McAvoy Layne, Mark Twain impersonator, and Pilar Piller, 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year
Monday, March 19th, 5 - 7:30PM | TCES Rm. 139-141
Four outstanding 2017 M.A. in Teaching graduates present their Professional Projects.

Graduate Education Symposium 2018

Department of Teacher Education Graduate Symposium 2018

When: Monday, March 19th, 5 – 7:30PM
Where: Sierra Nevada College, TCES Rm. 139-141

The 2018 graduate symposium showcases four outstanding Professional Projects by 2017 graduates of the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program. Professional Projects are the focus of the Master’s Degree (Phase II) part of the MAT program. The projects were chosen for their professional quality, including creativity, use of current research, and educational best practices. They cover all K – 12 grade levels – one high school, one middle school, and two elementary.

Our panel of accomplished judges will present one of the Symposium Awards to each of the honorees.

Pilar Biller, 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year and SNC alumna, will also be recognized at the event. Biller, an art teacher at Damonte Ranch H.S. in Reno, is known for engaging lessons which push her students to think creatively and to problem solve. She encourages them to share their art in the community and work with local service organizations. Biller completed the teacher certification portion of SNC’s MAT program in 1998 and then taught in northern Nevada and California. 18 years later she returned to SNC to finish her master’s degree.

“Pilar is a great example of a teacher who has devoted her career to finding better ways to create and provide engaging lessons for her students.”

– Steve Canavero, Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction

The Honorees

Amy Barbera – Teaching Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension Through Read-Alouds:
A Resource Guide for First-Grade Teachers Using Complex Texts

Megan Dee – A Connection to Nature for Every Student:
A Resource Model Guide to Adapt High Quality and Accessible Outdoor Environmental Education for Elementary Educators

Terin Kirk – The Citizen Science Project:
An Instructional Guide for Middle School Citizen Science STEM PBL

Diane Machen – Seeing Science and Literacy Through a Different Lens:
A Framework of Forensic Science Activities for 12th-Grade Science Educators

The Judges

Jim Watson, a highly respected administrator, recently retired from the Lake Tahoe Unified School District in South Lake Tahoe as Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Staff Development.
Allison Mattick, an award winner of the 2016 Graduate Symposium and a 2015 Sierra Nevada College graduate, is a middle school teacher at Clayton Middle School in Reno.
McAvoy Layne, Mark Twain impressionist and writer, has embodied the wit & wisdom of “The Wild Humorist of the Pacific Slope” in over four thousand performances from Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City to Leningrad University in Russia. He played the ghost of Samuel Clemens in the Biography Channel’s episode on Mark Twain, and in the Discovery Channel’s Cronkite Award winning documentary Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. McAvoy is a winner of the Nevada Award for Excellence in School and Library Service, and author of the forthcoming book The Secret Lives of Pine Nuts.

“McAvoy is an ambassador of the arts wherever he performs.”

– Judith Clark, Director, Nevada State Council on the Arts

The Symposium Awards

Each award includes a $250 cash prize.

Provost Award – Achievement of Excellence in Research and Impact on Teaching Practices
Dr. Maria Meyerson Award – Creativity and Innovation in Curriculum Design
Mark Twain Award – Excellence in Writing, Communication, and Presentation
Eagle Award – Outstanding Professional Project

photo: Judges McAvoy Layne and Allison Mattick