CHADRON – Chadron State College alumna Lindsey Boardman of Medicine Bow, Wyoming, earned the Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award from the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) in March. The award is one of 15 given annually to educators who are in the first five years of their teaching careers.
“This award feels so good. If young teachers don’t find their ‘why,’ they can burn out. Boardman said. “Sometimes teaching can feel like a thankless job. I show up every day for my students, not to be thanked but because I truly love what I do. This award does show that hard work pays off and reminds me to continue to set goals for myself professionally and work towards bettering myself for my students.”
Boardman was scheduled to receive the award at the NSTA national conference in Boston in April, but due to COVID-19, the announcement was made via video conference in late May. The NSTA will assign Boardman a mentor as part of the award.
“I feel like opportunities within the organization are going to open doors for me professionally,” Boardman said.
After several years of substitute teaching, helping with FFA, and volunteering with Hanna-Elk Mountains schools, Boardman started teaching physical and 7-12 grade life science full time in 2017. Boardman, who earned two of her three degrees from CSC, has also taught computer science for juniors and seniors the past two years.
Boardman comes from a long line of teachers including her grandmother and cousins.
Her grandmother, who sent teachers to CSC for continued education when she was a principal, supported Boardman’s college decision .
“I’m thankful to CSC. It gave me a career. Dr. Hardy was like my Mr. Miyagi,” said Boardman, referring to the mentor in the movie “Karate Kid.” “I channeled what she did for my own classroom. I owe thanks to Dr. Jamison, too.”
Lesley Urasky, a Saratoga science teacher, also became a mentor to Boardman and nominated her for the NSTA award.
Boardman and Urasky have submitted a proposal to present at a regional NSTA conference in Phoenix in December. Depending on the outcome and COVID-19 developments, they will likely apply to present at the group’s national conference next spring in Chicago. They plan to share their common interest in teaching seventh and eighth graders about land stewardship and natural resource management.
Boardman’s husband, Mike, originally of Gordon, Nebraska, is a soil conservationist with the Natural Resource Conversation Service. He proposed to her the day she earned her master’s degree and he earned his bachelor’s degree at CSC in Rangeland Management. The couple is expecting their first child later this summer.
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