Sarah Styf

Marist School 7th grade science teacher Sarah Styf has been selected by the National Association of Independent Schools to participate in its Teachers of the Future program.

As one of only 35 teachers nationwide chosen for the program, Styf will participate in a variety of initiatives that aims to strengthen learning and teaching at independent schools, as well as grow the instructors’ personal and professional leadership capacities.

The 2014-15 NAIS Teachers of the Future were selected from a pool of nominees who “exemplify creativity and innovation in the classroom, inspire academic excellence in students, and who serve as opinion leaders among their colleagues and peers,” according to a National Association of Independent Schools press release.

“You don’t want to make smartphones or any other new technology the enemy,” Styf said. “There are a lot of really cool apps out there that can be used to make the classroom fun and the lessons informative.” Styf’s frequent tweets give parents who follow her an open door to class activities and lessons.

“When I saw the criteria for the Teachers of the Future program, Sarah immediately came to mind,” said Styf’s nominator, Tricia Glidewell, Marist School dean of faculty. “From introducing her colleagues to the Kagan Method of teaching to inspiring a group to attend a Critical Thinking Conference to sharing how she uses TED talks in her classroom, she has not only been an innovator herself, but she has inspired creativity and innovation in others.”

Styf earned a BA in biology from Kalamazoo College and an MA in physics education from the University of Virginia. She began teaching seventh and eighth grade science through Marist School’s middle-school-tailored Foundations program in 2010.