AP biology teacher receives service award

RRHS biology teacher Ann Brokaw has been selected as the recipient of the Kim Foglia AP Biology Service Award. Kim Foglia, for whom the award was named, was a member of the national AP Biology online community.

The award recognizes an AP Biology teacher who displays a willingness to share materials, serves as a mentor to both students and professional colleagues, creates an innovative and student centered classroom environment, and exemplifies a personal philosophy that encourages professional growth as an AP biology teacher and member of that community. Sponsored by Pearson and NABT, the Kim Foglia AP Biology Service Award includes a $1,000 honorarium, a recognition plaque to be presented at the NABT Professional Development Conference, and one year of complimentary membership to NABT.

Brokaw is one of 46 AP Biology teachers from across the country participating in the NABT/BSCS AP Biology Leadership Academy, a two-year professional development program designed to develop a new generation of leaders in biology education.

The Academy’s mission is to cultivate a critical mass of leaders and change agents who truly understand the AP Biology Curriculum Framework and are able to design and teach a course that exemplifies the framework. These leaders will also be able to design non-AP courses that emphasize big ideas and unifying concepts of biology and use the practices of science to help students learn these concepts.

Through participation in the Academy, educators have the opportunity to strengthen how they teach AP biology so students learn more meaningful biology and are more interested in studying biology in the future; experience the practices of science as articulated in the new framework; analyze and enhance their current curriculum materials to better reflect the new framework; learn to use formative and summative assessment information to examine what their students understand; and develop and increase their leadership capacity and advocacy skills to expand the AP Biology community.

Brokaw is conducting a free one-day summer workshop in Rocky River for AP Biology teachers from northeast Ohio and Michigan that is focused on the new curriculum framework for AP Biology.

Brokaw has been teaching sophomore biology and junior/senior AP biology at Rocky River High School for 20 years. According to high school principal Debbie Bernard, she is committed, adaptable and knowledgeable. “Ann establishes a positive rapport with all students and has developed courses of study for both special needs and AP students,” Bernard said. She added that Brokaw continually focuses on her own professional development to improve her teaching and cited Brokaw’s demonstrated passion for biology and science education, as well as her determination to impact each and every student who enters her classroom, as some of the keys to Brokaw’s success.

In addition to her most recent award, Brokaw has received a number of other awards including the Presidential Teacher Award, Outstanding Biology Teacher Award for Ohio from the National Biology Teacher’s Association; the RadioShack National Teacher Award for Science Education, the Intel Science Talent Search Teacher of Merit, and the Rocky River City Schools Teacher of the Year recognition. She is the daughter of Allen and Libby Brokaw of Marietta.