Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
Gig Harbor, WA
Bio/Overview: After serving as a Classroom Teacher Ambassador Fellow from 2011-2012, Borders is currently serving as a Regional Fellow for the Department of Education. Borders teaches 6th and 8th grade science and an elective aerospace class at Key Peninsula Middle School in the Peninsula School District. Borders began her teaching career on an emergency credential in a small, coastal, farming community in Central California. The school of 300 students needed another math and science teacher after the start of the school year. She applied for the job, was honest about her lack of experience but desire to be a teacher who impacted students, and got the job the next day! She began a teacher preparation program and Master’s in education at the local university.
Educational Philosophy: To Borders, students are not passive learners of science, they ARE scientists. They embrace the idea that they are empowered to own their learning. In addition to creating a love of learning within my students, Borders is intentional about equipping students with wonder, teamwork strategies, and problem-solving skills for jobs that may not exist yet!
Achievements: In 2009, Borders was recognized as a Presidential Awardee in Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Prior to being selected as a 2012-2013 Washington Fellow, Borders served as a Classroom Teacher Ambassador fellow for the 2011-2012 school year.
Leadership Experience: Through her district, Borders has developed and leads a NASA Explorer School Team, developed and led science professional development workshops, is a member of her school improvement team, partners with an elementary school, plans after school science programs and more. She is also a Spitzer Space Telescope teacher and a Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) Telescope teacher ambassador. Along with her team, Borders has led workshops for the Peninsula School District, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Arecibo Observatory. In the last few years, some of this work has been made available to the greater educational community in the form of abstracts with the American Astronomical Society, International Astronautical Federation, and the International Committee on Space Research.
Affiliations: AMLE, Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (WA OSPI), National Board of Certified Teachers, NASAEducation: Borders has a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Biology from the University of California, Irvine and an M.A. in Education from California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo. Borders recently completed her doctorate at the University of Washington. Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Middle School Reform
- Parent Engagement
- Business, community, and educational partnerships