Science Teacher Wins National Award

Jessica England

Ms. Kathy Fries wins Siemens Award, $1000 for department

Ms. Kathy Fries (Biology) addresses the faculty after being recognized by Mr. Larry Wooldridge (Principal) for winning the Siemens Award.

On Tuesday, March 9 at the faculty meeting, Ms. Kathy Fries (Biology) was recognized as the winner of the Siemens Award for excelling in her role as an Advanced Placement science teacher. The prestigious award annually recognizes one teacher and two students from every state. Manual is the only school in the United States to receive both student and teacher recognition from the Siemens Foundation.

“This is a wonderful award,” said Mr. Larry Wooldridge (Principal) as he presented Ms. Fries with her framed certificate of achievement. Ms. Fries replied by saying the award belongs to the entire faculty, not just herself.

Ms. Fries was nominated by the guidance office and Ms. Christy Teague (Counselor) asked her to apply for the award. Dr. Gregory Rash (Math) helped Ms. Fries with the statistic aspect of the application.

Mr. Wooldridge presents Ms. Fries with a plaque from the Siemens Foundation.

When the application asked, “Why should we give you this award?” Ms. Fries responded, “You don’t have to. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing here.” Ms. Fries said that having someone recognize what she’s done boosts her confidence and reaffirms that the teachers and the students are doing something right.

“I’m still going to try to improve and reflect on my teaching as I do every year,” Ms. Fries said.

The Siemens Foundation supports math, science, and technology in schools by awarding extra funding for good scores. The foundation helps teachers create environments to increase student learning. Along with the award certificate, Ms. Fries was awarded a $1,000 grant for the science department. She said the department plans to have a meeting at the end of this school year to discuss what the extra money will fund. This includes the $1,000 Dr. Craig DaRif (Science) was awarded for winning the Excel Award.

“The money will be used for equipment to enhance the laboratory experience,” Ms. Fries said.

Ms. Amy Ritchie (English) cheers for Ms. Fries as she accepts her award.

Ms. Fries has been teaching AP Biology for 21 years and does not plan on retiring any time soon. She said her love for science began at a young age. “I had a teacher in grade school that had a Masters Degree in chemistry,” she said, “and he is the one who introduced me to science and the science fair. I’ve just been in love with it ever since.”