Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Program

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Provenance: Avery Swearer, Carleton College
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Jump down to: Award Recipients | Make a Nomination

The Award

Outstanding Earth Science Teacher (OEST) awards are given for "exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth Sciences at the pre-college level." Any teacher or other K-12 educator who covers a significant amount of earth science content with their students is eligible. Ten national finalists are selected, one from each NAGT regional section. Some sections also recognize state winners. Individuals may apply themselves or nominate a colleague for the award.

The Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Awards program was adopted by NAGT in 1971. Devised to honor pre-college teachers of earth science, the program has the following specific objectives:

  • Identify excellence in teaching
  • Appropriately recognize and reward excellence in teaching
  • Stimulate higher levels of teaching performance
  • Establish NAGT as a strong support organization for pre-college education, and
  • Via active statewide and sectional programs, build a solid state, regional, and national liaison with administrators of pre-college earth science education.

Sectional winner awards include:

  • 10"x13" plaque from NAGT
  • 2 year complimentary membership in NAGT
  • From GSA: $700 travel money to attend a GSA Annual or Section Meeting, a 3-year K-12 Teacher Membership, and a 3-year membership in GSA's Geoscience Education Division
  • Copy of Over The Mountains and an Earth Science Week kit from American Geosciences Institute
  • One-year membership and subscription to EOS and Physics Today from AGU
  • One-year subscription to The Professional Geologist from AIPG
  • Two-year membership and subscription to the Earth Scientist from NESTA
  • Copy of Earth as Art from the USGS

There are also a variety of awards for state winners, section runners-up, and honorable mentions.

Award Recipients

2019 Section & State Recipients

Read bios for the 2019 Section and State Winners.

Section Winners

  • Central Section: Dr. Michael J. Smith
  • Eastern Section: Christopher Bowring
  • Far Western Section: Sergio de Alba
  • Midcontinent Section: No Award in 2019
  • New England Section: Susan Meabh Kelly
  • North Central Section: No Award in 2019
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Renee Drummond
  • Southeastern Section: Andrea Starks
  • Southwest Section: Hank Shoop
  • Texas Section: Isabel Anaya

State Winners

  • Alabama: Ricky Conte
  • Alaska: Renee Drummond
  • California: Kevin Lesback
  • Connecticut: Lindsay Waack
  • Florida: Maggie Paxson
  • Georgia: Deborah Lynn Sheppard
  • Indiana: John Hesser
  • Michigan: Sarah Geborkoff
  • Minnesota: Jill Holz
  • Mississippi: Brooke Dodd
  • New Jersey: Matthew Fichter
  • New York: Christine Scavone
  • North Carolina: Marta Toran
  • Ohio: Michael Koenig
  • Oregon: Jim Hartmann
  • Pennsylvania: Andrea Mangold
  • South Carolina: Kimberley Norris-Jones
  • Tennessee: Andrea Starks
  • Virginia: Christopher Bowring
  • Washington: Alice Ryan
  • West Virginia: Angela McKeen

OEST State and Section winners are strongly encouraged to take an active role in NAGT, NESTA, and all other organizations that support the OEST Award Program.

Past Recipients

2018 Section & State Recipients

Read bios for the 2018 Section and State Winners.

Section Winners

  • Central Section: Collin Reichert
  • Eastern Section: Tom Gazda
  • Far Western Section: Diane Tom-Ogata
  • Midcontinent Section: Angie D Nelson
  • New England Section: Melanie Cutler
  • North Central Section: Natalie Davis-McGrath
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Jeff Karlin
  • Southeastern Section: Phillip Cox
  • Southwest Section: David Thesenga
  • Texas Section: Sabrina Ewald

State Winners

  • Arizona: Matt Haverty
  • California: Leonard Bloch
  • Colorado: Stephanie Seevers
  • Georgia: Brenda Paul
  • Idaho: Marc Brousseau
  • Illinois: Andrew Peterson
  • Kentucky: Cayeann Cowan
  • Louisiana: Lacey Hoosier
  • Minnesota: Dan Gruhlke
  • New Mexico: Anna Suggs
  • New York: Tom Gazda
  • North Carolina: Phillip Cox
  • Oregon: Connie Robbins
  • Puerto Rico: Elizabeth Torres-Rodriguez
  • South Carolina: Robin Wright
  • Tennessee: Jana Young
  • Virginia: Jeanette Dellinger
  • Wisconsin: Dennis Rohr

2017 Section & State Recipients

Read bios for the 2017 Section and State Winners.

