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The Hall's 2015 Massachusetts STEM Teacher of the Year finalists selected

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon's Massachusetts STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Teacher of the Year Committee has announced its five finalists for the 2015 Massachusetts STEM Teacher of the Year award.

The finalists are Ann Butler from Franklin High School, Gary Garber from Boston University Academy, Diane McDonough from John J. Ahern Middle School in Foxborough, Kerry Murphy from Oliver Ames Middle School in Easton, and Maureen Parker from Locke Middle School in Billerica.

Those candidates will be interviewed by the committee after which a winner will be announced and then honored at the 2015 Massachusetts STEM Summit in the fall. The winner's school will also be awarded $5,000 to be used for STEM education.

"We had an impressive pool of applicants again this year," said Hall Executive Director Bryan Morry. "It is always difficult to narrow the pool down to a group of five finalists, which is a testament to the teachers nominated. For someone to believe a teacher is worthy of this award is an honor in and of itself. We are proud that we will honor a Massachusetts STEM teacher for the third straight year. "

About the finalists (listed alphabetically):

Ann Butler has been teaching for 10 years, including the last five at Franklin High School where she teaches Advanced Placement biology, chemistry and bioengineering. She has independently developed a lab-based course in bioengineering and partnered with a local company to provide students with authentic lab experiences. She established a STEM speaker series called Sci Café, which brings STEM professionals and students together for pizza and informal conversation. She also established a Franklin Family Science Night in March of 2015 and she will run a Biotech Bootcamp this summer for middle school students.

Gary Garber has been teaching for 20 years with the last 16 coming at Boston University Academy where he teachers ninth grade physics, 10th grade engineering, 11th grade STEM seminar and 12th grade science research. He is the president of the New England Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers and director of the Massachusetts Physics Olympics. He was the 2015 recipient of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation Educator Achievement Award.

Diane McDonough has been teaching in Massachusetts for 13 years and currently teaches sixth grade math and science at Foxborough's Ahern Middle School. She co-founded her school's robotics program and LEGO League competitive team. She also is a STEM instructor at Milton Academy's Saturday program for gifted and talented students in grades 4-8. She was the 2013 Norfolk County Teacher of the Year.

Kerry Murphy has been teaching in Massachusetts for 15 years and at Oliver Ames in Easton for the past five years. She teaches algebra, geometry and statistics to students in grades 9-12. She is a former software programmer and industrial engineer that brings her professional expertise to her classroom. She is the co-advisor for the Oliver Ames math team and the co-chair of the Easton STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) Education Team.

Maureen Parker has been teaching eighth grade science at Locke Middle School in Billerica for 14 years. She is a past finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and for the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year. She worked in the science industry for 16 years before becoming a teacher and that experience has helped her bring interactive lessons to her classroom.

The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon awarded its first Massachusetts STEM Teacher of the Year in 2013. The inaugural winner was Kelly Powers, a computer science teacher from the Advanced Math & Science Academy Charter School in Marlborough. The 2014 winner was Natick High School's Doug Scott. In addition to the $5,000 awarded to the winner's school, Raytheon will award the other four finalists' schools with $1,000 each.

The Hall and Raytheon partner to promote STEM education. The Hall will host more than 18,000 school visitors on field trips in the 2014-2015 school year, during which students engage in hands-on STEM modules.

About The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon
The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon is the crown jewel of Patriot Place and the only sports and education experience of its kind. Through a dazzling array of interactive multimedia exhibits and artifacts never before viewable by the public, The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon showcases the tradition of the New England Patriots, explores the history of football in New England, and promotes math and science education for the thousands of schoolchildren expected to visit each year. For more information, please visit www.thehallatpatriotplace.com.

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