First year GSE alumnus collects Miller Teaching Award

Donovan (Donnie) Kim-Nebrensky, MEd ’11, has won the Miller Foundation Teaching Award that is given to young teachers to “strengthen their commitment to, interest in, and effectiveness in a long-term classroom teaching career.” Mr. Kim-Nebrensky is a 2011 graduate of the Secondary Dual Educator Program (SDEP). He works at Yamhill-Carlton High School teaching biology and physics and next year will be adding astronomy to the curriculum. The award includes money that will allow him to purchase Vernier science probeware for the school. He will be able to teach students to use the products with their classroom iPads to collect, analyze, and interpret scientific data.

“Donnie has been a great addition to our Science Department and to YCHS,” says Yamhill-Carlton High School Principal Jim Orth. “His can-do attitude and enthusiasm for learning are infectious with students and staff alike.  After just one year, it seems like he’s one of those veteran teachers you can always count on. We’re proud to have Donnie Kim at YCHS and look forward to keeping him here!”

His first year of teaching has been notably productive. He led his anatomy and physiology class in a fundraising campaign to subsidize a field trip to watch an open heart surgery, followed by a question and answer session with health care professionals. He wrote a grant to supply his classroom with iPads for physics and biology classes. He reintroduced physics curriculum to the school and enrolled a total of 30 students in the class. Another grant furnished the classroom with a laptop.

“Donnie has always shown promise as an inclusive educator,” says Sue Bert, cohort leader in the SDEP program. “From the start, he understood the critical need for universal design and differentiation in the classroom. He collaborated with other teachers to ensure all students learned and achieved within the classroom (and the community).”

“I honestly believe, that had it not been for the great teachers I had and the entire SDEP family, I would not have received this award,” says Mr. Kim-Nebrensky. “I do think that many of my accomplishments this year have been a product of the philosophy that all of them instilled in me. I have always kept in mind that every student is an individual, every student learns differently, every student is capable, a classroom is a community where we help each other nurture our areas that need improvement, and that school needs to be fun and engaging,” he added.

The grant money will also enable Mr. Kim-Nebrensky to travel to the National Science Teachers Association Conference next April in San Antonio, Texas, so that he can bring back even more great science curriculum ideas to Yamhill-Carlton School District.


About the Miller Foundation Teaching Awards

The Miller Foundation grants teaching awards to provide public high school teachers with opportunities for growth and development, with the goal of strengthening their commitment to, interest in, and effectiveness in a long-term classroom teaching career. The ultimate goal is helping teachers pursue activities that will stimulate and nurture student achievement.

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