Section Winners

  • Central Section: Jill Weaver
  • Eastern Section: Kathleen Tait
  • Far Western Section: Dieuwertje Kast
  • Midcontinent Section: No Award in 2017
  • New England Section: Laura Preston
  • North Central Section: No Award in 2017
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Robert Doherty
  • Southeastern Section: Annette Bartlett
  • Southwest Section: Ben Graves
  • Texas Section: No Award in 2017

State Winners

  • Alabama: Virginia Hall
  • Arizona: Allison McIntosh
  • Colorado: Annette Calabretta
  • Delaware: Lindsay Lancaster
  • Florida: Leigh Arnold
  • Georgia: Catherine Warren
  • Idaho: Heather Swanson
  • Kentucky: Thomas Reed
  • Louisiana: Ann Robichaux
  • Michigan: Sherry Claflin
  • Minnesota: Denine Voegeli
  • Mississippi: Tammie Bright
  • New Mexico: Turtle Haste
  • New York: Rebecca Remis
  • Ohio: Karly Lyons
  • Oregon: Celia Hampton
  • Pennsylvania: Kathleen Tait
  • South Carolina: Marc Alexander
  • Virginia: Rebecca Musso
  • West Virginia: Bryan Schuerman
  • Wisconsin: Robert Shannon

2016 Section & State Recipients

Read bios for the 2016 Section and State Winners.

Section Winners

  • Central Section: Troy J. Simpson
  • Eastern Section: No award in 2016
  • Far Western Section: Laura Branch
  • Midcontinent Section: Will Squires
  • New England Section: Joan Kadaras
  • North Central Section: Sharla Hanzlik
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Jonathan Hill
  • Southeastern Section: Lindsay Knippenberg
  • Southwest Section: Matt Affolter
  • Texas Section: Sabrina Ewald
State Winners
  • Alabama: Kathryn Busby
  • Arizona: Pradip Misra
  • Colorado: Jessica Kindel
  • Florida: Mohamed Kabani
  • Georgia: Stephen Csukas
  • Louisiana: Holly Payton
  • Maryland: Meaghan Richardson
  • Minnesota: Jody Bergeson
  • Mississippi: Shelby J. "Dixie" Houchen
  • New Mexico: Gary Bodman
  • North Carolina: Lindsay Knippenberg
  • Ohio: DeAnn O'Toole
  • Oregon: Karen Shelton
  • South Carolina: Deborah Ezell
  • Tennessee: John Griffin
  • Texas: Belinda Jacobs
  • Utah: Kirk Wright
  • Washington: Dustin Smith

2015 Section & State Recipients

Read bios for the 2015 Section and State Winners.

Section Winners

  • Central Section: Michele Svoboda
  • Eastern Section: John Russell
  • Far Western Section: Ryan Hollister
  • Midcontinent Section: No award in 2015
  • New England Section: Rodney Ward
  • North Central Section: Ann Anderson
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Andrew Bagley
  • Southeastern Section: Susan Oltman
  • Southwest Section: Rob Reisener
  • Texas Section: No award in 2015

State Winners

  • Alabama: Michelle Peterson
  • Florida: Christine Danger
  • Georgia: Susan Oltman
  • Idaho: Kenneth Berger
  • Illinois: Joe Schoen
  • Indiana: Heather Hall
  • Iowa: Brandon Fritz
  • Louisiana:Lisa Swenson
  • New York: Kenneth Abbott
  • North Carolina: Rebekah Fuerst
  • Ohio: Beth Holmes
  • Oregon: Christopher Carlton
  • Pennsylvania: Blake Colaianne
  • South Carolina: Jennifer Pitman
  • Wisconsin: Adam Keeton

2014 Section & State Recipients

Read bios for the 2014 Section and State Winners.

Section Winners

  • Central Section: Ella Bowling
  • Eastern Section: Victoria Gorman
  • Far Western Section:No award in 2014
  • Midcontinent Section: No award in 2014
  • New England Section: Rita Chang
  • North Central Section: No award in 2014
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Dale Lehman
  • Southeastern Section: Lisha Hylton
  • Southwest Section:No award in 2014
  • Texas Section: Lawrence Witt

State Winners

  • Alabama: Wendy Bramlett
  • Alaska: Darren Kellerby
  • Georgia: Donna Governor
  • Illinois: Keni Rienks
  • Indiana: Martha Hoyt
  • New Jersey: James Miller
  • New York: Mark Percy
  • North Carolina: Mark Townley
  • Ohio: Paul Genzman
  • Oregon: Laura Orr
  • Pennsylvania: Michael Baer
  • South Carolina: Lisha Hylton
  • Washington: Randy Taylor
  • Wisconsin: Beth Spear

2013 Section & State Recipients

Read bios for the 2013 Sectional and State Winners.

