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Washington Post Teacher of Year encourages love of physics at Osbourn High School

Osbourn High School teacher Kristine Heaver is the 2018 Washington Post Teacher of the Year for Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS). She is among 20 recipients of the prestigious award, which has honored teaching excellence in the Washington region for three decades.

The Washington Post Teacher of the Year Award recognizes pre-K through 12th grade teachers who contribute in a substantive way to the improvement of education in the greater D.C. area. The goal of the award is to ensure students receive a high-quality education through creative instruction.

Heaver began her teaching career at Osbourn in 2012 as a physics teacher after departing a successful career in environmental engineering. She made the move to the classroom out of a desire to show students the practical application of their studies. It is her goal to let students develop an understanding of physics through exploration, which is why her students are often seen conducting experiments with various everyday objects. Her classroom philosophy and positive repertoire with students has instilled in them a desire to learn.

Heaver has been instrumental in expanding the physics curriculum at Osbourn to include advanced and second-year physics courses. Her nominators state that many of her students continue to study physics well beyond the requirements to graduate. She takes every opportunity to show support for her students through letters of recommendation and program and scholarship applications, including a successful Gates Millennium scholarship application. Heaver’s students often pursue the physics track at the Governor’s School at Innovation Park and major in physics or engineering in college.

Heaver holds a master’s degree in environmental science from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in secondary education science from George Mason University. She is also a member of the American Modeling Teachers Association.

Heaver will be honored at the MCPS employee recognition ceremony, Evening with the Stars, on May 16 and the Manassas City Public Schools Education Foundation’s 20th annual Night of Excellence on May 24.

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