STANDOUTS | from Islip schools

AnnMarie Mills, a science teacher at Islip Middle School, was recently named a New York State Master Teacher by the governor’s office.

Mills was recognized for her exemplary work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math education.

The Master Teacher program, which began in 2013, honors STEM educators who have demonstrated exceptional skills in mentoring peers and furthering their professional development.

“It is truly an honor to have AnnMarie recognized for her amazing contribution to STEM education here at Islip Middle School,” said Matthew Christiansen, Islip’s coordinator for business, science and technology.

Mills, who earned her bachelor’s degree in second education and biology at SUNY New Paltz and her master’s in liberal studies at SUNY Stony Brook, has taught at the middle school since 2002.

She also advises the school’s Nature Club and is a Science Olympiad events coach.

She currently teaches life science in the integrated co-teaching classroom and the special education self-contained setting, using a nature-themed curriculum that focuses on Long Island’s local ecosystems and current environmental issues, according to the district.

Her classroom setting often utilizes plants, animals and the ponds located on the school campus as the backbone of her lessons. As a result, her classes can regularly be found outside discovering the wonders of nature, firsthand.

“I was inspired to become a New York State Master Teacher by two of my middle school colleagues, Ashley Bloch and Mike Silvering, who are also Master Teachers,” said Mills. “After completing the Greentree Teacher’s Ecology Workshop two years ago, I have been looking for another avenue to continue to develop professionally with other motivated teachers.”

“The application process was rigorous,” she added, “and I am thrilled to begin working on developing curriculum to further enhance my students’ experience with my Outdoor Nature Centered Classroom with the help of other Master Teachers.”

Top: AnnMarie Mills/Islip School District courtesy photo