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As a founding contributor of NEST, I have watched it develop and mature into an important component in my professional life. NEST is a matrix of concerned, experienced educators, serving as both a source of ideas and support and a sounding board for new ideas. The interactions and advice are consistently sincere, and I find that they strengthen my confidence, enabling me to experiment with new ideas so that my teaching process continues to evolve and improve.
Avi Ornstein, NEST '89
Hartford Public Schools, CT
NEST Co-chair '98-'99
Editor of the NEST newsletter
NEST Outstanding Teacher Award '91
My commitment to NEST over the past decade has given me many unexpected gifts. While at the summer program in 1990, I met educator, Marti Lynes. Sometime later, she invited me to be a pilot teacher for a curriculum project at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. After a year of piloting their program in my classroom, the director of the Harvard project offered me a full-time position developing middle school science curriculum. While I hesitated to leave the classroom after many years of teaching, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and remains so today. I am equally grateful for the host of NEST friendships I have made that continues today.
Cindy Crockett, NEST '90
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Harvard University
NEST Co-chair '94-'97
NEST Outstanding Teacher Award '95
NEST has become a vibrant part of my teaching and a constant motivation to excel at what I do. NEST encourages my commitment to career-long learning, stimulates me intellectually and fueled by Return to Campus lectures, intensifies my need to "know" and to "learn." Best of all, the recognition, support and collegiality of the MIT community upgrades the status and stature of my teaching and self-esteem. Perhaps the most exciting thing about NEST is that it is always striving to change to improve what it already does so well. Whether we are debating a pedagogical issue over the NEST List-Serv, sharing ideas and favorite websites, helping each other solve lesson planning problems, or sitting side by side at teacher presented sessions, NEST is never boring! Today, our borders have expanded beyond New England, but our boundaries and potential are limitless!
Sue Matthews, NEST '95
Hartford Public High School,CT
U.S. College Board Urban Educator Award, 2001
NEST State Representative, '99-'01
NEST Co-chair, '02-'03
The hallmark of NEST is the willingness of its members to share information with each other to enhance teaching efforts of it's fellow members. The teachers interaction with MIT professors, research laboratories, departments, centers, and other educational outreach programs on and off campus lead to many other opportunities for teachers including paid summer research experiences. In addition, the collegial environment of SEPT and NEST encourage creativity and excellence. It has been a privilege for me to be associated with NEST since 1989, and I look forward to working with NEST to continue developing meaningful educational outreach opportunities at MIT for educators around the world.
Constance J. Beal
NEST Management Team '89-'98
NEST co-chair 01-02