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2015 Top Ten Educator of the Year: Jennifer Cullison


Monday, March 14, 2016

2015 Top Ten Educator of the Year: Jennifer Cullison

Jennifer Cullison
Honors Biology Teacher
Woodland High School, Woodland, WA

NSHSS is proud to recognize Ms. Cullison as one of the 2015 Claes Nobel Top Ten Educators of the Year. Ms. Cullison is a science instructor teaching AP biology, medical science, honors biology, and ELL biology, human anatomy and physiology. She is also an adjunct professor at Lower Columbia Community College and a Science Assessment Leadership Team Member for the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Ms. Cullison describes her educational philosophy and her promotion of student-centered learning, “My teaching philosophy incorporates aspects of democratic and authentic constructivist learning philosophies. It’s essential to allow students to participate in creating the goals and expectations of the classroom to create a student-centered learning environment where all students feel comfortable contributing to the community's efforts to learn. In doing so, students gain a sense of ownership and agency over their own educational experience.”

Ms. Cullison earned a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and biophysics and a Master of Education from Washington State University. In 2015, Washington State University named Ms. Cullison its Distinguished Woman of the Year. Ms. Cullison has been named a Shell Outstanding Science Educator Semifinalist twice. Ms. Cullison created a bilingual biology course for ELL students. She has also realigned her district’s biology curriculum with state and national standards. In addition to founding chapters of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) and Free the Children International Service Club–serving as the advisor for both organizations–Ms. Cullison is also the advisor for the National Honor Society, Knowledge Bowl, and O Ambassadors. She created the honors and health science program at her high school, and she has attended countless state and national science teacher conferences. Ms. Cullison is also the seven-year president of the local teacher’s union.

John Shoup, principal of Woodland High School explains, “Ms. Cullison embodies all the characteristics of a life-long learner and models her passion for learning with her students on a daily basis.” Ms. Cullison’s nominating student adds, “She ignited my passion for science. Her enthusiasm for science is amazing. I’m truly fortunate to have had her as a teacher.”

Claes Nobel Educators of the Year

NSHSS is pleased to highlight our 2015-2016 Claes Nobel Educators of the Year, presented to ten exemplary educators who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to preparing students for success in college and in life. These ten educators are among NSHSS’s student-nominated Claes Nobel Educators of Distinction, a program that recognizes educators who model best practices in teaching, are a positive influence for students and peers, and demonstrate outstanding leadership in education and community engagement. Since the inception of the Educators of Distinction program in 2004, NSHSS has recognized more than 38,000 educators worldwide.