Yesterday, Mrs. Maria Lyons, MAA’s Science Teacher, was honored by the Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Schools Office, with support from the Catholic Schools Foundation, as one of 10 recipients of the prestigious Archdiocese of Boston Excellence in Education Awards. Mrs. Lyons and Mrs. Barbara Plunkett, MAA’s Principal, were invited to an online meeting where they were congratulated on receiving the award by Cardinal Seán O'Malley and Mr. Thomas Carroll, Superintendent of Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Schools, and invited to attend a September luncheon with them to celebrate the award.
The awards were given to five elementary school teachers and five high school teachers nominated by parents, administrators, students, and fellow teachers. This annual award honors teachers' “commitment to developing saints and scholars in the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston.” Mr. Carroll commended the award recipients for their dedication and ability to engage and inspire their students. “The honorees are the cream of the crop in terms of faculty members. This is a very impressive group. It's remarkable how well schools have pivoted from live instruction to remote learning," he said.
Mrs. Lyons has done a remarkable job developing MAA’s STREAM curriculum, incorporating engaging lessons in a variety of STREAM fields from space exploration and robotics, to ecology and renewable energy. Over the past few years, Mrs. Lyons and her students have won a number of state and national awards for their work. Just this past week, she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from Project Green Schools, as part of their 2020 Green Difference Awards, which recognizes Outstanding Energy, Environmental STEAM Education efforts led in Schools & Communities worldwide.
Last year, Mrs. Lyons and her students held the first annual STEM Fun Fair, in which students explored the science behind a multitude of green energy solutions, including solar panels, wind turbines, and more. The STEM Fun Fair won three national and state awards, including Third Honors from Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Ms. Kathleen Theoharides, and helped MAA win the Massachusetts Elementary School of the year for its outstanding energy education projects by the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project. The STEM Fun Fair was also selected by the Massachusetts Computer Using Educators (MassCUE) to take part in the Education Evolution Event at the State House last June.
Most importantly, Mrs. Lyons has made a positive impact on our students, inspiring a love for the sciences and the natural world. As Cardinal O’Malley said, “the teachers in the Archdiocese of Boston are a blessing and source of pride. Although your work in many ways has changed in the past month, you continue to share the Catholic faith in word and action with all your students. You have gone above and beyond to create a welcoming environment and a culture of success. Our Catholic school teachers are truly developing saints and scholars. We will be forever grateful for our teachers’ dedication to catholic education."