By Marianne Mueller

Congratulations to Hononegah science teacher, Mrs. Moore. She is the President-Elect of the Illinois Science Teaching Association (ISTA). She is also assisting in the development of Anatomy Storyline curriculum with Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and she received a Curriculum Catalyst Fellowship from the Collaborative for Student Success to work on Science educational policy at the national, state, and local levels. Very few have represented Hononegah on such a grand stage.

Hononegah Community High School teacher Mrs. Maggie Moore is a friendly and familiar face in both the school and in the community. She has been a science teacher at HCHS since 2007 where she teaches Anatomy and Honors Biology.

Moore is a highly respected teacher and leader. Moore was a finalist for Illinois Teacher of the Year in 2019 and was recognized in August of 2023 by the HCHS Board of Education for her dedication and expanding her profession beyond the walls of the school.

At the Jan. 17, 2024 meeting HCHS Principal Chad Dougherty recognized Moore for the newest leadership role.

“Mrs. Moore is a top 10 teacher in the state, and has received a Those Who Excel” Excellence Award. This award is given to empower leaders and teachers who believe in equal opportunity for student success and solving problems beyond learning.

She has now expanded her impact as the Illinois Science Teaching Association President-Elect,” Dougherty said.

Board of Education President Dave Kurlinkus presented Moore with a certificate, accompanied by a few words of congratulations during the meeting

Moore addressed the board and the public by discussing the need to teach beyond memorization but to instead focus on problem solving and critical thinking.

“Students need to understand basic concepts, but the field of science expands so rapidly, every day that it is impossible to keep pace. Our goal is to help students be able to think logically, reason and interpret data with the goal of being scientifically literate,” Moore said.

Moore assumed her new position as ISTA President-Elect, in January of 2024.

Moore has served as Regional Director for the central northern Illinois region for the past two years.

“The organization has allowed me to grow professional and personally,” Moore said.

Moore presented on the topic “Teachers as Change Agents at the National Science Teaching Association Conference in Chicago in 2022. “I had the opportunity to talk to politicians about teacher shortages and I was able to bring a larger perspective,” Moore said.

She presented on the topic of “Equity in the Science Classroom” at the Illinois State Conference in the fall of 2023.

Moore is looking forward to this March where she will be part of a panel discussion on future advocacy of science education at the national conference in Denver, Co.

“My involvement in the ISTA has also allowed me to meet some incredible people who work on Science curriculum, both nationally and internationally,” Moore said.

In late January of 2024 Moore went to Washington DC to work on development of the Anatomy curriculum at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

“I was excited and nervous about working at such a prestigious organization, but loved learning from my colleagues,” Moore said.

In addition to her work with the HHMI and ISTA Moore has also been accepted a fellowship with the Collaborative for Student Success.

“This organization works on educational policy on a national level,” Moore said.

“Next month I will be traveling to Washington DC again for a kickoff weekend for the fellowship. This summer Moore is heading to Denver, CO. to present the work at the conference for the National Network of State Teachers of the Year.

“The state is divided into various regions. “I will be working with all of the regional directors and executive board on promoting events, advocating for science education and designing professional learning opportunities,“ Moore shares.

“The people at ITSA are incredibly supportive and collaborative. I will be working with a group of science teachers from around the country at HHMI to develop Anatomy curriculum. Moore will also work with a different group from around the country with the Collaborative for Student Success to promote high quality instructional materials and professional learning for science teaching in grades K-12.

Moore has blessed and educated many students, all stemming from her own love of science and teaching, which Moore says has grown throughout her career.

“I have taught a wide range of classes in my 26 year career, including physical science, botany, zoology, forensic science, environmental science, earth science, along with several co-taught classes with special education teachers.

“I can honestly say that I love my job at Hononegah and the community in which I work,” Moore said.

“I am so unbelievably fortunate to work with incredible colleagues- the best around. That is a huge reason why I continue to want to learn and grow. I also work with the best students and I mean that sincerely. They make me a better teacher and a better person.” I also need to thank my administrators for being so supportive of these initiatives and my work with these organizations.”

Beyond teaching Moore also serves as one of the leaders in HCHS’s GAIA. Through these efforts Moore helped lead HCHS to become an “Arbor Day Service School.”

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