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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 2018: Tiffany Taylor

Tiffany Taylor of Heritage High School in Rogers, AR, was named the 2018 National PhysTEC Teacher of the Year. The selection committee noted her recruitment efforts and increase in enrollment of students in AP Physics 1 and 2, from only 26 students in her first year of teaching, to over 80 students in recent years. Tiffany places emphasis on using evidence-based teaching techniques such as Modeling Instruction, and helps students develop a growth mindset by using Standards Based Grading and regular formative assessment. Over 40% of her students are typically underrepresented groups in physics (including females and Hispanic populations), and she pays close attention to ensuring that all students feel welcome in her class. Tiffany is a leader in her field, and supports pre-service teachers from the University of Arkansas as they prepare for student teaching. She has also been recognized by the AP community and serves as an online professional development provider. As part of her award, she received funds to attend the 2018 AAPT Summer Meeting in Washington, DC, and the 2019 PhysTEC Conference in Boston, MA, where she received public recognition for her achievements. We are proud to recognize Tiffany and the local PhysTEC Teachers of the Year for their outstanding contributions to education.

Tiffany Taylor head shot
Tiffany Taylor
2018 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

2018 Local Teachers of the Year

In addition to Taylor'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.

  • Christine Audo: University of Arkansas, Topeka High School
  • Matthew Blackman: Rutgers University, Ridge High School
  • Ricardo Farfan: Georgia State University, Berkmar High School
  • Gary Forrester: University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth, Hingham High School
  • Justin Fournier: California State University, Long Beach, Cypress High School
  • Bradley Gearhart: SUNY Buffalo State College, Hutchinson Central Technical High School
  • Chris Martin: Virginia Tech, Shenandoah Valley Governor's School
  • Adam Pullen: University of West Georgia, The Westminster Schools
  • Timothy Vitale: Rowan University, Clearview Regional High School
  • Cameron Vongsawad: Brigham Young University, Copper Hills High 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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