Published on August 5th, 2022 | by University Communications


First Noyce/ACES Scholar graduates, will teach high school biology in Maine

There is a critical shortage of teachers in the United States, and especially in fields such as science, and Saint Leo continues to help fill those vacancies with our graduates.

Seeking steps to help “grow” those teachers, Saint Leo University sought funding and received a $1.2 million grant in 2021 from the National Science Foundation. This federal funding comes from the foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.

The NSF grant enabled Saint Leo to offer scholarships to biology and mathematics majors, who choose a minor in education. Those students accepted into this prestigious program are known as ACES (Awarding Career Educators in STEM) Scholars. They receive a scholarship worth more than $18,000 per year for each of the final two years of their bachelor degree programs.

In 2022, Saint Leo graduated its first Noyce Scholarship/ACES Scholar, Laela Ouellette, an alumna of Frank W. Springstead High School in Spring Hill, FL, in neighboring Hernando County.

Ouellette earned her bachelor’s in biology-general biology in May. While she hopes to earn a master’s degree in the future, for now she is focused on getting more classroom experience. She recently was hired as a science teacher for the multiple pathways program at Noble High School in Berwick, ME.

And Saint Leo University helped prepare her for a future in teaching by opportunities such as the ACES scholarship and internships.

“Through the scholarship, I was able to be debt-free for my last two years of college and work less to pay for school,” Ouellette said. “The internship really helped me to see how interesting and multifaceted teaching is. I was able to work with wonderful people and teach in a real classroom setting. Seeing the kids enjoy the lessons I created was so rewarding and helped me to confirm that I chose the right career path.”

Learn more here.


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