|Area Science Teacher Wins $5,000 Award
| Farmers Branch, Dallas, TX • A
middle school teacher in Keller, Texas, Sheryl S. Schickedanz, was recognized
June 8, at the Dallas Geological Society annual awards luncheon with a $5,000
award for excellence in geoscience teaching. The Patty Holyfield Teaching
Award is given biannually to a Texas teacher who demonstrates creativity
in science teaching in grades K-12. The award is funded by the Miles Foundation.
Mr. Ellison Miles, a Dallas oil man, established numerous educational scholarships
and awards through the foundation throughout his life.
|Schickedanz has taught seventh and eighth
grade students for nine years, and has been at Indian Springs Middle School
for the past year. Teaching students at this level, Schickedanz acknowledges
that her class may be the only real exposure some students have to geology
if they go on to study only biology, chemistry or physics in high school.
She says she considers it a challenge to help students see the importance
of learning about the Earth.
|“I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be receiving this award,”
said Schickedanz. She says one of the greatest challenges teachers face
today is competing with television and video games for students’ attention.
This past school term Schickedanz used games like those on the “Survivor”
television series to capture her students’ attention.
|“Mrs. Schickedanz is one of those teachers
that you always remember,” wrote one of her students in a recommendation
for Schickedanz winning this honor. “She is one of those teachers you
come back to see when you graduate.”
|The award is solely for the winning teacher’s personal or professional use.
Schickedanz said she would be able to use the funds to assist her family
with expenses incurred from a family member’s illness as well as professionally
to inspire students in the love of science that she has had since she was
a young student.
|This teaching award is given in honor of
Ms. Patty Holyfield, whose commitment to science and the teaching of geology
earned her the admiration of her contemporaries at the Dallas Geological
Society. Holyfield created a nationally recognized teacher development workshop
for science and geology teachers which Schickedanz was recently able to
attend at the Ellison Miles Geotechnolgy Institute at Brookhaven College.