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On the Bright Side

May 24, 2014

Local teachers honored for scientific expertise

Three area teachers who have shown a passion for inspiring students have been chosen to receive the Numann Technology Center’s STEM Teacher Awards.

The Numann Media and Technology Center, which will be located in Roxbury Central School, is a partnership between the Greater Roxbury Learning Corporation, which announced the awards, and the school. The GRLC is an educational foundation whose mission is to promote education and experience in science, technology, engineering and innovation.

GRLC president Kellie Sullivan said that with the center preparing to open in August, the organization wanted to recognize teachers that have shown excellence in science, technology, engineering and math before graduations and summer vacations. She said she was hopeful that the awards will be become a yearly event.

One of recipients, Karen Underwood, is a fifth-grade teacher at Margaretville Central School, where she has worked since 1982.

“It’s absolutely fabulous,” she said about her selection. Science and math are important parts of her curriculum. “You sometimes wonder if you’ve made a difference” she said, and the recognition is confirmation she has touched children’s lives.

Fred Zimmerman, who teaches science in junior high and high school at Roxbury, was also chosen.

“I’m kind of blown away by the whole thing,” he said. Being one of the first recipients is “an amazing honor.” Zimmerman is retiring in June, at the conclusion of a 38-year career, 32 of which were at Roxbury.

He said his goal over the years has simply been to “try and do the best job” in teaching his students. The award means “some people must have noticed something,” he said.

Delaware Academy high school science teacher Mark Kline will also be honored. He could not be reached for comment Friday.

The awards will be presented May 29 starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Community Room at 2335 Bridge Street in Roxbury. More information is available at

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