Global Impact STEM Academy teacher receives distinguished award

Spohler recognized for ‘significant and sustained impact’ on students.

A science teacher from Global Impact STEM Academy has received a distinguished award for demonstrating a “significant and sustained impact” on students.

Scott Spohler received the 2021 Kishor M. Kulkarni Distinguished High School Award on Friday from the ASM Materials Education Foundation.

“Teaching awards are few and far between, so it’s great to be recognized as a teacher but it’s also great to be recognized by my colleagues. They actually put me up for this award. I was completely surprised and caught off guard to win the award,” Spohler said.

Spohler has been teaching at GISA for five years and is in his 31st year of teaching.

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“The school itself has been a great, uplifting place for me to come. We are very STEM focused, so it’s a lot of hands-on, it’s a lot of labs, it’s a lot of collaborative work. That’s what the kids have to get used to because when they leave here and go to college and into the profession, they’re going to have to work together - that’s one of the driving forces behind our school,” he said.

Jamison Truebenbach, GISA chief academic officer, said Spohler “exemplifies the positive qualities we aim to recognize in all of the educators at Global Impact, and we’re proud of his great accomplishment.”

The award is to recognize outstanding teachers and is given out each year, according to Glenn Daehn, immediate past chair of the ASM Materials Education Foundation and professor of material science and engineering at Ohio State University.

“Our primary thing at the foundation is to have students understand how materials fit into the broader world. We train teachers, and the way we train teachers is we teach master teachers, and Mr. Spohler’s become a leading master teacher in that. Then they teach other teachers we found that’s the best way to do it is to get high school teachers get informed by experts like us and then they put it into programs and languages and words in a high school classroom,” Daehn said.

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Spohler said it’s a great opportunity to teach other teachers in school and at camps.

“Our goal with the ASM MEF is to get material science into the high schools. Each summer we’re doing camps that are teaching teachers about teaching material science, but it’s not just material science, it’s how you can fit material science into chemistry and into physics and even into physical science ... That’s how we got into it was taking physical science and material science and try to find a way to get them to come together,” Spohler said.

The award was established through a donation by Dr. Kulkarni (past ASM trustee) and his family to honor and recognize the accomplishments of a high school science teacher who has demonstrated a significant and sustained impact on pre-college age students, according to the foundation.

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