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Good Hope Teacher Earns Science Foundation Honor


Oct. 24, 2005 – Jane Coles, Upper School science teacher at the Good Hope School, has been recognized for the second time in her career as a 2005 State Finalist for the Presidential Awards for excellence in math and science teaching (PAESMT) by the National Science Foundation. With this, Coles receives a certificate of honor. She is one of three finalists from all the U.S. territories (USVI, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Marianas Islands).
According to the National Science Foundation's Office of Public Affairs, "The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching is the nation's highest commendation for K-12 science teachers. It recognizes a combination of sustained and exemplary work both in and outside of the classroom."
While teaching at the Good Hope School for the past five years, according to a press release from the school, Coles has distinguished herself as an outstanding teacher and a mentor to many students. She is the director of the Good Hope Science Fair, which is the only science fair affiliated with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in the Virgin Islands.
The selection process for the PAEMST includes being nominated, videotaping a lesson, and writing a ten-page report responding to questions about the lesson featured in the videotape. Coles' featured lesson was a lab activity in which students practiced statistical analysis on random samples of Skittles candies, in preparation for doing the same sorts of statistical analyses on the varying sets of data they each collected for their individual science fair projects.
Michael Mongeau, head of school remarked, "Good Hope has extraordinary depth and a rich history of dedicated teachers who excel at their craft. We are all thrilled that this superb science educator should receive this prestigious award. It is a resounding affirmation for all that she does, day in and day out, at the Good Hope School to ensure that our students receive the best college preparation in the sciences."
Prior to arriving at Good Hope, Coles taught at St. Clare Walker Middle School in Middlesex County, Va. for five years. She is married to Dr. William Coles who works for the Department of Planning and Natural Resources as chief of endangered species and environmental education. Her two sons, Duncan, 8, and Morgan, 7, attend the Good Hope School. Among the courses she teaches here are Upper School biology, marine science, environmental science, and batik. She is the coordinator of the Advanced Placement program at Good Hope. An avid environmentalist, Coles is an active member and Sunday School teacher at the St. Croix Reformed Church in Kingshill.


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