Section Winners

  • Central Section: Mary Lestina
  • Eastern Section: Russel H Kohrs
  • Far Western Section: Herman Hilkey
  • Midcontinent Section: Kathy Rusert
  • New England Section: Erica Wallstrom
  • North Central Section: Rod Benson
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Helen Farr
  • Southeastern Section: Olivia Boykin
  • Southwest Section: Cheryl L. B. Manning
  • Texas Section: Gary Poole
State Winners
  • Alabama: Alison Starr
  • Alaska: Jonathan Smith
  • Arizona: Jeremey Williams
  • Georgia: Nancy Adgate
  • Louisiana: Lacey Hoosier
  • New Jersey: Steven Carson
  • New York: Michael Wing
  • North Carolina: Mary Catherine Mills
  • Texas: Katie Wagner
  • Virginia: Russel H Kohrs

2012 Section Recipients

  • Central Section: No award in 2012
  • Eastern Section: Dr. Edward Cohen
  • Far Western Section: No award in 2012
  • Midcontinent Section: No award in 2012
  • New England Section: Ray Pavlik
  • North Central Section: No award in 2012
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Marie Carver
  • Southeastern Section: Kevin McMahon
  • Southwest Section: No award in 2012
  • Texas Section: No award in 2012

Read bios for the 2012 Sectional and State Winners

2011 Section Recipients

  • Central Section: No Award in 2011
  • Eastern Section: Rosemarie Sanders
  • Far Western Section: No award in 2011
  • Midcontinent Section: No award in 2011
  • New England Section: Karen A. Saul
  • North Central Section: No award in 2011
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Frank R. Hladky
  • Southeastern Section: Valerie Willis
  • Southwest Section: Bonnie B. Dodge
  • Texas Section: Michael R. Brunt

Read bios for the 2011 Sectional and State Winners

2010 Recipients

  • Central Section: De Anna Tibben
  • Eastern Section: Heather H. McArdle
  • Far Western Section: Nick Crooker
  • Midcontinent Section: No award in 2010
  • New England Section: Jennifer Judkins
  • North Central Section: No award in 2010
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Chris Hedeen
  • Southeastern Section: Bryan E. Freeman
  • Southwest Section: Laura Lukes
  • Texas Section: No award in 2010
Read bios for the 2010 Sectional and State Winners

2009 Award Recipients

  • Central Section: Dennis Dougherty
  • Eastern Section: Shelly Anne Witham
  • Far Western Section: Laura Hollister
  • Midcontinent Section: Richard Snyder
  • New England Section: Elisa D'Amore
  • North Central Section: No award in 2009
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Roger Groom
  • Southeastern Section: Cliff Hudson
  • Southwest Section: Deborah Morgan
  • Texas Section: No award in 2009
Read bios for the 2009 Sectional and State Winners


  • Central Section: Teresa Lee Huckleberry
  • Eastern Section: John D. Moore
  • Far Western Section: Anna Foutz
  • Midcontinent Section: No Award in 2008
  • New England Section: Gregg Wachtelhausen
  • North Central Section: No Award in 2008
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Jeff Hashimoto
  • Southeastern Section: Tina Coleman
  • Southwest Section: Suzi Shoemaker
  • Texas Section: No Award in 2008


  • Central Section: Paul Varsho
  • Eastern Section: Debra Faulkner
  • Far Western Section: Diane Kelsey
  • Midcontinent Section: No Award in 2007
  • New England Section: David Eatough
  • North Central Section: No Award in 2007
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Clay Good
  • Southeastern Section: Patricia Royle
  • Southwest Section: Carol Ticho
  • Texas Section: No Award in 2007


  • Central Section: Aaron Spurr, Price Lab School — Northern University High School, Cedar Falls, IA
  • Eastern Section: Walter "Len" Sharp, Liverpool High School, Liverpool, NY
  • Far Western Section: David Meade, New Jerusalem Charter School, Tracy, CA
  • Midcontinent Section: No Award in 2006
  • New England Section: Marguerite Murphy, Georges Valley High School, Thomaston, ME
  • North Central Section: No Award in 2006
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Jodie Harnden, Sunridge Middle School, Pendleton, OR
  • Southeastern Section: Bryan Byrne, Cox Middle School, Columbia, TN
  • Southwest Section: No Award in 2006
  • Texas Section: Christopher Marchall, The Colony High School, The Colony, TX


  • Eastern Section: Bernard Picklo, Bradford, PA
  • New England Section: Anita Honkonen, Sudbury, MA
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Lynda Sanders, Coos Bay, OR
  • Southeastern Section: Rose Lummus, Dyersburg, TN
  • Southwest Section: Christine Donovan, Tucson, AZ
  • Texas Section: Heather Marshall, Frisco, TX


  • Eastern Section: Mary Sue Burns, Marlinton, WV
  • Far Western Section: Noah Hughes, Sonora, CA
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Pat Ellis, Richland, WA
  • Southeastern Section: Tina King, Mt. Juliet, TN
  • Southwest Section: Tony Occhiuzzi, Tempe, AZ


