Varsha Sridhar made a perfect 36 score on the ACT as a junior. The board could not honor her in June for she was the only southern student invited as one of 80 national students given the privilege to do science research at prestigious MIT. Additionally, since 2013, Varsha has been working with a professor at Samford University on a special research project. She is studying the register paper that most receipts are printed upon and the potential health impacts of that paper. She will receive many senior scholarship opportunities nationwide for her perfect score of 36.
Ryan Reardon, a beloved teacher at JCIB, is one of 213 teachers named as a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. After working at UAB for three years in coordinating molecular biology labs for Alabama high schoolers and professional development for their teacher, he then taught biology and biotechnology at the ASFA, Alabama School of Fine Arts. Then for two years, 2010 to 2012, he mentored 81 AP science teachers across Alabama, additionally providing professional development opportunities for 80 more science teachers as well as developing curriculum materials for 2500 students at their Saturday Study Sessions.
In 2012, he joined the faculty of JCIB and began teaching AP and IB geology, environmental systems and societies as well as developed a new course named, research and design and principals for biology. Dr. April Miller, coordinator of JCIB, described his teaching, helping him win this prestigious award. He had a three-day visit to Washington, D.C. last week which included a White House September 8 to receive his award with 212 other superior teachers across this nation.
Dr. Miller wrote:
"The students are not afraid to ask him questions and better, he is not worried that they will have questions--it's not just that Mr. Reardon's classroom is a safe space to ask, it is expected and required that the young people will perform like researchers themselves. The course he developed the original course, Research and Design in Lab Principals, which introduces our freshmen to the standards of research and independent thinking, along with statistics and experimental design. Having the classes bookend with Mr. Reardon helps to solidify not just their research skills, but also their critical thinking abilities."