Anaheim Hills’ science teacher extraordinaire Ms. Stephanie Conklin discovered a love of teaching while she was attending UC Davis interning at an inner city school as a 7th grade science teacher. She transferred to Cal State Fullerton where she earned her Biology degree in 2006. Shortly after graduating, she joined Fairmont’s team as a guest teacher and extended day staff member. Channeling her passion for science and education, she now teaches 6th grade earth science, the Animal Behavior elective, and elementary science lab (1st-5th grade). Additionally, she serves as head pentathlon coach for 6th grade, DSL soccer coach, science curriculum coordinator for Anaheim Hills, and the new elementary science curriculum coordinator for all of Fairmont.
When we asked Stephanie what she liked most about teaching at Fairmont, here’s what she had to say:
“I love that the students challenge me to learn new concepts in science and explore areas I might not have otherwise. Working with 500+ students, each with his/her own ideas and interests leads me to amazing discussions on extremely varied topics. I love seeing the excitement on the students’ faces when they are completely engaged in the scientific process and their curiosity takes on a life of its own.
I also have the opportunity to join the students on several amazing fieldtrips throughout the year. In October, I accompanied the 6th graders up to the San Bernardino Mountains for five days of hiking and learning in the great outdoors. Students learn about the many ecosystems here in California while enjoying team building and leadership activities. In March, I had the pleasure of journeying to Catalina Island with the fifth graders to enjoy snorkeling and kayaking while learning about California costal ecosystems.
In April, the sixth graders and I went to the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant to get a firsthand account of how our facilities have prepared to keep us safe in the event of a disaster such as the one experienced this spring in Japan. During our visit, the students’ level of questions and knowledge prompted the tour guide to bring in several experts. As we left, one senior engineer commented, “I’ll be keeping your names and numbers since I will be looking forward to hiring many of you when you are old enough!” I could not have been more proud of my students for their enthusiasm, manners, and level of engagement.
Most recently, I attending the 7th grade trip to the Grand Canyon where we enjoyed hiking, biking, rafting, rock climbing, star gazing, and so many amazing experiences! There is no end to the list of awesome opportunities I have had here at Fairmont! I cannot wait to see what adventure I will have next!”
Contributed by Vicky, Anaheim Hills campus