Mary of Nazareth is proud to celebrate Middle School Science teacher, Jennifer Massey, for her recognition as a 2017 Golden Apple Award recipient. The Golden Apple Award is presented annually to 10 teachers from schools in the Archdiocese of Washington, honoring nominees for their excellence in teaching and commitment to Catholic education. Teachers may be nominated by their colleagues, parents, and students. Ms. Massey was nominated by Mary of Nazareth parents, Karen Stohr and Bob Nonnenkamp, along with their children Julia and Kate Nonnenkamp.
With 14 years of teaching experience, Ms. Massey says that her goal as an educator is for, “students to leave my classroom better people than when they started.” She not only helps to shape the character of her students, but also their understanding of the world that surrounds them. A self-proclaimed lifelong learner, Ms. Massey challenges herself to delve into the concepts within her Science curriculum so that she may effectively engage students with hands-on-lessons and 21st Century technology. Ms. Massey notes that a central part of her instruction in the Science lab involves guiding students in process-oriented learning. Within this framework her role, “shifts from instructor to facilitator,” and allows students to see value in their work as content is built into the problem-solving process.
The impact of Ms. Massey’s teaching style can be seen by the purpose-driven experiments her students conducted in this year’s Science Fair. Two winning projects included engineering a hula hoop which lights up using magnets, and the replication of ancient rice terraces to inform modern day irrigation. According to Ms. Massey, these projects stood out specifically for their application of science concepts to real-world problems with, “innovation and creative design.” With her leadership, technology has become a top priority at Mary of Nazareth. She hopes to watch the continued growth of technology as the school’s five year plan is implemented and, “would love to see a 1:1 program for students.”
When asked what role Mary of Nazareth has taken in her life, Ms. Massey shares, “I often thought God brought me to a Catholic school because He wanted me to positively influence the lives of children. While I still believe this is true, I’ve realized that God brought me to a Catholic school because He wanted to use these people to help me be a better person … I am the person I am today because of my interactions with others, my faith, and my experiences at Mary of Nazareth School.”
Congratulations on this deserved achievement, Ms. Massey! MoN is proud to have you as a member of our school community and thanks you for your continued dedication to Catholic education.