Teacher recognition 2021
Appreciating the teachers who go over and above for their students
ABE Ireland recently hosted an event to show our appreciation for teachers this year. Thirty ABE Ireland teachers joined us online on Wednesday 12th May at our annual teacher Recognition Event. We were thrilled that friends from international sites of the ABE programme and the Amgen Foundation and a number of school principals were able to join us to acknowledge the teachers who go above and beyond for their students by participating in the programme.
Prof Walter Kolch, director of Systems Biology Ireland, opened the event, welcomed us all. Our guest speaker Dr Nicola Fletcher, Lecturer and Assistant Professor (Ad Astra fellow) at the School of Veterinary Medicine and a Fellow of the Conway Institute, UCD then spoke on “A One Health approach to research: how viruses exploit our interconnected world.” It was a fascinating and topical talk on her research in veterinary science, zoonosis and her current focus on developing tests for coronavirus in waste water. She also took us through her unusual career path and acknowledged an inspiring biology teacher Mary O’Sullivan at St David’s School in Co Wicklow who, Dr Fletcher told us, “literally changed my life.”
Elaine Quinn, director of ABE Ireland, took us through the last year for ABE Ireland. Elaine told us that the coronavirus pandemic meant the number of teachers who could run practical labs in school was reduced but we also manged to progress a lot of aspects of the programme, telling our audience about new material on bioinformatics and big data in research and about our new distribution centre at Drumcondra Teacher Education Centre.
Allen Harmon, Vice President, Regional Manufacturing for Amgen and who oversees the site at Amgen Dun Laoghaire, told us that teachers picking up and dropping back the equipment outside of school hours are already going above and beyond for their students. He told the teachers "I've seen the videos of you meeting after hours, packing kits into your cars. You do this because you love it."
We were delighted to recognise six ABE Ireland teachers who made a significant contribution to the ABE programme in Ireland this year:
Darren Bolger from Caritas College, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10.
Darren is recognized this year because he volunteered to be one of the first ABE Ireland Veteran Teachers who offer peer support to new ABE Ireland teachers. Darren recorded a video for circulation to new teachers sharing his insights into organising and running ABE Ireland labs in the classroom and in particular on implementing the ABE Ireland programme in a DEIS-designated school.
Mary Mullaghy, Eureka Secondary School, Kells, Co. Meath
We are recognizing Mary because this year Mary volunteered both herself and four of her students to join a small pilot workshop of ABE Ireland’s new bioinformatics material. The insights Mary and her students offered to the ABE Ireland team greatly improved the lesson before it was rolled out to other teachers in Ireland and shared with the global ABE community.
Regina Greehy, from Holy Child Killiney, Killiney, Co Dublin.
This year Regina volunteered to be one of the first ABE Ireland Veteran Teachers who offer peer support to new ABE Ireland teachers. Regina attended a new teacher workshop in UCD in September to meet new teachers in her local area and shared a lot of insights on how to organise and run ABE labs in the classroom.
Declan Cathcart from Temple Carrig School, Greystones, Co Wicklow.
We are recognizing Declan because this year Declan was appointed as Ireland’s first Amgen Biotech Experience Master Teacher Fellow. He joins a group of 11 other teachers from international ABE sites who are working during this year to develop new materials and new approaches to teaching that will improve the global ABE programme.
Aodhagán O’Súilleabháin from Heywood Community School, Ballinakill, Co. Laois.
This year Aodhagan volunteered to be one of the first ABE Ireland Veteran Teachers to offer peer support to new ABE Ireland teachers. He attended a new teacher workshop in Portlaoise Education Centre in September to meet new teachers in his local area and offered insights on how to organise and run ABE labs in the classroom. In his role as Chairperson of the Irish Science Teachers Association, Aodhagan has helped promote ABE Ireland to teachers nationwide this year.
Hilary Rimbi from St Andrew’s College, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
We are recognizing Hilary this year as Hilary volunteered both herself and four of her students to join a pilot workshop of ABE Ireland’s new bioinformatics material. The insights Hilary and her students offered improved the lesson before it was rolled out. Hilary also contributed to raising awareness of the ABE programme this year by joining a panel discussion organised by Amgen Dun Laoghaire alongside her former student Diya, and being interviewed for blogs and newsletters.
These teachers received a certificate and a gift voucher to treat themselves. We really enjoyed seeing everyone online, though we were sorry we couldn’t be together in person.