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Jessica McIntosh ’16, ’20 M.A.T. wins Science Teaching Award from Randolph

Professor Peter Sheldon, Jessica McIntosh ’16, ’20 M.A.T., and President Sue Ott Rowlands 

Randolph College recently named E.C. Glass High School teacher Jessica McIntosh ’16, ’20 M.A.T. the winner of the Science Teaching Award from Randolph (STAR). The award 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.

The award was announced at the keynote event for Randolph College’s Science Festival.

McIntosh doubled majored in environmental studies and English/creative writing at Randolph and also earned her Master of Arts in Teaching here. In 2020, she received the Virginia Scholars award, which recognizes outstanding women education graduates.

At E.C. Glass, McIntosh teaches environmental science and biology in an engaging and unique classroom environment as described by a colleague in her STAR nomination letter.

“Students are out of their seats doing labs, getting into arguments about the definition of groundwater, or playing games to practice vocabulary,” wrote Alexis Decker, a special education teacher who has co-taught with McIntosh at Glass this year. “At the front of the room is a cold mug of coffee on a desk covered in sticky notes saying ‘best teacher ever’ or ‘I love you.’ Behind it is a whiteboard with drawings and notes saying ‘good luck at the volleyball match!’ It’s a room full of organized chaos run by a visual timer and a passionate teacher.”

Decker applauded McIntosh’s dedication to students and ability to create engaging, relatable lessons.

McIntosh also serves as a mentor to new teachers in the science department, coaches volleyball, and volunteers on the school’s SOL committee, meeting weekly to discuss interventions, strategies, and brainstorm ideas to help students be more successful on statewide tests.

“She consistently looks for solutions to problems and works to better the systems that are always in place,” Decker wrote. “Jessica is quite literally one of the kindest and most hardworking people that I have met. She gives 100 percent every day because she feels that her kids deserve nothing less than that.”

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