PhysTEC Teacher of the Year Awardees

The PhysTEC Teacher of the Year program aims to recognize outstanding high school physics teachers and to demonstrate the impact and value of physics teacher preparation programs as members of PhysTEC. PhysTEC recognizes up to one local Teacher of the Year per PhysTEC institution and a single national Teacher of the Year. Awardees recognized by PhysTEC are points of pride for the physics teaching community.

PhysTEC member institutions are encouraged to nominate one new candidate per year. The nomination and application period for the 2019 Teacher of the Year awards will open in fall 2018. Prior nominees' applications will remain in the candidate pool for a total of three award cycles if not selected the first time as a National Teacher of the Year.

The 2018 National Teacher of the Year


Tiffany Taylor
2018 National PhysTEC Teacher of the Year

Tiffany Taylor of Heritage High School in Rogers, AR, was named the 2018 National PhysTEC Teacher of the Year. The selection committee noted her recruitment efforts and increase in enrollment of students in AP Physics 1 and 2, from only 26 students in her first year of teaching, to over 80 students in recent years. Tiffany places emphasis on using evidence-based teaching techniques such as Modeling Instruction, and helps students develop a growth mindset by using Standards Based Grading and regular formative assessment. Over 40% of her students are typically underrepresented groups in physics (including females and Hispanic populations), and she pays close attention to ensuring that all students feel welcome in her class. Tiffany is a leader in her field, and supports pre-service teachers from the University of Arkansas as they prepare for student teaching. She has also been recognized by the AP community and serves as an online professional development provider. As part of her award, she receives funds to attend the 2018 AAPT Summer Meeting in Washington, DC, and the 2019 PhysTEC Conference in Boston, MA, where she will receive public recognition for her achievements. In addition, she will receive a $1,000 classroom materials grant. We are proud to recognize Tiffany and the local PhysTEC Teachers of the Year for their outstanding contributions to education.

2018 Local Teachers of the Year

Type Name High School PhysTEC Institution
Local Christine Audo Topeka High School University of Arkansas
Local Matthew Blackman Ridge High School Rutgers University
Local Ricardo Farfan Berkmar High School Georgia State University
Local Gary Forrester Hingham High School University of Massachusetts
Local Justin Fournier Cypress High School California State University
Local Bradley Gearhart Hutchinson Central Technical High School SUNY Buffalo State
Local Chris Martin Shenandoah Valley Governor's School Virginia Tech
Local Adam Pullen The Westminster Schools University of West Georgia
Local Timothy Vitale Clearview Regional High School Rowan University
Local Cameron Vongsawad Copper Hills High Brigham Young University

Publicity for Teacher of the Year

The 2017 National Teacher of the Year


Alexandra Boyd
2017 National PhysTEC Teacher of the Year

Alexandra Boyd of Holly Springs High School in Holly Springs, North Carolina, was named the 2017 National PhysTEC Teacher of the Year. The selection committee noted her success as both a teacher and department chairperson in increasing AP Physics class enrollments in her school, especially in the numbers of young women taking physics. She is involved in science education beyond the classroom, and supports student learning by advising her school's Science Olympiad and Science National Honor Society. She has invested in her own professional growth as an intern at the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute through a Kenan Fellowship, and has served in various leadership roles for the American Association of Physics Teachers, AIP Society of Physics Students, and APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics. As part of her award, she receives funds to attend the PhysTEC Conference in Atlanta, GA as well as the AAPT Summer Meeting in Cincinnati, OH, where she will receive public recognition for her achievements. In addition, she will receive a $1,000 classroom materials grant. We are proud to recognize Alexandra and the local PhysTEC Teachers of the Year for their outstanding contributions to education.

2017 Local Teachers of the Year

Type Name High School PhysTEC Institution
Local Reed Anderson Juab High School Brigham Young University
Local Zachary Armstrong Greeley West High School University of Northern Colorado
Local Geoffrey Hart Clements High School University of Houston
Local Zachary Kovach La Joya High School Arizona State University
Local Paul Yusung Lee Howard County Public School System Towson University
Local Elizabeth Rachford Druid Hills High School Georgia State University
Local Tiffany Taylor Rogers Heritage High School University of Arkansas
Local Danielle Tinkham Somerset Berkley Regional High School University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Local John Richard Wright St. Andrew's Episcopal School University of Texas at Austin

Publicity for Teacher of the Year

Additional Information: Contact Rebecca Vieyra at rvieyra@aapt.org.