Pennsylvania School Board Association
2022 Pennsylvania Innovative School Teacher Award
Dateline: [Warminster, PA, October 11, 2022] — Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) has announced two William Tennent High School teachers, Mr. Ignacio Jayo and Mr. Steve Beal, as the co-recipients of the 2022 Pennsylvania Innovative School Teacher Award! Mr. Jayo and Mr. Beal will be recognized at the upcoming Excellence in Public Education Leadership Dinner at the 2022 PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference on Sunday, October 30, at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions.
Mr. Jayo and Mr. Beal were nominated for this prestigious award due to their creation of ExcitED. This novel program provides students and teachers in Bucks County the opportunity to participate in authentic professional experiences within user design, entrepreneurship, and biotechnology disciplines. ExcitED includes partnerships with the Bucks County Department of Workforce & Economic Development, the Wistar Institute, and the Pennsylvania Society for Biomedical Research (PSBR).
This endeavor offers high school students a pathway to real-world work experiences via mentorship, internships, workplace visits, job shadowing, and employment opportunities. Through the generous support of Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry, this partnership has been awarded a two-year, $250,000.00, Schools-to-Work grant to develop a pre-apprenticeship program focused on creating workforce development partnerships between school districts, higher education institutions, and local businesses to increase learning and training opportunities for Bucks County youth.
ExcitED officially launched this summer:
- Thirty paid student internship opportunities at six different host sites.
- Student interns earned a collective total of $38,650.00.
The ExcitED partner sites included:
- The Uncommon Individual Foundation – Caruso Challenge: students took part in an entrepreneurial boot camp during which they identified a problem, tested their assumptions, and presented solutions. Interns received three college credits for successful completion of the challenge.
- Lampire Biological: students took part in either a two- or six-week experience during which they worked alongside professionals in various departments at Lampire. They learned a wide variety of Biotechnology techniques and had the opportunity to experience many aspects of the company.
- CRISPR Classroom: students interned as science communicators and worked directly with CRISPR Classroom CEO Kris Tatiossian. In addition to their direct responsibilities, students learned several entrepreneurial skills working in this fast-growing startup.
- ProofPilot: students worked alongside Chief of Strategy Joe Kim in this software startup as part of a marketing and entrepreneurial internship. Students helped the marketing team at ProofPilot develop a playbook for reaching out to a younger audience.
- Doylestown Biotech Center’s Hep B Program: student interns worked in various laboratories under the direct supervision of scientists at the center. Their experience culminated in a final presentation highlighting the research techniques they learned.
The Centennial School District is thrilled with the results of ExcitED’s first year and looks forward to improving and enhancing the program’s opportunities and experiences for our students.