FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Teri Walker, DRA Communications
Science Foundation Arizona Appoints Linda Coyle Director of Education
Former Arizona Science Teacher of the Year & Pioneering STEM Educator
PHOENIX (May 20, 2015) – Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) has named former Arizona Science Teacher of the Year Linda Marie Coyle as director of education, in which capacity she will drive programmatic investments in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education throughout Arizona. Coyle has had a tremendous impact on the integration and advancement of STEM education in Arizona and has been instrumental in the collaborative development of the Arizona STEM Network online community and the definitive guides on STEM education used in Arizona and being adopted in other states.
Coyle is a long time Arizona educator with 35 years experience. She was named the 2004 Arizona Science Teacher of the Year for her pioneering work in taking K-12 STEM education out of the classroom and into the greater community. She developed partnerships among local middle schools, businesses and such organizations as the City of Phoenix Parks & Recreation Department, the Maricopa County Parks & Recreation Department, and Grand Canyon National Park, providing in-the-field applications of STEM subjects for students that translated into beneficial projects for the community, including Maricopa County Parks’ first wheelchair accessible trail. The volunteer projects at Grand Canyon National Park spearheaded by Coyle and Valley students formed the basis for what is today the Canyon’s “Volunteer in the Park” program and resulted in Coyle being awarded the grand prize winner of the Arizona Forward Association’s “Crescordia Award” for environmental projects.
In her current position as manager of education program development for SFAz, Coyle has provided leadership in greatly expanding Arizona’s STEM resources and programming by directing development of the STEM Immersion Guide, STEM Implementation Guide, STEM Resource Guide and accompanying Tools for Teachers resources, used by educators statewide and being emulated by educators around the nation.
“Investing in STEM Education is pivotal to providing an educated work force so desperately needed within the state of Arizona,” said Coyle. “To secure that investment, we provide expert assistance through access to best-in-class tools, resources and comprehensive strategies to integrate STEM K-16, and to create a model of STEM education that is scalable and replicable nationwide.”
As director of education, Coyle will support the Arizona STEM Network’s focus on strengthening teacher effectiveness in STEM, integrating STEM into more Arizona schools and districts, changing the culture and community fabric to more fully embrace STEM, and measuring the effectiveness of Arizona’s STEM endeavors.
“Linda’s entire career has been one of advancing STEM education, even before the term STEM was coined,” said SFAz President and CEO William C. Harris. “She has always understood the power and importance of STEM education in creating a vital and prepared workforce. She also fully comprehends the education challenges in our major cities as well as those of rural and remote Arizona, which informs her ability to develop programmatic guidelines that are both highly effective and achievable.”
Prior to her association with SFAz, which began in 2011, Coyle was the K-12 STEM curriculum specialist for the Paradise Valley Unified School District. She served as coordinator for the Center for Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) for the district. In that capacity, she worked with teachers to develop the school’s four-year curricula in biotechnology and sustainability, supported programs in engineering and computer science, and established opportunities that allowed CREST students to take courses, earn credits and make connections with such esteemed institutions as MIT, Duke University, Stanford University, Arizona State University and University of Arizona.
Coyle was previously an instructor at Arizona State University in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, as part of the Teach for America Program. She is a member of numerous education associations including the National Science Teachers Association, Arizona Science Teachers Association, Arizona Association of Teachers of Mathematics, Arizona Technology in Education Association, Arizona STEM Collaborative, National Science Education Leadership Association, and the Arizona Science Education Leadership Association.
Now a resident of New River, Ariz., Coyle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in history and physical education from Eastern Michigan University. She received her M. Ed. degree in secondary education from Arizona State University.
Coyle will assume her new position June 1, 2015.
About Science Foundation Arizona
Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization initiated in 2006 by the Greater Phoenix Leadership Inc., Southern Arizona Leadership Council and the Flagstaff Forty in conjunction with the executive and legislative branches of State government. SFAz serves as a catalyst for high-wage, knowledge-based jobs and economic diversity through administration and strict oversight of research, development and education grants to public education and other non-profit research performing institutions. For more information, visit www.sfaz.org and like us on Facebook.