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Grade 8 Science Teacher

Nurturing the Next Generation at Mid-Pacific

Annette Lee has been a cornerstone of the Mid-Pacific science department since 1989. Over her 35-year career, Annette has witnessed and shaped the evolution of science education, from the days of mimeograph machines to today’s AI technologies, always with a focus on her students’ engagement and growth.

“Teaching is not just about imparting knowledge, it’s about creating an environment where students can experiment, discover, and grow,” Annette reflects. Her classroom is a dynamic learning space where traditional lectures have given way to hands-on projects like designing DNA for hypothetical designer dogs or engaging with real-world issues such as climate change and genetic modification.

Annette has also played a pivotal role in integrating technology into education. “It has transformed the way we teach and learn,” she notes. From using VR to explore volcanic eruptions to bringing genetic studies to life by extracting DNA from papayas, technology has enabled her students to experience science in profound and interactive ways.

One of her many contributions is her involvement in the development of the Weinberg Tech Building, conceived over 20 years ago as a beacon for advancing STEM education. “Our vision was to integrate math and science, to use real data, and make learning as hands-on as possible,” she explains. This vision is realized every day in Mid-Pacific’s collaborative and innovative approach to education.

But for Annette, the true joy of teaching comes from the community at Mid-Pacific. “It’s like a family here,” she says warmly. “In addition to working alongside former students, I also get the opportunity to teach the children of former students!” This generational continuity, combined with the school’s supportive environment, fosters a unique educational experience that extends beyond the classroom. It’s a place where students not only learn but also build lasting relationships and a deep connection to their community.

She appreciates the moments when past students return, for parent-teacher conferences or simply to visit. “Seeing students return as confident adults, knowing that you played a part in their journey, is incredibly rewarding,” Annette shares. It’s this enduring bond, she believes, that makes Mid-Pacific a truly special place.

As Annette looks to the future, she is optimistic about the ongoing evolution of science education and its ability to equip students with the skills needed to tackle their generation’s challenges. “It’s about preparing them not just academically but as critical thinkers and problem solvers,” she asserts.

In a career marked by change and innovation, Annette Lee’s legacy at Mid-Pacific will undoubtedly be her enduring impact on generations of students — a legacy of curiosity, critical thinking, and, perhaps most importantly, the confidence to question and explore the world around them.