Alumna Educator Selected for NSF Grant Study

School of Education selects Deborah Siebern-Dennis to receive Alumni Award
Deborah Siebern-Dennis
Deborah Siebern-Dennis (B.A. '05)
Teacher, Bode Middle School

Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni with an awards celebration. In 2019, UMKC School of Education is honoring Deborah Siebern-Dennis (B.A. ’05) with their Alumni Achievement Award.

As a seventh-grade science teacher at Bode Middle School in St. Joseph, Missouri, Siebern-Dennis is known for her engaging lessons, understanding of students’ needs and passion for learning. She is currently one of 45 middle school science teachers from across the U.S. selected to participate in a two-year teaching and learning project funded by the National Science Foundation. The project will emphasize disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts. She sat down with us to share the scoop on teaching.

What are the benefits of teaching middle school students?

I absolutely love middle school students because they are at the age where they are just starting to expand their perspectives and learn about the world. It is in middle school that they start to use the information they have been given to form their own ideas about the environment around them.

What are the challenges?

Technology is changing our world more and more every day. It creates challenges for us because we have to constantly learn and try to stay caught up, which is no easy task.

What advice do you have for UMKC students who’d like to follow in your footsteps?

Never lose that spark that you had when you started teaching. Teaching, like many careers, will always have ups and downs. When you wake up every day remind yourself that your goal is to make a positive difference in the world no matter what and keep your focus on that at all times.

About the Alumni Awards

Siebern-Dennis will be honored at the 2019 UMKC Alumni Awards on March 15. Proceeds from the event will support student scholarships. In the last decade, the Alumni Awards events have raised more than $1 million in scholarships and immediate aid for students.

Published: Jan 25, 2019

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