Mitchell teacher named SD's Outstanding Physical Science TeacherMitchell High School science teacher Mark Horan has been named the 2011 South Dakota Outstanding Physical Science Teacher.
By: News release, South Dakota State University
Mitchell High School science teacher Mark Horan has been named the 2011 South Dakota Outstanding Physical Science Teacher.
The award was presented by the South Dakota State University physics department, in conjunction with the South Dakota Science Teachers Association and 3M Company.
“We have to give our students the tools to decipher, investigate and make sense of their world,” Horan said. “It is about a way of thinking where cause and effect are understood. Every student, regardless of whether they pursue a career in science, can use the skills taught in the science classroom.”
“Nationally and in South Dakota, the importance of teaching the physical sciences in middle and high school has grown with the importance of technology in our daily lives,” SDSU physics professor Larry Browning said.
“These courses are often the inspiration for our youth to pursue careers in technology-related fields.
“Mr. Horan, and teachers like him, have inspired and encouraged students to become inventors and engineers, scientists, doctors, and programmers and teachers for years and deserve special recognition,” Browning said.
The Outstanding Physical Science Teacher award consists of a plaque to the recipient and a cash award to the recipient’s school to support science teaching in various ways, such as purchasing equipment or funding for teachers to attend workshops or conferences.
“He builds love for learning within his students through a variety of hands-on activities and the creation and implementation of thought-provoking labs,” said Craig Mock, MHS assistant principal, to describe Horan’s impact on students.
“Mr. Horan also understands the importance of building math and reading as he incorporates various activities dedicated to building these skills,” Mock said. “Mr. Horan is constantly enhancing his own skills and knowledge as a physical science teacher.”
Horan earned a bachelor of science degree in 1979 in biology with a minor in chemistry from South Dakota State.
In 1992, he earned a master’s degree in administration from Northern State University.
He has attended numerous conferences, workshops and courses to advance his knowledge, including Woodrow Wilson TORCH workshops, PRISMS, CRYSTAL, DataStreme Meteorology, Technology for Teaching and Learning.
He serves as elementary science coordinator and science curriculum coordinator for Mitchell School District, Science Olympian adviser and mentor teacher, and he has received several grants to bring technology into the district’s classrooms.
Since 1995, he has been an adjunct professor at Dakota Wesleyan University. He also serves as head girls golf coach and assistant boys golf coach for Mitchell High School.
This is the 33rd year 3M has provided the award. Last year’s winner was Mary C. Gohring of Wessington Springs.
Winners are selected from nominations based on success in motivating students, professional involvement and contributions, and recommendations of superiors, colleagues and students.
The award alternates between large and small schools in the state.