Randolph College recently named Bedford teacher Angela Beasley winner of the inaugural Science Teaching Award from Randolph (STAR), which honors a high school science teacher who has contributed significantly to the lives of students and exhibits excellence in the teaching of science.
The award includes a $1,500 stipend, as well as an additional $1,000 as an unrestricted grant for the winner’s department.
Beasley, a registered nurse by training, teaches biotechnology, forensics science, and pharmacy technician courses at the Susie G. Gibson Science & Technology Center in Bedford—and founded all three programs under which they’re taught. She serves as the director of the center’s pharmacy technician program, as well as its companion program at Central Virginia Community College.
“I love teaching career and technical education. I truly get to see education in action—students learning and taking those skills into the workforce,” Beasley said. “I have had the opportunity to see students graduate from our nursing program and take care of members of their community. I have seen them earn their national certification as pharmacy technicians and get hired for their first jobs right out of high school.”
Beasley herself is a graduate of the Lynchburg General School of Professional Nursing and earned an associate’s degree in history from CVCC and her B.A. at Randolph College.
“Ms. Beasley’s science students are always up to something: reassembling a skeleton, analyzing a mock crime scene, using microscopes she worked hard to acquire, and/or working in our simulated pharmacy that she has designed,” Susie G. Gibson principal Kim Halterman wrote in a letter nominating Beasly for the award. “She is creative, maximizing ways to help make meaning for students.”
The award was created to recognize those who are teaching and encouraging the nation’s future science majors, said Randolph physics and engineering professor Peter Sheldon.
“We have so many teachers who work so hard to help their students follow their dreams, and Ms. Beasley is an excellent representative of this group,” he said. “We look forward to recognizing many other teachers in the future.”
Beasley’s courses have attracted students who are traditionally underrepresented in science, and she works to advance their personal interests in the field, offering connections to practicing professionals and information on career outlooks.
“She is confident, organized, well-rounded, and somehow still easy going,” Halterman said. “Her presence on our campus strengthens our students’ science skills as well as their overall preparation for life.”