Maria Blue, a first grade teacher at Emblem Academy, was named Saugus Union School District’s (SUSD) Teacher of the Year by the district Wednesday.
“I am honored to be recognized as SUSD’s Teacher of the Year,” Blue said. “The teachers in our district are so talented and dedicated. I’m proud to be part of such a great group.”
In 1992, Blue began her 25 year career in the district as a teacher at Cedarcreek Elementary School. She later moved to Plum Canyon Elementary School in 2004 and then Emblem Academy in 2013.
Known for her “Flightsuit Fridays,” Blue has a passion for science which she shares with her students and her colleagues.
“Science helps us understand our world,” she said. “I also love engineering; finding creative solutions to problems.”
Blue was instrumental in SUSD for implementing the Next Generation Science Standards at both a school and district level.
“I know that my participation on the California Science Framework Committee and my eagerness to share my expertise in the Next Generation Science Standards was a huge factor [in being named Teacher of the Year],” Blue said.
She has led staff development discussions, served on the California Science Framework Committee, spoke at the National Science Teachers Association Conference (NSTA) and presented at the district’s STEM Symposium.
“In these units I have incorporated hands on explorations, literature and art ideas so teachers can see what these lessons will look like in their classrooms,” Blue said.
Blue is also known for her success in becoming a certified NASA Master Teacher and completing the NASA Airborne Research Experience for Educators Program.
“I spent a summer at NASA learning about all of the different aircraft they have and the science objectives for each one,” she said. “I actually got to fly in the GIII aircraft as they did soil moisture studies in the Central Valley.”
As the only elementary school teacher in the program, Blue worked with other middle school and high school teachers to create a unit on earthquake monitoring.
“It really helped me understand the importance of elementary science,” she said. “We build the foundation for learning for the middle and high schools.”
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_