Archive for Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sharp appreciates district’s cutting edge technology

September 28, 2006

Last week, De Soto High School science teacher Scott Sharp was named Region III semifinalist for Kansas Teacher of the Year.

Sharp, in his sixth year of teaching at the district, said he was honored by the accolade.

"Both the staff and students at De Soto High School have played a huge role in making me who I am today as a teacher," he said.

Sharp teaches biology, Kansas natural history and anatomy and physiology. He said he has always been a fan of exploring the wild and tries to use hands-on lab work in the classroom.

De Soto is his first teaching position after earning his degree from Kansas University.

Sharp was nominated for the Kansas Teacher of the Year Award by the district along with Carrie Mugridge of Prairie Ridge Elementary School. Mugridge was named a finalist for the Region III Kansas Teacher of the year and will go on to the state award nomination.

This is the eighth year the De Soto district has had either a semifinalist or finalist in the Kansas Teacher of the Year competition. Monticello Trails Middle School teacher Keil Hileman won the award in 2004.

Sharp said the De Soto district had unique qualities that allowed him to succeed.

"The cohesiveness of the staff and students is something that I have not heard of in many places and it has made De Soto an unbelievably wonderful place to work," he said.

Sharp said his teaching especially benefited from technology implemented in De Soto High School.

"I am converting all three of my classes to PowerPoint this year because of our phenomenal new LCD projectors," he said.

In addition to regular science classes, Sharp will begin teaching advanced placement biology next year. He's already planning next year's classes so he can devote more time to the advanced course.

Sharp also said the professional learning community in De Soto helped to form themes for each class. Important themes are an increased focus on observations of the natural world and being able to communicate those observations.

Sharp said he enjoyed teaching for the past five years because he's been able to learn along with his students.

"When I first started teaching, my goal was to teach a general biology class so I could improve my knowledge of the manifold concepts within a comprehensive biology curriculum," he said. "I also wanted to teach an advanced biology class, such as anatomy and physiology, because I am in awe of the human body and its myriad intricacies."

Sharp also said he was originally interested in Kansas natural history as well as anatomy and biology.

"I am fascinated with our natural world and I wanted to have the opportunity to try to inspire a similar passion in others," he said. "De Soto has graciously afforded me all three, which makes me feel like one of the luckiest teachers around."

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