Sherry Claflin, an adjunct science instructor at Muskegon Community College and a science educator for the K-12 school groups at Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute, was named the 2017 Outstanding Earth Science Teacher in Michigan by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT).
The NAGT praised Claflin for her “exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth Sciences at the pre-college level.”
Claflin, a Fremont, MI, native, also runs the educational programming for the Stephen F. Wessling Observatory and Kropscott Farm Environmental Center in Fremont.
In making its decision, the Central Section Committee of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers was particularly impressed with Claflin’s ability to adapt her lessons by using individualized strategies and new materials, her ability to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all students, and her collaboration with other schools and organizations to expand student opportunities.
The NAGT was established in 1938 with the goal to improve geoscience education, emphasize the relevance and cultural significance of the earth sciences, and to disseminate knowledge to educators and the general public. The competitive Outstanding Earth Science Teaching Award program was established in 1971 to identify, recognize and reward excellence in teaching.
”It is a fantastic honor to be awarded the 2017 Michigan Earth Science Teacher Award,” said Claflin. “To be given this award by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers for doing what I enjoy so much, makes me more resolved to make a real difference in the lives of my students. To encourage all to look at the world we live in with understanding and appreciation of Earth’s natural beauty, that is my goal. The more people I can educate about the wonders of the Earth and the Sky, the more stewardship of the Earth I can inspire.”
Claflin earned both a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Bachelor of Science in Earth and Space Science Education from Central Michigan University. She has taught in public K-12 education for 24 years and began teaching geology at MCC this past year.