Anton Kilburn, a teacher at the Global Impact STEM Academy, is one of the winners of the Excellence in Teaching Award this year.

Excellence in Teaching: GISA teacher wants to improve students’ lives

Global Impact STEM Academy teacher Anton Kilburn knew he wanted to be a teacher by the time he was in eighth grade.

“I knew that there were very few jobs where have you had the ability to interact with hundreds of people every day in hopes of making an impact or improve their lives as well,” Kilburn said.

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Kilburn is a high school environmental and bio-science teacher at Global Impact and was named a recipient of the Springfield Rotary Club’s annual Excellence in Teaching Awards. He will be honored during the group’s lunch on Monday, March 19. The Springfield News-Sun is a sponsor of the award.

In his eighth year of teaching, Kilburn began his career at Life Skills (a virtual academy) and then he taught for Springfield City at Shaefer Middle School for six years before moving to Global Impact STEM Academy.

Kilburn is a great teacher, Global Impact Director Josh Jennings said.

“Anton embodies what many of our staff have here, and that is first and foremost a passion for teaching and learning,” Jennings said. “He first builds relationships, which is what makes the relevancy and rigor possible. He is fearless in the scale of the projects and lab activities that he pursues.”

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One of the most important parts of teaching is making an impact on a student, Kilburn said.

“Being able to interact with 100 kids every day, to build healthy student-teacher relationships with them and get to know them,” he said. “Making sure they are prepared and have the ability to work with kids and talk with kids and hopefully … be a role model.”

The toughest part of teaching science is the changing curriculum, Kilburn said.

“You can’t just do the same thing every year year after year because then it’s outdated and the kids are not prepared,” Kilburn said. “As a teacher, a challenge is you have so many different things going on at once.”

Teaching is a passion, Kilburn said, and he enjoys coming to the job every day. He said his students are important to him.

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“I hope my former students are doing well and I hope they remember some of those things that they learned,” Kilburn said. “They should never stop learning. With so much information out there … you can’t just learn one skill anymore.”

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