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Teacher Honored by Geological Societies

March 27, 2000|NANCY FORREST

Cindy Williams says teaching children is her greatest passion. Now that passion is being rewarded.

Williams has been named Ventura County Earth Science Teacher of the Year by the Coast and San Joaquin geological societies.

The two societies presented Williams, who teaches at Lincoln Elementary School in Ventura, with the award and a $500 prize during their monthly dinner meeting last week.

"I love kids," Williams said. "I've always wanted to be a teacher."

Williams, who has taught at Lincoln since 1997, blends geology with other science subjects to make education more interesting. She also integrates art, history, mathematics and archeology into her science lessons.

"The fact that my husband is a geologist means that I have the knowledge from firsthand experience," Williams said. "He has the academic knowledge and I have the ability to translate that for the classroom and bring it to the kids."

She and her students will travel to the USC-affiliated Catalina Island Marine Institute this week to study oceanography and learn more about the geology and dynamics of the ocean floor. She gave her students an overview of the Channel Islands to prepare them for their trip.

Williams said that when a teacher is enthusiastic, students become enthusiastic about learning. She uses everyday items, such as water, cornstarch and Epsom salts, to illustrate scientific principles, she said.

Williams was selected to receive the award based on two letters of recommendation from colleagues and an application that detailed areas she has taught in earth science. She was selected from among elementary, middle and high school teachers countywide.

She and her husband, John, have three children, ages 12, 14 and 17. She received a bachelor's degree in education and a teacher's credential from Chapman University.

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