Award for Teaching Excellence - 2016

Congratulations to Veronika Ann Paluch - 2016 Award Winner for Teaching Excellence

Principal Donna Lindiner accepting the award on Veronika's behalf.

Veronika Ann Paluch, of The Agnes Irwin School, Bryn Mawr, has received the 2016 PAESTA Award for Teaching Excellence. This award is presented annually to a K-12 teacher who has made exemplary contributions to the field of Earth and space science education.

Paluch brings more than six years of Earth and space science experience to her elementary-aged students. Paluch began her career as an elementary school homeroom teacher. When offered a position teaching science, she readily accepted and has worked to make the experience more project-and-inquiry based to challenge the students.

PAESTA president David Curry had this to say on behalf of Paluch, “I am so proud and honored to spotlight a true leader in the classroom! Veronika Paluch is exactly the kind of educator we look to recognize at PAESTA – knowledgeable, nurturing, dynamic, committed, and driven to excellence. Veronika is truly igniting a zest for science in every one of her students in the same spirit as the late Carl Sagan. Veronika embodies the best in teachers. Her caring and thoughtful efforts towards making science authentic and rewarding will carry forward to a new generation of leaders in the STEM fields yet to come. We thank Veronika for her energy and excitement that she surely delivers every day to her very lucky students. Congratulations Veronika, we are grateful to call you one of our own!”

Paluch has since advanced her science educational skills by becoming certified to teach middle school science and environmental science. She joined the second cohort of the DCIU/Temple STEAL partnership to advance her skills in science instruction and knowledge. Paluch also co-founded and co-teaches the robotics club, including creating and hosting the first robotics challenge at Agnes Irwin.

Paluch’s enhancements to the Agnes Irwin science program include advancing the traditional textbook-based programs into an earth and science project-based program. The science program is frequently featured in Agnes Irwin’s social media posts and publications.

A final project requires students to represent planets in our solar system, research the planets and then create a variety of research on what they have learned.

Former PAESTA president Kathy Tait said, “Veronika Paluch exemplifies being a teacher of earth science. She actively involves her students in the process of science, invites the community of scientists to Skype with her class, and develops curriculum and activities that her students find both interesting and exciting. She is a teacher who is dedicated to developing future scientifically literate students especially in the field of earth science. I feel confident that her talent will produce students who will become our next generation of earth scientists.’

For her dedication to advancing Earth and space science, the Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association congratulates Veronika Paluch as the 2016 Teaching Excellence Award recipient.