Briana Richardson, a science teacher at Washington High School, was recently recognized as this year’s recipient of the 2021 Kishor M. Kulkarni Distinguished High School Teacher Award, presented by the American Society for Metals Materials Education Foundation and the Teacher Award Committee.
“Briana has done amazing things in materials science,” said Dr. Glenn Daehn, professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Ohio State University. “She has really risen as one of the leaders among our master teachers.”
Established in 2007, the Kishor M. Kulkarni Distinguished High School Teacher Award recognizes the accomplishments of one high school science teacher who has demonstrated a significant and sustained impact on pre-college age.
“Briana brought the materials science program to Washington High School, and she puts it into a form that resonates with her students,” said Dr. Daehn, who serves as the immediate past chair of the foundation.
The award is presented for sustained commitment to excellence in teaching science, STEM education outreaching, and promoting materials science, leading to significant impacts on the lives and careers of high school students.
Dr. Daehn encouraged students present during the recognition to explore career opportunities in the field and explained, “it’s really important that the United States have the next generation of people to go into these great jobs, ranging all the way from career tech like welding, to PHD Materials Scientists, and the whole spectrum,”
In addition to teaching materials science, Richardson also teaches physical science, chemistry, and physics at WHS.
Following the pandemic year (2020) when nominations for this award were put on hold, Dr. Kulkarni decided to give two awards this year. Scott Sphohler of the Global Impact STEM Academy was the other recipient of the prestigious award.
“I have had the privilege and good fortune to work with both Briana and Scott on numerous occasions. Their commitment and dedication to the teaching of others is inspiring. I have witnessed them interacting with students and teachers and it is obvious Scott and Briana are truly master teachers,” said Debbie Goodwin, Senior Master Teacher of ASM Materials Camp-Teachers.
In addition to teaching these skills to local students, Richardson is also very active in the foundation, running first year and second year camps for fellow materials science educators.
“Scott and Briana are a remarkable team of Master Teachers who took the lead for our Advanced ‘Year 2’ Teachers Camps both in-person in Ann Arbor in 2019 and virtually in 2020 and 2021,” said Peg Jones, FASM, a trustee of the ASM Materials Education Foundation and volunteer for the ASM Materials Camp.
The Kishor M. Kulkarni Distinguished High School Teacher Award is typically presented at the ASM annual event in the fall; however, this year’s conference was cancelled due to COVID-19.
“We are so blessed to have Ms. Richardson as a part of our team to engage, inspire, and grow with our students each and every day, making a difference in the education of our community,” said Dr. Tom Bailey, Washington Court House City Schools Superintendent.