DeAnn O’Toole is a 4th grade Math and Science teacher at Pattison Elementary in Milford, Ohio. She’s working simultaneously as a graduate student at the University of Cincinnati’s School of Education to attain her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. The commitment to her work has enabled O’Toole to be nominated and elected for multiple awards and recognitions, most recently the 2016 Ohio Outstanding Earth Science Teacher (OEST) award, which is given to educators with exceptional contributions to the teaching of earth sciences in K-12 schools. O’Toole was praised for her implementation of experiential learning, passion for earth science education, and ability to incorporate outdoor fieldwork to inspire her students.
O’Toole is also the recipient of the Lillian C. Sherman Scholarship Fund for Education which honors those who exhibit leadership and participation in school and community activities. Sponsored by a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation, O’Toole was a participant in the first STEM teacher training program offered at the UC Center for Field Studies in the Miami Whitewater Forest, where she was a stand-out from day one. David Lentz, Director of the UC Center, noted, “She was enthusiastic about each research experiment and consistently considered ways to incorporate activities from our program into her classroom exercises.” This grant funded six graduate credit hours to be used toward O’Toole’s Master’s degree.
O’Toole will be recognized for the OEST accomplishment in the fall issue of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers’ (NAGT) printed magazine, In the Trenches. The NAGT publication will recognize O’Toole and other recipients from across the nation who also exhibit this level of devotion to the teaching of earth science. The OEST Award program was adopted by the NAGT in 1971, established to honor pre-college teachers of earth science identified by their excellence in teaching through the incorporation of higher levels of teaching performance.