Sandia Labs News Releases

California educators win Sandia Excellence in Teaching awards

LIVERMORE, Calif.— Sandia National Laboratories’ Livermore, Calif., site presented two local teachers with Excellence in Teaching Awards at the regular meeting of the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District’s Board of Education on Dec. 10. Terry Greenaway, a science specialist at Jackson Avenue Elementary School, and Kathy Hallenbeck, a chemistry teacher at Livermore High School (LHS), each received a $500 award.

From left to right: Stephanie Beasly, community relations officer at Sandia’s California site; Terry Greenaway, Jackson Avenue Elementary School science specialist; Kathy Hallenbeck, Livermore High School chemistry teacher; and Vicki Schellenberger, president of the Livermore Valley Education Foundation (LVEF). (Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

“The purpose of the Excellence in Teaching Award is to recognize teachers who foster a love of math, science and technology in their students,” said Stephanie Beasly, community relations officer for Sandia’s California site. “The STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and math – are vital to Sandia’s mission and our nation as a whole.”

In his nomination form, Greenaway is described as “more than a science teacher … a mentor and friend to not only his students, but parents and faculty as well. He does so much more than what is asked of him on a daily basis, and … he inspires our students to pursue science in their daily lives.” In addition to his regular science classes at Jackson, Greenaway also spends time outside of regular school hours developing curricula, helping students with science fair experiments and leading telescope viewings of celestial events.

Greenaway has taught science at Jackson for the last nine years and has more than 20 years of experience teaching biology, chemistry, earth science and physical science to students in high school, middle school and elementary school. To increase his knowledge of current scientific developments, Greenaway has completed summer internships at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, Life Technologies and Applied Materials through the Industry Initiatives in Science and Math Education program.

In her nomination form, Hallenbeck is described as “a tireless champion for her students and the rock upon which [LHS’s] high-achieving chemistry department was built.” She holds many study sessions for the Advanced Placement Chemistry exam outside of the regular class time, resulting in high scores for her students on this challenging test.

Hallenbeck also organizes educational activities to take the students outside the four walls of the classroom. These activities have included planting acorns and helping park rangers maintain hiking trails in a local park. Hallenbeck is also active with Get Set, an extracurricular enrichment program for local high school girls with interests in math, science, technology and engineering.

In 2007, Sandia established an endowment with the Livermore Valley Education Foundation (LVEF) to fund the Excellence in Teaching Award, which is given to two outstanding teachers each December. Principals and staff members can nominate teachers for the award, and parents and students are encouraged to submit suggestions to site principals. Selection is then made by a committee that includes representatives from LVEF, the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District and Sandia.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies and economic competitiveness.

Sandia news media contact: Patti Koning,, (925)-294-4911