  • Central Section: Craig Wolter
  • Eastern Section: Glenn Dolophin, Birmingham, NY
  • Far Western Section: Joan Hacken Carter, San Jose, CA
  • New England Section: Shelly F. Snyder, S. Burlington, VT
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Shawn E. Doan, Bellingham, WA
  • Southeastern Section: Christine Henry, Knoxville, TN
  • Southwest Section: Rita Grusemeyer, Santa Teresa, NM
  • Texas Section: Michael Milburn, McKinney, TX


  • Eastern Section: Christine Anne Royce, Scranton, PA
  • East-Central Section: Natalie Drummond, Ft. Wayne, IN
  • New England Section: Hannah W. Neville, Erving, MA
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Tammie Schrader, Cheney, WA
  • Southeastern Section: Jane Luhn
  • Southwest Section: Darell A. Speer, Fort Collins, CO
  • Texas Section: Rick A. Ford


  • Central Section: Joy Reeves, Chicago, IL
  • Eastern Section: Steve Kluge, North Salem, NY
  • Far Western Section: Tom Hollis, Los Osos, CA
  • New England Section: James Sammons, North Kingstown, RI
  • North Central Section: Barry Olson, Harwood, ND
  • Southeastern Section: Virginia Cooter, Greeneville, TN
  • Texas Section: Dr. Aileen Wajtal Duc, Plano, TX


  • Eastern Section: Dr. Tom Arnold
  • East-Central Section: Kimberly A. Mullen, Columbus, OH
  • Far Western Section: Ted Reeves
  • Midcontinent Section: Melinda Rose Thomas, Atkins, AR
  • New England Section: Will Kiendzior, Shelburne Falls, MA
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Linda Selvig
  • Southeastern Section: Andrea Walker, New Orleans, LA
  • Texas: Shannon Miller, Kingsland, TX


  • Eastern Section: George "Gib" Brown, Plattsburg, NY
  • New England Section: Patricia Millet
  • North Central Section: William (Rick) Stevens, Minot, ND
  • Southeastern Section: Ilona Sunday, Columbia, SC


  • Central Section: Mark Sackett, Maple grove, MN
  • Eastern Section: David Baker, Highland Falls, NY
  • East-Central Section: James Ray Duxbury, Marchallville, OH
  • Far Western Section: Jim Ryono, Torrace, CA
  • New England Section: Patrick Carey, Agawam, MA
  • Pacific Northwest Section: Sherry Schaff, Forks, WA
  • Southeastern Section: Jane Skinner, Knoxville, TN
  • Texas Section: Robert Nierste, Pilot Point, TX


  • Central Section: Karen Wignall, Des Moines, IA
  • Eastern Section: Richard Taylan, Hyde Park, NY
  • Far Western Section: Wendy Van Norden, North Hollywood, CA
  • Midcontinent Section: James Clark, Wichita, KS
  • New England Section: Peter Leddy, Norton, MA
  • Southeastern Section: Margaret Olson, College Park, GA
  • Southwest Section: Benning Wentworth, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Texas Section: Victoria Selznick, Bowman, TX


  • Central Section: Phil Schweitzer, Shawano, WI
  • Eastern Section: Lindsay Killen, Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada
  • Midcontinent Section: Monica Davis, Little Rock, AR
  • New England Section: Virginia "Ginger" Winslow, Hingham, MA
  • Texas Section: Randy Kilian-Smith, San Antonio, TX


  • Central Section: Hector Ibera, West Branch, IA
  • Eastern Section: Thomas McGuire
  • East-Central Section: Irene Baron, Zanesville, OH
  • Far Western Section: Naidah Gamurot, Makakil, HI
  • Midcontinent Section: Randall Rose, Overland Park, KS
  • New England Section: George "Skip" Price, South Deerfield, MA
  • Southeastern Section: Janet Graff, Shreveport, LA
  • Southwest Section: Mike DeYoung, Rehoboth, NM
  • Texas Section: Suzette Lucyle Groce Beasley, San Antonio, TX

Make a Nomination

To nominate a teacher for this award, please complete the online nomination form. You can find information on which section you live in by checking out the Sections Page.

Section - Contact (Application Deadline)
Central - Susan Wolf (May 1)
Eastern - Christopher Roemmele (February 1-- 2019-Extended to March 31)
Far Western - Craig Poole (May 1)
Midcontinent - Aida Farough (May 15)
New England - Lori Weeden (May 15)
North Central - Suki Smaglik (May 1)
Pacific Northwest - Jodie Harnden and Lynda Sanders (March 31)
Southeast - Frank Forcino (May 1)
Southwest - OEST Committee Chair (May 15)
Texas - OEST Committee Chair (May 15)

Nominations may be submitted at any time during the year but nomination deadlines for the current year vary by section. If a deadline isn't listed beside your section above, check with the listed representative for your section to find out when your deadline is.

National Program Contact:

Mike Passow