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Lopez School Educator Named Arizona Novice Science Teacher of the Year

Irene Lopez School Science Educator Caroline Estrada Carlson has been named the Arizona Science Teachers Association (ASTA) Novice Science Teacher of the Year.

The science educators organization honored Carlson during their annual conference last month.

Mrs. Carlson

“This is incredibly unexpected but I couldn’t be more appreciative,” Carlson said. “My goal as an educator is to break down the gender and minority gaps in science career fields and I’m hoping this is an example of what can happen if you believe in yourself.”

Though Carlson has only been teaching at Lopez School since 2016, she’s been actively involved with changing the culture of the campus for both her colleagues and students since day one.
Mrs. Carlson's classroom

“Caroline is a leader in the classroom and on campus. Her dedication to STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] education and providing equitable learning opportunities to every student that enters her classroom is inspiring,” Irene Lopez School Principal Megan Gestson said.

For the future, Carlson plans to focus on the development of culturally relevant pedagogy, promoting STEM education and furthering her craft through professional development.

“My success derives from my students’ achievements,” Carlson said. “Although it’s nice to receive recognition, it would mean nothing to me if I didn’t have 105 students entering my classroom every day ready to learn.”

Mrs. Carlson