“It is a great honor for me to receive this prestigious award,” Moss said. “This will encourage me to work even harder in making STEM education a priority for our students.”
An educator for more than 25 years, Moss taught biology, chemistry and earth science at high schools in Syracuse, N.Y., before joining CMS in 1998 to teach at Independence High School. In December 2003, she became the K-12 science specialist for CMS and in July 2006 she was appointed by Dr. Peter C. Gorman, CMS superintendent, to lead math and science instruction for the district. Moss is also a member of several national science advisory groups which have worked to create an action plan for STEM education. She was recently invited to join the National Science Teachers Association’s newly created Urban Science Education Advisory Board. Its goal is to ensure all urban students receive the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in science – something that is also very important to Moss.
“My doctoral dissertation proves that any student can learn,” said Moss, who received her Ph.D. in 2004 from Curtin University of Technology in Australia. “I worked with a group of 90 students at Independence who qualified for free and reduced-price lunch and were dealing with all kinds of risk factors. But I knew they could do better, so I brought in classroom mentors and urged their parents to become involved. I also developed songs, games and stories in class that could help them relate to science.”By the end of the year, the students went from scoring an average of 35 percent on a district test to scoring 85 percent or higher on the End-of Course test in biology.
That experience and her other work in teaching helped her to identify a number of problems in the teaching of STEM education. Moss participates in seminars and conferences on STEM education all over the world.
Moss earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology as a Morehead-Cain Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill and then a master’s in science teaching from Syracuse University.