Log in

National Science Education Leadership Association

Log in

Outstanding Leadership in Science Education Award (OLISE)


This prestigious award recognizes and honors an NSELA member, who through their professional work, has demonstrated outstanding leadership in science education at the school, district, county, regional, and/or national level.

The award is presented at the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA) luncheon held at the annual NSELA Leadership Summit.  The award is accompanied by a check for $1,000 and a plaque.

Application Window

The application window is for the 2024 is closed. The winner will be announced in Late January or Early February of 2024.  Please review the criteria below and when ready, submit your materials (in PDF). 


Only current NSELA members are eligible to be nominated for this award. The applicant must be nominated by a current NSELA member. Leaders at the K-12 level, college or university faculty, and science education consultants may apply. Applicants must demonstrate leadership that impacts K-12 students and science teachers. Current NSELA Board members are not eligible during their term of office.

As the nominee, it is your responsibility to assemble these application requirements before submitting them. 

Award Selection Criteria

Outstanding contributions and/or accomplishments in leadership for science education are the main selection criteria. These may include:

  • unique or extraordinary leadership accomplishments, such as impressive data-based results in managing science education reform or improvement projects;
  • effective leadership of a significant organization, committee or group significantly involved in science education reform or improvement;
  • significant contributions in research on science education leadership that supports or suggests more effective leadership strategies and/or models;
  • a series of substantial contributions to science education leadership;
  • significant contributions over a long period of time; and/or
  • overall high quality level of contributions over time

Submission Requirements

The nominator should submit a letter limited to no more than two pages briefly describing the nominee and his/her qualifications for this award. Nominator information needs to include name, position/title, email, work and home phone numbers, and work and home addresses. The nominator also needs to state how he/she is professionally knowledgeable about the nominee's qualifications.

The nominator should inform the nominee that it is the nominee's responsibility to assemble an application packet that includes the following items. As the nominee, it is your responsibility to assemble these application requirements before submitting.

  1. The nominator's letter that summarizes the nominee's qualifications for this award.
  2. A curriculum vita or résumé (not more than 3 pages) that directly or indirectly supports the award selection criteria. The vita should include: name, position/title, email, mobile phone number and home address. The vita should document the candidate's educational record of earned degrees, dates and field of study plus any additional education that enhances their science leadership record; any professional memberships and positions in/contributions to those organizations; special awards or other forms of professional recognition; presentations related to science education; safety planning and implementation; publications related to science education (optional); and any prior work experience that demonstrates exemplary leadership in science education.
  3. Evidence of leadership in science education that is no more than three pages in length that provides specific examples of leadership philosophy and major accomplishments. This may include work at previous positions that demonstrates exemplary science education leadership. Please refer to the above Award Selection Criteria in preparing this section.
  4. Three (3) letters of recommendation that substantiate the nominee's exemplary science education leadership accomplishments with specific examples. One letter of support must be from a superintendent or immediate supervisor and one letter from a subordinate unless the nominee is a science education consultant.
  5. Name, address, and website of the nominee's local newspaper.

The complete application packet will be submitted online and uploaded as PDF files. All submitted items become the property of NSELA and will not be returned. Any late or faxed materials will not be accepted.


Please contact Awards Chair Rebecca Hite, Awards Chair

Current Awardee:

2024: Mary Starr, MI

Learn More About THe Recipeient

Past Awardees:

2023: Kenneth Huff, NY
2022: Christine Anne Royce, PA
2021: Meredith Bell, TX
2020: Joyce Baldridge Tugel, NH

2019: Mary Margaret Welch, WA
2018: Chris Schaben, NE
2017 Sara Torres, AZ
2016 Cathi Cox-Boniol, LA
2015 Kathy DiRanna, CA
2014 Joanne Vasquez, AZ
2013 Page Keeley, ME
2012 Robert Yager, IA
2011 Jason Painter, NC
2010 Thomas T. Peters, SC

2009 Sandra West, TX
2008 Nancy Kellogg, CO
2007 Marjorie King, LA
2006 Jack Rhoton, TN
2005 Kenn Heydrick, TX
2004 Jean May-Brett, LA
2003 Kenneth Roy, CT
2002 Pam T. Henson, AL
2001 Gerard Putz, MI
2000 Pat Shane, NC

1999 Kathleen Sparrow, OH
1998 LaMoine L. Motz, MI
1997 Tom Fangman, NJ
1996 Susan Cory, TX
1995 Thomasena Woods, VA
1994 Larry Small, IL
1993 Susan Sprague, AZ
1992 Dallas Maddron, FL
1991 Merik Aaron, NY
1990 Ron Converse, TX

1989 Jeane Dughi, VA
1988 Garland Johnson, CA
1987 Gerry Madrazo, NC
1986 Charles Beehler, PA
1985 Gabrielle Edward, NY
1984 Joseph G. Krajkovich, NJ
1983 Leroy Lee, WI
1982 Jerry Resnick, NY
1981 Charles Hardy, WA
1980 Francis X. Finigan, MA

1979 Harold Pratt, CO

Call Us: 816 866-7352 / 816 86 NSELA

Email Us:

152 Oak Hills Drive, Mabank, Texas 75156

Lead the way in science innovation! Subscribe to NSELA's mailing list for exclusive updates on cutting-edge STEM advancements. 


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software