with our students and congratulations on the honor, Mr. Rice.

Mr. Rice will be recognized at the Tulsa Geological Society Foundation Awards Banquet on April 16. In addition to the new Astronomy and Meteorology classes, he also teaches Pre-AP Chemistry and Chemistry.

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