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HVA Science Teacher Chosen as a 2013-14 Einstein Fellow

Story by HVA Staff
Published 5/9/13

Ophelia Barizo, HVA’s science department chair and science teacher, poses with “Albert Einstein” just after being selected by the Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology for the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program.

The Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology, an “organization that works to lead the nation in advocating for improved STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education,” recently released the names of 22 newly selected Einstein Fellows for school year 2013-14. The Triangle Coalition selected Ophelia Barizo, science department chair and science teacher at Highland View Academy (HVA) in Hagerstown, Md., for the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program.
Teachers from across the United States go through a rigorous application and interview process to be considered for the fellowship. The newly selected professionals and five returning fellows will serve this upcoming school year at a U.S. congressional office or sponsoring federal agency in Washington, D.C., including NASA, the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation. The coalition reports that fellows will spend 11 months at these entities to bring “extensive knowledge and classroom experience to education programs and policy efforts.”
Barizo will serve her fellowship at the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Engineering, in the Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation Division. “I am excited about this wonderful professional development experience, and I praise God for this amazing opportunity,” Bariza says.
According to the coalition, the Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program is a paid fellowship for K-12 STEM educators with demonstrated excellence in teaching. Congress authorized the fellowship in 1994, but the coalition and the DOE, in partnership with other federal agencies, now administer it. It provides “a unique professional development opportunity for educators to inform national policy and improve communication between K-12 STEM education community and national leaders.”
During Barizo’s 17 years at HVA, she has won several awards and earned approximately $800,000 in grant monies for HVA, which has helped fund innovative projects, technology, textbooks, field trips and science equipment.

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