By Morgan Montalvo
A teacher from the suburb of Alamo Heights who recently was named Texas Teacher of the Year is now in the running for the national title, WOAI News reports.
Jeff Wheatcraft is a STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics instructor at Alamo Heights Junior School.
He was selected from among 40 educators earlier this month for state-level recognition, and now will be among more than 50 educators under consideration for the national award. Wheatcraft says the selection panel of educators employs holistic performance standards in making their choices, such as “What you do in a classroom, but also how you engage your students, interact with them, how you interact with the community, do you do anything to promote education.”
The 12-year educator says his STEM classes are not reserved for university-bound students. Kids who prefer “hands-on” learning and are eyeing vocational-technical careers are also welcome to be a part of lessons and experiments with real-world application, including environmental preservation.
“We’re trying to see if we can add iron to the oceans to try to help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” he says of an upcoming project.
Wheatcraft twice has been nominated for national teaching awards.
President Trump will announce the next National Teacher of the Year in early 2019.