Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy

Think of how amazing it would be to swing a golf club and hit a hole in one. That was the thrilling feeling that Thornwood Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Mario Romero had March 28 when one of golf’s biggest stars shocked him with surprising good news.

During the recent Shell Houston Open at Redstone Golf Club, professional golfer Phil Mickelson announced that Mario, Spring Branch ISD’s current Elementary Teacher of the Year, had been chosen to attend the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy this summer and learn new techniques to engage students in science and math.

Mickelson and his wife, Amy, have partnered with ExxonMobil to create the New Jersey-based summer teaching academy, which is also supported by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and Math Solutions. Mario is the only teacher in SBISD selected this year for the summertime program.

“I really did not think that I’d have an opportunity to go to this academy, or to get the training to bring back to my school and community,” Mario told a KTRK-Channel 13 reporter after the event announcement.

“I’m still in shock about the whole thing. I’m grateful, and very thankful to do this.” Thornwood Elementary Principal Lynn Austin made the first announcement on March 28 at the elementary school.

Principal Austin and Mario were able to spend the afternoon at Redstone Golf Club, where they met Mickelson.

Mario was one of 1,500 teachers nationwide nominated for the academy. In all, 200 teachers won final awards.

At Redstone, Mario received a golf glove autographed by Mickelson, as well as a special academy flag. Principal Austin also received a signed glove, and both received passes to the Shell Houston Open last weekend.

The 2013 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy will be held July 21-26 at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J. The academy pays for travel, lodging, food and related expenses. The National Science Teachers Association and Math Solutions, two of the leading teacher-training groups in the nation, provide instructors and design curriculum.

The professional development program is designed to provide third- through fifth-grade teachers with the knowledge and skills to make math and science more engaging and careers worth pursuing. “They’ll be given the teaching techniques and tools to inspire third- through fifth-graders in the sciences and math.

That seems to be the area that studies have shown is where students lose interest in the big STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math,” Mickelson reported at Redstone.

Mario’s incredible story was featured on several local television stations:

KTRK-Channel 13 news report:
KRIV-Fox 26 news report:


Post a Comment

Do you have feedback? Tell us.