Many people in our community believe deeply that investing in the next generation – our students – is essential to our future. As participants in the Flagstaff STEM City movement, we support the outstanding teachers who work daily to open doors and create challenging opportunities for our students. This week Flagstaff bids farewell to one of those outstanding teachers – Kaci Heins of Northland Preparatory Academy, who is departing to take an educational leadership position with NASA’s Space Center, Houston.
For the last 9 years, Kaci’s students from the Peak School, Mt. Elden Middle School, and NPA have flown high indeed. They have launched rockets; learned robotics and 3D printing; sent an experiment to the International Space Station; and created payloads for and released high altitude balloons to analyze myriad results. Kaci’s expertise, enthusiasm, and commitment to her students brought her recognition as our Flagstaff STEM Teacher of the Year, Arizona Middle School Science Teacher of the Year, Air Force Association National Aerospace Teacher of the Year, and this year’s Viola Award for Science Education.
STEM City recognizes that we must all work hard to support outstanding teachers who engage and mentor our students. Kaci is taking her talent to an incredible platform, developing programs to inspire students across the country the way she has inspired and challenged her Flagstaff students. Kaci always challenged her students and all of us to “Dare Mighty Things,” and she continues to lead by example. Please join us in thanking her for all that she has done for Flagstaff’s next generation. We’ll be eagerly watching, in cyberspace and elsewhere, for her next adventures in outer space!
Flagstaff STEM City
Flagstaff STEM Coordinator