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PhysTEC Teacher of the Year

The PhysTEC Teacher of the Year program recognizes outstanding high school physics educators who demonstrate the impact and value of physics teacher preparation programs. Each year, PhysTEC member institutions submit their recommendations to the selection committee, and one National Teacher of the Year and several local teachers of the year are selected.

PhysTEC National Teacher of the Year 2017: Alexandra Boyd

Alexandra Boyd of Holly Springs High School in Holly Springs, North Carolina, was named the 2017 National PhysTEC Teacher of the Year. The selection committee noted her success as both a teacher and department chairperson in increasing AP Physics class enrollments in her school, especially in the numbers of young women taking physics. She is involved in science education beyond the classroom, and supports student learning by advising her school's Science Olympiad and Science National Honor Society. She has invested in her own professional growth as an intern at the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute through a Kenan Fellowship, and has served in various leadership roles for the American Association of Physics Teachers, AIP Society of Physics Students, and APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics. As part of her award, she received funds to attend the PhysTEC Conference in Atlanta, GA as well as the AAPT Summer Meeting in Cincinnati, OH, where she received public recognition for her achievements. We are proud to recognize Alexandra and the local PhysTEC Teachers of the Year for their outstanding contributions to education.

Alexandra Boyd head shot
Alexandra Boyd
2017 National Teacher of the Year

National Winners receive:

  • A certificate of achievement
  • A spotlight on our website and in press
  • Speaking engagement at and travel funding to an upcoming national AAPT meeting and the next PhysTEC Conference
  • Special recognition at the PhysTEC Conference
  • $1,000 classroom materials grant

2017 Local Teachers of the Year

In addition to Boyd's selection as the National Teacher of the Year, we congratulate and thank the following Local Teachers of the Year, who strengthen the physics community by cultivating scientific curiosity in young minds.

  • Reed Anderson: Brigham Young University, Juab High School
  • Zachary Armstrong: University of Northern Colorado, Greeley West High School
  • Geoffrey Hart: University of Houston, Clements High School
  • Zachary Kovach: Arizona State University, La Joya High School
  • Paul Lee: Towson University, Howard County Public School System
  • Elizabeth Rachford: Georgia State University, Druid Hills High School
  • Tiffany Taylor: University of Arkansas, Heritage High School
  • Danielle Tinkham: University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth, Somerset Berkley Regional High School
  • John Wright: University of Texas, Austin, St. Andrew's Episcopal School

Local Winners receive:

  • A certificate of achievement
  • A spotlight on our website and in press

Teacher of the Year Selection Process

Important Dates

  • Nominations Open: February 17, 2022
  • Applications for National award Open: April 25, 2022
  • Applications for National award Close: June 6, 2022


Teacher of the Year nominees must be:

  • Selected by a PhysTEC member institution,
  • A graduate of the selecting institution
  • An active high school science teacher with at least three years of experience in physics teaching, and
  • Able to demonstrate their significant positive impact on students’ learning and pursuit of physics

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