Featured Teacher: THOMAS VAUGHN

The Mass. Studies Project recognizes Tom Vaughn for his outstanding work in science teaching, including earth science and geology, environmental science and watershed education. He began his teaching career at Arlington as an Earth Science teacher at Arlington High School where he has remained, and at present he is department head at the Middle and High Schools, with a staff of 23. He is currently an instructor in environmental and earth sciences at Northeastern University. Workshop presentations, tutoring and mentoring are among his side activities when not teaching in the classroom, and in all educational efforts, he takes pride in representing the geographic/geoscience field to his students and audiences for the betterment of Planet Earth.

His dedication, hard work, and generous sharing of time and teaching skills set a high standard for other teachers in Massachusetts. Despite his many advanced degrees in education and science, he has continually taken courses and summer institutes to keep abreast in his field and to grow as a teacher. True to his teaching philosophy, he donates time and effort to his community of Billerica where he resides with his wife Priscilla and children Matthew 20 and Judith 17. A summary of Tom's awards and associations is listed below:

Outstanding earth science teacher in New England in 1992.

Pathfinder Award for use of Technology in the Classroom, 1993.

Tandy Award, 1996

WGBY & Texaco Master Teacher of the Year, 1996

President of the New England Section of the National Association of Geology Teachers (organized a major geology conference in Boston, spring, 1996.

Keynote speaker at Hampshire College technology professional development conference in 1998.

PALMS teacher leader in Watershed Online Institute of MSP at UMass Boston, working with team from Ottoson Middle School, Arlington (group lessons can be viewed here.) 1998-99.

1 of 3 Mass. state science teachers who won a Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Math and Science, 1999.

Outstanding BU Alumnus, 2002.

Project Image lesson on deforestation of tropical rainforest in Brazil was featured by Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Harvard University where he became asssistant director in Project Esteem.

Published articles and book chapters on integrating technology into the classroom, middle and secondary science teaching, and distance learning.

Membership in 14 professional organizations, including several in which he plays an active role, i.e. NSTA, NAGT, MAST, NESTA, ASCD, the Greater Boston Earth Science Teachers and the Mass. Geographic Alliance. As part of the MGA summer institute at Clark University's (date?) he produced the model lesson, "Why are Places Located on Cape Cod That Way?", which can be viewed on this site.