Howle, Davenport receive STEM teaching awards _lowres

Advocate photo by HOWARD ARCENEAUX -- West Feliciana High School teacher Justin Davenport, left, and West Feliciana Middle School teacher Heather Howle were recognized for earning STEM teaching awards from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber at the May 19 school board meeting in St. Francisville.

A teacher from West Feliciana High School and another from West Feliciana Middle were honored with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Educator awards May 12 from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.

Heather Howle, from West Feliciana Middle, and Justin Davenport from West Feliciana High, were honored with three other Capital Region teachers with BRAC’s Excellent STEM Educator Awards at a luncheon at the Manship Theater. The awards were presented in conjunction with BRAC’s Signature Speaker series, sponsored by ExxonMobil and Jones Walker. The five recipients also received $200 cash awards.

The recipients were named after a month-long application period by BRAC to recognize public middle and high school teachers “who demonstrate STEM excellence,” according to a news release. A subcommittee consisting of area business leaders served as the award selection committee.

Davenport and Howle were recognized at the May 19 West Feliciana Parish School Board meeting by Superintendent Hollis Milton.

“It’s very appreciated,” Davenport said of the award. “STEM is going to allow our science programs to start reaching new heights.”

Added Howle, “I commend Mr. Milton, the board and local businesses in the community for bringing STEM to our schools. I look forward to seeing how we can grow it.”

Also honored were Elkhan Akhundov, Kenilworth Science and Technology Charter; Ingrid Cruz, Scotlandville Pre-Engineering Magnet Academy; and Daniel Elland, Woodlawn High School.

“Ms. Howle has been a leader at making STEM opportunities come to life for our students,” Milton said. “I am grateful for Mr. Davenport who is leading our students in STEM in his first year at WFHS.”

Marcus Lingenfelter, of the National Math and Science Initiative, was the signature speaker, and Liz Smith, BRAC’s director of policy and research, served as emcee of the awards ceremony.

“The BRAC Excellence STEM Educator Award recognizes public school teachers who are demonstrating exemplary performance in teaching the STEM disciplines,” said Tom Yura, chairman of BRAC’s Education and Workforce Council and senior vice president and general manager of BASF.