Jacqueline Savoia, St. Joseph’s Academy’s science fair coordinator, is the recipient of a Teacher Award from the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS). Funded by the Departments of the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, the Teacher Award program provides funds to exceptional teachers in appreciation for excellence in encouraging the study of science, technology, mathematics and engineering.
“It feels absolutely amazing to be honored with this award from such a prestigious organization,” Savoia said. “There are several deserving teachers, and for me to be chosen is truly an amazing feeling. I was so shocked when I found out because I was not at all expecting it.”
Receiving the award is especially meaningful this year, as Savoia’s students were faced with numerous challenges because of the pandemic. “The students worked hard to find ways to continue to work through and work around the restrictions to complete a successful research project,” Savoia said.
The hard work paid off, Savoia said, when the students were able to participate in the JSHS, presenting their research via Zoom. “The biggest reward was seeing them present, although virtually, with such confidence and pride even among some very tough competitors,” she said. “I think they were very proud to finally be able to present their hard work despite the difficult circumstances this year.”
Linda Messina, who retired from SJA but continues to assist the students with their research projects, expressed great pride in her colleague’s accomplishments. “This is one of the most elite science competitions there is, and it is very hard to earn this award,” Messina said. “I am so very proud of her. She has worked so hard and is doing such a great job, especially with the challenge of COVID this year.”
Mindy Brodhead Averitt