Springville High Teacher, Wesley Morgan, Honored with State Award

Submitted by sarah.ferrin on
Mr. Wes Morgan

The Utah State Board of Education announced five finalists for their Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Nebo’s Wesley Morgan, a science teacher at Springville High was awarded the Science Teaching Award.

“I am excited to be a state finalist,” Wesley said to the Daily Herald. “But I also hope that the state will do more to support all teachers who are going above and beyond what we are asked to do. I don’t think most people realize how much time it takes to be a good teacher. Planning high-quality lessons and adapting them every year to the needs of my students is a huge effort. I wouldn’t be the teacher I am today without Duane Merrell, who received this award in 1994. He trained physics teachers at (Brigham Young University) for almost 20 years, helping teachers around the state make their lessons more hands-on and engaging.”

Morgan plans to donate to help the homeless and hungry in Utah as well as take his wife and three children on a trip to Disneyland if he wins this award.

“This is such an honor to have one of our Springville High science teachers, Wesley Morgan, recognized at the state level for his excellence in teaching. Mr. Morgan  connects well with his students and supports them in their success. He focuses on hands-on learning, and the students are involved in labs nearly every day. These labs help bring relevancy to what they are learning. Mr. Morgan helps prepare students for college and career success,” stated Lana Hiskey, Communications and community relations administrator for Nebo School District. “We are certainly proud of Mr. Morgan and the legacy he is creating in Physics at Springville High.”  

One of his recommendations said the following: “Wesley has grown his program from 50 AP Physics students (mostly boys) in two classes to 100-140 students that have equitable representation of boys and girls and other underrepresented groups. He has also convinced his school to offer AP Physics 2, which is rarely taught in high school. He built the curriculum himself after attending an APSI workshop in Florida. There are now about 20-25 students signing up each year for AP Physics 2, most of whom get credit for a second semester of college physics, which prepares them well to enter a STEM field, such as engineering or medical science.”

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching. Finalists serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of STEM education. Two of the five Utah finalists will be selected as winners by a committee, which will be announced by the White House later in 2023.

Winners will be given “a certificate signed by the President of the United States, a paid trip for two to Washington D.C. to attend a series of recognition events, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation,” according to a press release from the Utah State Board of Education.

#TheClimb #NeboHero #NeboSchoolDistrict #StudentSuccess #EmpowerStudents #EngageStudents #FocusOnStudents #LoveUTpublicSchools #UtPol #UtEd #ThankATeacher #LoveTeaching

Lana Hiskey