2021 California Science Education Conference

Administrator Leadership Award: Sharon Matsuzaki

Sharon Matsuzaki

What lessons in leadership have you learned from your involvement in the NGSS Early Implementation Initiative?
One of the most impactful lessons I’ve learned from my involvement in the Early Implementation Initiative has been the power of educating administrators in instructional practices and building their understanding of the standards. As a member of the administrator leadership team I have benefitted from many high-quality professional development opportunities which allowed me to increase my science content knowledge as well as my leadership and presentation skills. Our district’s participation in the initiative has led to administrator training in other content areas beyond science. Having administrators presenting to other administrators has been invaluable in the implementation of change throughout our district.

Why are you passionate about science education?
I am passionate about science education because I see the power of science instruction. Through the exploration of phenomena students are able to think critically, engage in rigorous discourse, and use skills from every content area to show what they know. Science engages all students, allows students to explore phenomena, requires them to develop explanations, provides opportunities for students to deepen their understanding and elaborate on their ideas, and finally provides opportunities for students to review and reflect on their own learning! Science allows students to extend their view of the world.

What does this award mean to you?
It is an honor to receive this recognition for administrator leadership. I have had the pleasure of working with amazing individuals who have been mentors and provided support and been examples of how to be an effective leader and administrator. It has been a privilege to work with and learn from Kathy DiRanna, Rita Starnes, BradSchleder and the other district administrators and leaders in the implementation of NGSS. It’s also gratifying to see our work recognized in my district and beyond.

What is one piece of advice you have for someone who is new to a leadership role in science education?
Start small, make a plan with short term and long term goals, and build the capacity of others.


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