Educator of the Year
Oct. 29, at the 27th Annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Celebration dinner at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, RCS teacher Mark Keeton was honored with the National Space Club – Huntsville Educator of the Year Award.
Established in 1996, the National Space Club – Huntsville Educator of the Year Award is presented to an educator who has made an outstanding contribution in kindergarten through twelfth grade in the STEM disciplines.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Keeton, describing the black tie awards dinner. “I had the honor of sitting at one of the three Lockheed Martin tables.”
Keeton, along with the rest of the attendees, got to hear from astronaut Mike Massimino – the first man to “tweet” from space. In addition to a small trophy, Keeton received a sum of money to be used for RCS Engineering’s rocketry and robotics programs.
“Buying the necessary materials to compete in rocketry and robotics competition gets very expensive, so the funds will help out greatly,” Keeton said.
Keeton teaches English as Russellville Middle School but has been heavily involved with the RCS rocket team, sponsoring the team through its success at the Team America Rocketry Challenge and the world competition in Paris, France, this past summer.
“A large part of the competitions RCS Engineering participates in deals with writing proposals, writing scripts, performance and public speaking. This is where I feel my knowledge and theatre background becomes an asset to the team,” Keeton said in a previous interview. “You could say that it’s STEM(E) education with a silent ‘E’ at the end: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (and English).”
Keeton said he is grateful for the guidance, leadership, support and help given by Lee Brownell, Joseph Cole, Tracy Burns, superintendents Rex Mayfield and Heath Grimes and all the administration, faculty and staff – past and present – at RCS.