D211 Post: Conant HS Teacher Named Technology Education Association of Illinois’ New Teacher of the Year

Shayna Adelman, an applied technology teacher at James B. Conant High School, was named New Teacher of the Year by the Technology Education Association of Illinois.  She received her award during the association’s annual conference in Bloomington, Ill., on October 27.

            Adelman received the award, which recognizes outstanding teachers in their first five years, based on her work in applied sciences, as well as her work with students in programs such as the robotics club, and Girls in Engineering Math and Science (GEMS).

            Adelman said she was surprised when she was informed she had won.

            “I felt honored by this,” she said.  “I didn’t know someone nominated me.”

            Adelman is currently pursuing a master’s degree in STEM Education and Leadership through Illinois State University.  She said one of her passions is the promotion of gender equality in science and engineering fields, a topic about which she has delivered multiple presentations.

            “Partially because of the way our textbooks have been written, children mostly hear about important discoveries and innovations by men,” she said.  “They rarely hear these stories about women, even though they are numerous.”

            Though new to teaching, Adelman is experienced in the field of engineering.  Prior to teaching at Conant High School, she studied mechanical engineering and has worked in computer science.

            Adelman encourages individuals to never avoid doing things for fear of failing.

            “Everyone who ever did something great failed hundreds of times first,” she said.  “The history books care about the successes, not how many times it took to get there.”