On any given day you might find Lincolnton High science teacher Kathy Bosiak riding on a shopping cart through a parking lot while her husband Steve pushes her, teaching Earth Science to her students, or helping her cheerleading squad learn to do proper lifts.
Recently, however, the 13-year instructor was busy receiving an award for being an outstanding high school science educator, through District Six of the North Carolina Science Teachers Association (NCSTA.)
Winning the selection over teachers in neighboring counties also under the district’s umbrella, such as Cleveland and Gaston, Bosiak was recognized for most closely representing the NCSTA’s goal of creating innovative and creative lessons that keep her students engaged and wanting to learn more. After being nominated by a faraway friend, the area teacher was surprised when she was notified she had won the award.
“Receiving the award was just … the shock of the world to me,” Bosiak told the Times-News on Tuesday.
Bosiak began substitute teaching a few years after she re-located to the area in 1986. She subbed for about 10 years, before she was hired on full-time at Lincolnton High, where she has taught science ever since. Currently, she instructs students in Earth Science and related subjects, such as Oceanography and Astronomy, and Advanced Placement Environmental Science, among others.
Though her love of science and her students have been key factors in her enjoyment of her career choice, she took a step further and traveled to India earlier this year as part of the Teachers in Global Classrooms exchange project.
Chosen as one of 68 across the country, she spent two weeks overseas, and had the chance to teach foreign students for a few days — a completely new experience for her.
The Boston native is striving to create global leaders in her students, while utilizing the tools she learned from her time spent out of the country — an element of the school’s improvement plan it proposed recently.
Through her time spent with Indian educators, Bosiak tried to help them be more interactive in their classrooms, exposing them to more “project-based learning” plans and helping them think more creatively when it comes to teaching their students.
Senior Jasmine Robinson describes Bosiak’s teaching style as “serious but fun” with a lot of focus on hands-on learning. Bosiak credits being herself, taking a lead from students, while still sticking to the curriculum and remembering that she, too, was a kid once, as components of her success and tools of the trade she has picked up over the years.
Perhaps still a child at heart, Bosiak laughed about riding in a shopping cart down hills, while her students looked at her in awe, one asking, “Do I need to be the adult figure here?”