District 5 Director
Nominee: MaryKate Holden
Biographical Information on Nominee
MaryKate Holden is known as an energetic science educator who is involved in multiple professional activities. During her over twenty-year career, she has maintained a strong research agenda, taught science at both the collegiate and secondary levels, mentored student research, written and published multiple laboratory manuals, sponsored student science clubs, and published articles in science-based journals.
Currently MaryKate teaches at the Middle College at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she is the Science Department Chair. She also holds an adjunct faculty position at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. MaryKate has taught a myriad of biology and life science courses and believes science instruction should provide avenues for students to engage in inquiry, experimentation, and critical thinking. Her students are engaged in learner-centered, hands-on activities that encourage them to question, hypothesize, test, discuss data and critically solve problems. Her effective instructional approach fosters the development of investigative skills, generates learner curiosity, and provides opportunities for her students to develop a strong understanding of science concepts. In addition to teaching, she has mentored multiple student research projects, tutored, participated in curriculum development, and coordinated Advanced Placement science courses. In recognition of her professional excellency, MaryKate was named by her Middle College at UNCG colleagues the 2017 Teacher of the Year.
MaryKate has acted as an academic advisor for individuals seeking pre-nursing and biology majors and held the position of Academic Dean. She has also been involved in the International Center for Leadership in Education, the Lilly Conference on Teaching and Learning, and the North Carolina New Schools program. MaryKate has made presentations at both the national and regional meetings of the National Science Teachers Association, The North Carolina Science Leadership Association, and the North Carolina Science Teachers Association
MaryKate lives in Greensboro, North Carolina and regularly recruits volunteers and participates in the North Carolina Science Festival at UNCG. She holds an M.S. in biology and Genetics from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. MaryKate is a member of the North Carolina Science Teachers Association, National Science Teachers Association, AAAS, North Carolina Association of Biology Teachers, and Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society
Science is rapidly emerging as a primary societal focus. As science educators we are to help students attain their goals of college, career and life, but face several newly emerging issues. We must acknowledge the contemporary learners’ dependence on technologies, connect them to rapidly changing, accurate informational resources, illustrate how to properly select and use appropriate digital resources that validate scientific enterprise, and disconnect our learners’ personal biases toward technological sources. We must help our learners navigate between critical technology and critical thinking. We must help students to make sound decisions and good choices. We must meet our students' technology needs with resources that promote critical thinking, good science practices, and use the scientific method as a key to create cross-curricular, real-world, project-based activities that make our discipline relevant to all students. As a member of NCSTA, I have been encouraged by the organization’s energy and dedicated efforts to bring science educators together to influence the future of our discipline. If elected to this position I will try to increase the level of professional development available to our educators, with a focus on best practices in critical thinking, technology-enhanced, and project-based learning. I would love to create an organized resource bank of high quality, activity- based lessons that would be available to all North Carolina science teachers. I believe projects such as this would be invaluable to our science teachers and help to make science more relevant to and fun for our students.