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November 2, 2020

SVSU, MiSTEM honor regional K-12 educators excelling in STEM

STEM Star AwardTo honor the hard work, dedication and contributions made to STEM education, Saginaw Valley State University and MiSTEM East Central Michigan Region recognized 10 K-12 educators and staff with an award that will benefit their students’ education. 

Recipients of the “STEM Star” award include K-12 teachers, coaches for high school Robotics teams, and staff members overseeing STEM programs. The awards were made possible through a collaborative effort between SVSU’s STEM Program and MiSTEM East Central Michigan Region. The MiSTEM Network — funded through a statewide grant — promotes the impact of STEM on economic development and education in the state.    

Recipients received a $300 award to benefit STEM education in their classroom or program. The recipients work in Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gratiot, Midland, and Saginaw counties.

Nominations were reviewed by a selection committee. 

Listed below are the STEM Star winners, including remarks about the recipient from their respective nomination letter. 

  • Ethan Shannon, a chemistry teacher at Garber High School and a Robotics adviser 

“Mr. Shannon dedicates thousands of hours each year to STEM education. Through STEM education, he challenges, inspires, and empowers students of every age and skillset to be the very best version of themselves.”

  • Mark Lyons, a technology integration specialist at Bay-Arenac ISD 

“He is invited frequently to present across the state, making his STEM impact even greater than our region. He is indeed, though, an asset to our area schools and region, and we are proud to have him as part of the (Bay-Arenac ISD) team.”

  • Kevin Smalley, a technology coordinator for the Robotics Club at Harrison High School 

“The most important thing that Kevin has provided is a true leader and mentor figure. Harrison High School students know that he will hold them accountable but support them through hard work and their own creativity.”

  • Duncan Gervin, a general and alternative education teacher at Farwell High School 

“With the STEM learning objectives and the strong student relationships, Mr. Gervin weaves relationships into a masterpiece of academic success.”

  • Amy Hindbaugh-Marr, a teacher at North Elementary School and South Elementary School in Ithaca 

“Her enthusiasm was contagious, her work ethic impressive, and her knowledge of science and ability to create exciting labs for our students was second to none! She was a positive, inviting resource for the staff.”

  • Jennifer Lenon, a learning coach at Northeast Middle School in Midland 

“In her role as learning coach, she works with many teachers to provide support in the classroom to implement best practices and come shoulder-to-shoulder as a colleague to provide direct support for teachers.”

  • Jessie Bassett, a teacher at Frankenmuth High School 

“Through all of these involvements, she has been integral in creating a STEM culture in our district. Serving as our Science Department chairperson, Jessie has expanded her focus on science curriculum and instruction to include all of our buildings and grade levels. Her passion for science and math is evident, and her reach and impact seems to broaden each year.”

  • Shawn McFarland, a teacher at Jessie Loomis Elementary School 

“Mrs. McFarland is a dedicated, hardworking, creative, dynamic and patient teacher. She is so committed to teaching her students concepts and skills that she often supplements her teaching by using her own money to buy what she needs.”

  • Terrie Robbie, a STEM coordinator at Arrowwood, Hemmeter, Sherwood, Weiss, and Westdale elementary schools as well as White Pine Middle School and Heritage High School 

“Terrie has implemented many programs across (Saginaw Township Community Schools) district.  At White Pine, she has built partnerships with Covenant (HealthCare), (Central Michigan University), SVSU, Nexteer, and (Hemlock Semiconductor). Terrie is worthy of being recognized as your STEM Star, as she certainly serves as ours.”

  • Thomas Lockwood, a technology director and Robotics adviser for Hemlock Public School District 

“Tom has been the instrumental figure in the new addition of a regional Robotics facility located at Hemlock High School. Tom has not only provided the students at Hemlock with an excellent facility but all students in the area, so each team can work together in collaboration.” 

For more information about SVSU’s STEM program, visit or follow the program on Facebook and Instagram.