PA Master Naturalist Trainee Kristin Joivell From Huntingdon County Honored With Presidential Award For Excellence In Math, Science Teaching

Kristin Joivell, a Kindergarten teacher at Juniata Valley Elementary School from Huntingdon County, was honored in February with a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, one of two teachers honored from Pennsylvania. 

Jessica Tilli, Math Curriculum Specialist at the Williams M. Meredith School in Philadelphia, is the other honoree.

Kristin Joivell has been a teacher for more than 20 years at Juniata Valley Elementary School. For her first two years, she led the phonemic awareness and English as a Second Language programs before entering her current position as a kindergarten teacher.

In addition to using an inquiry-based approach in daily science lessons, Kristin coordinates afterschool activities and the annual Science Fair as her school’s Science Club advisor.

In striving to connect real science research to student learning, she assisted researchers with field work in Greenland as an Arctic Plant Phenology Learning through Engaged Science (APPLES) team member; Manitoba as a Teach Earth Senior Fellow; South Dakota with Penn State University; the Bahamas as an Earthwatch Fellow; and Alaska as a Teacher at Sea.

She then used these experiences to enrich the design of schoolwide student research projects.

Kristin conducts Family Science Nights at her school district to showcase student learning.

These interactive evening events have highlighted student work in pond research, phenology projects, STEM education, and the formal science partnership between her district and Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.

To help teachers nationwide become aware of the possibilities of science education, she has presented to educators at formal workshops through the APPLES project and Earthwatch Institute.

Locally, she serves on her school’s STEM committee and on ENGINE of Central PA’s family engagement team. 

Kristin has a B.S.Ed. in elementary and early childhood education from Millersville University and a M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from Penn State University.

Kristin Joivell took the initial 50-hour PA Master Naturalist volunteer training course in Centre/Huntingdon Counties in Fall 2021.

 She is certified in elementary and early childhood education.

Visit the PA Master Naturalist website to learn more about the program. Follow them on Facebook.   Click Here to sign up for their email list.

[Posted: March 2, 2022]


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