The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) has announced that the 2011 Paul Zitzewitz Excellence in Pre–College Physics Teaching Award winner is Stacy McCormack, a high school physics teacher at Penn High School in Mishawaka, IN. This award is in recognition of contributions to pre–college physics teaching and awardees are chosen for their extraordinary accomplishments in communicating the excitement of physics to their students.
Steve Hope, Principal of Penn High School said, “Stacy is nothing short of a master teacher. She maintains high standards, teaches to every modality through a wide variety of creative assignments, differentiates her instruction to meet individual needs, personalizes instruction, incorporates current technology, and uses current research to guide her teaching. Stacy creates an atmosphere of support, healthy risk taking, and camaraderie in her classes. She has taken technology and integrated that with her best practices to further motivate and engage students.”
McCormack has a BS in Secondary Education from Indiana University and earned her MA in Physics Education from Ball State University. She has received numerous awards including Indiana State Teacher of the Year 2011, Penn–Harris–Madison 2010 Teacher of the year, and the Martha Lee and Bill Armstrong Teacher Educator award.
She has been involved in the QuarkNet Research Experience for Teachers program at the University of Notre Dame, and she was selected as one of five teachers in the United States to attend a three–week conference at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, Switzerland during the summer of 2006.
A member of AAPT and teacher of First Year Physics, Integrated Chemistry/Physics, and online adjunct instructor of Astronomy, Physics, and Physical Science classes for Ivy Tech Community College, she is also the author of Teacher Friendly Physics, a book designed to help science teachers plan affordable lab projects.
On her selection for this recognition, McCormack said, “I am extremely honored to accept the Paul W. Zitzewitz Award for Excellence in Pre–College Physics Teaching at the Summer AAPT meeting in Omaha. Thank you so much for recognizing the important role of high school physics educators across the country. It means the world to me to receive this award.”