The official biography below was current at the time of the award.
Lori Garrett has taught all of her nine years at Cactus Elementary School. She taught one year in kindergarten and two in fourth grade mathematics and science. For six years, she has been developing and teaching a pilot program that provides pre-kindergarten to fourth grade science pull-out, as well as a kindergarten to fourth grade enrichment pull-out program that is focused on agricultural and project-based learning.
This summer, she is expanding the science program to include literacy connections to the students’ homeroom classes, consisting of academic vocabulary and reading passages or books that are aligned with the science lessons. She is also expanding the school’s Maker Room STREAMS curriculum that includes not only STEM goals, but also reading, art, and social studies. She will be presenting the current STREAMS program to her area’s STEM conference in late June.
Lori stays in touch with her students during the summer by working with other teachers to deliver SnakPaks. This gives the chance to go to students’ homes and make sure everyone is doing well and has what they need over the summer.
Next school year, Lori is looking forward to starting two afterschool programs. In addition to her five-year school garden projects, she will begin an educational and competitive STEM project using FIRST LEGO Robotics. She will also begin training students for 4-H entomology competitions.
She has worked the last six months with a state-selected group to reevaluate and rewrite the state science curriculum. This has been one of the best opportunities she has had to influence public school teaching.
Lori has a B.S. in marine biology and a Third Mate License in the Merchant Marines, both from Texas A&M University at Galveston. She is certified to teach EC-6 General Education.
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