Snoqualmie Valley Record


Snoqualmie schools' Don McConkey gets inaugural science award

January 14, 2013 · Updated 5:58 PM

The Institute for Systems Biology recently honored Snoqualmie Valley Schools Assistant Superintendent Don McConkey with its first-ever Valerie Logan Leadership in Science Education Award.

"When discussing candidates for this inaugural award, Don's name quickly surfaced to the top….SVSD is a district that is forward-thinking, and our partnership challenges the institute's staff to keep learning more," said Dana Riley-Black, Med, PhD and Director of the Center for Inquiry Science, who presented the award to McConkey on November 29.

McConkey accepted the award on behalf of all science teachers in the district who have embraced inquiry science teaching methods.

Valerie Logan and her husband Dr. Leroy Hood, founders of the Institute for Systems Biology, believed in quality science education for children. She also established the Center for Inquiry Science as part of the Institute to cultivate partnerships between the scientific community and K-12 educators, and to incorporate STEM disciplines into school curriculum.

The new award recognizes "an individual who embodies Valerie's commitment to and practice in education."

Education staff at the Institute use the following criteria to select recipients: a strong vision for children's future; systems approach to science education, calling for science education experience for all teachers so that all students have a quality learning experience; a science education program grounded in research-based best practices; and effectively convening teachers as professionals.

"This is truly an honor for science teachers across the district. I'm very proud of the work, passion, and dedication we've seen from our science teachers over the past five years, as they've adopted inquiry-based science methods to better engage students in learning core science concepts. We appreciate the partnership with the Institute for Systems Biology that has provided our staff with high quality professional development around problem-based learning, and is helping our learning community solidify its commitment to STEM education," said McConkey.

The Institute for Systems Biology (https://www.systemsbiology.org) is a Seattle non-profit research institute dedicated to the study and application of systems biology. Founded in 2000, ISB seeks to unravel the mysteries of biology while identifying strategies for predicting and preventing diseases, solving energy and environmental issues, and improving K-12 science education.


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