2016 Outstanding Teacher of America
Applied Physics and Computer Technology San Rafael High School San Rafael Unified School District San Rafael, California
Steve's father was a geologist who took his family all over the world. Steve was born in Australia and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Steve struggled through high school before going to Colorado College where he spent his first year of college before having to take a year off to save enough money to continue his education. He eventually paid his own way through the University of Colorado where he majored in History of Science and studied Physics. He became interested in Metaphysics and studied people involved in scientific methods. After graduation, Steve worked in the information technology field as a software programmer and analyst.
After several years of writing code, Steve decided it was finally time to follow his long term dream of being a high school teacher. He was hired at San Rafael High School as the Director of Technology in 2001 and the following year he began teaching Physics. He later began teaching in the Media Academy at San Rafael High school, which combines digital media with writing, literature, US History and Economics. In 2004, Steve helped create the Applied Physics and Technology Academy, which integrates physics instruction with certain engineering practices such as 3D CAD modeling and fabrication. Both programs have been recognized by the State of California's Specialized Secondary Programs. It was at this time that Steve was accepted to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology where he earned his Masters Degree in Science Teacher Education and his teaching credential for teaching secondary Physics. For nine summers, Steve worked for Level Playing Field Institute developing curriculum and serving as a teacher trainer for the Summer Honors Academy in Science and Math, an accelerated program for underrepresented students in the STEM fields.
Most recently, Steve began a Computer Programing class at San Rafael Highs School that has grown from 25 students in 2013 to over 100 who completed the class in 2016.
In 2014, Steve was recognized as the Marin County Teacher of the Year and received the California Schoolmasters Award for achievements in Education. He has also received the Golden Bell Award for the Academy of Physics and Technology and for the Media Academy and the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education Service Award.