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Two first-year science teachers, UWO grads, earn state recognition

Two recent University of Wisconsin Oshkosh grads who are now science teachers were among just a few in the state to be recognized by the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers with a Frank Zuerner New Teacher Award.

The Frank Zuerner New Teacher Award  is presented to recognize new teachers with great potential in the field of science education. The award, given to teachers in their early years as a teacher was recently awarded to Dan Curran ’10, a science teacher at DeForest High School and Brittany Rumphol ’11, a science teacher at Chilton High School.

Curran believes his time in the College of Education and Human Services program prepped him for his future.

“My education at UWO played a foundational role in my development as a professional educator,” said Curran, who teaches science to freshman. “While I learned a great deal from on-the-job training, it was the skills and knowledge which I acquired through my college education that prepared me for the daily challenges of the teaching world.”

Rumphol also credits her time in the COEHS, along with her time in biology labs with her success.

“The professors within the science department provided me with a strong foundation for science content,” said Ruphol, who teaches life science, biology, anatomy and physiology. “I constantly incorporate lab activities or discussion prompts from my college courses into my high school classroom.”

Founded in 1958, the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers is an organization of individuals interested in the advancement of science education. The organization’s purpose is to promote, support and improve science education throughout the state by providing leadership, advocacy and programs to enhance the teaching and learning of science.

“I feel that it’s an honor to be recognized by the organization for my potential as a new professional to the field of science education,” said Curran. “This (award) will surely benefit our students in terms of their level of science education.”

Curran said he was also thankful to be able to attend the conference in Madison to accept the scholarship and network with others within the field of science education.

For Rumphol, being recognized as a first-year teacher is a reminder she chose the right profession.

“Even though I was recognized for my excellence as an educator, I don’t feel that it is fair to award someone for being good at something they love this much,” she said. “Waking up and working with students while educating them is truly fun and I am so glad I chose to become an educator.”

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