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Southwestern College VP Named Science Educator of the Year

Kathy Tyner, Southwestern College’s Vice President of Academic Affairs

Kathy Tyner, Southwestern College’s Vice President of Academic Affairs

June 19, 2012

Kathy Tyner, Southwestern College’s Vice President of Academic Affairs, has been named the Outstanding College Science Educator of the Year by the San Diego Science Educators Association.

At its 26th annual award ceremony earlier this month, the association recognized Tyner for her role in creating, nurturing and expanding the Science, Mathematics, Articulation, Resource, Technology (SMART)  conference for science and math educators in grades 7 through community college.

“When Kathy created SMART 14 years ago, this was a visionary type of conference,” said Steve Rodecker, vice president for the San Diego Science Educators Association. “I don’t know of any other middle school, high school and college collaboration that regularly brings together teachers of math, science and engineering to find solutions to our common problems.

“We saw the value of this immediately,” said Rodecker, a science teacher at the Sweetwater Union High School District who has worked with Tyner on the conference. “Even when funding was short, Kathy always made sure the conference happened.”

The half-day SMART conference is held each year at Southwestern College, and regularly attracts 60-80 teachers and college professors. Educators attend three sessions that cover everything from teaching strategies, to identifying best practices to increasing knowledge in the latest science applications to classroom instruction. The conference also includes a book giveaway and a keynote speaker that has addressed a range of pertinent issues, such as Pluto losing its status as a planet and operations of the San Onofre nuclear plant.

Tyner has enjoyed the collegiality the conference has created among the two educational institutions.

“Faculty of both Districts is passionate about teaching and learning and is dedicated to working toward solutions that get students engaged in these two critical subjects,” Tyner said. “I am honored to receive this award.”