Hononegah teacher named president-elect of Illinois Science Teaching Association


Mrs. Maggie Moore will become president of the ISTA in two years.

Hononegah Community High School teacher Mrs. Maggie Moore is a friendly and familiar face in both the school and in the community. She has been a
science teacher at HCHS since 2007 where she teaches anatomy and honors biology.

She has now expanded her impact as the president-elect of the Illinois Science Teaching Association. Being an ISTA Executive Officer is a six-year commitment. Mrs. Moore will serve two years as president-elect, then two years as president of the organization, followed by two years as immediate past president.

A highly respected teacher and leader, Moore was a finalist for Illinois Teacher of the Year in 2019 and was recognized in August 2023 by the HCHS board of education for her dedication and expanding her profession beyond the walls of the school.

At the January 17, 2024 school board meeting, HCHS principal Chad Dougherty recognized Moore for the newest leadership role.

“Mrs. Moore is a top 10 teacher in the state, and has received a Those Who
Excellence Award. This award is given to empower leaders and
teachers who believe in equal opportunity for student success and
solving problems beyond learning,” Dougherty said.

Board of Education president Dave Kurlinkus presented Moore with a certificate, accompanied by a few words of congratulations during the meeting

Moore addressed the board and the public by discussing the need to teach beyond memorization but to instead focus on problem solving and critical thinking.

“Students need to understand basic concepts, but the field of science expands so rapidly, every day that it is impossible to keep pace. Our goal is to help students be able to think logically, reason and interpret data with the goal of being scientifically literate,” Moore said.

Moore assumed her new position as ISTA president-elect in January 2024.

“The organization has allowed me to grow professional and personally,” Moore said.

At the National Science Teaching Association Conference in Chicago in 2022, Moore presented on the topic of “Teachers as Change Agents.” 

“I had the opportunity to talk to politicians about teacher shortages and I
was able to bring a larger perspective,” Moore said.

She presented on the topic of “Equity in the Science Classroom” at the Illinois State Conference in Fall 2023.

Moore is looking forward to this March where she will be part of a panel discussion on future advocacy of science education at the ISTA national
in Denver, CO.

“My involvement in the ISTA has also allowed me to meet some incredible people who work on science curriculum, both nationally and
internationally,” Moore said.

In late January 2024 Moore went to Washington DC to help with the development of an anatomy curriculum at the Howard Hughes Medical
. She will be working with a group of science teachers from around the country

“I was excited and nervous about working at such a prestigious
organization, but loved learning from my colleagues,” Moore said.

In addition to her work with the HHMI and ISTA, Moore has also been accepted into a fellowship with the Collaborative for Student Success to work with teachers from around the country to promote high quality instructional materials and professional learning for science teaching in grades K-12.

“This organization works on educational policy on a national level,” Moore said.

“Next month I will be traveling to Washington DC again for a kickoff weekend for the fellowship.” And this summer Moore is heading to Denver,
CO  to present her work at the conference for the National Network of State Teachers of the Year.

ISTA is divided into various regions of Illinois. Moore has served as regional director for ISTA Region 2, the central northern region, for the past two years. As president-elect, she shares, “I will be working with all of the regional directors and executive board on promoting events, advocating for science education and designing professional learning

“The people at ITSA are incredibly supportive and collaborative.” 

Moore has blessed and educated many students, all stemming from her own love of science and teaching, which Moore says has grown throughout her career.

“I have taught a wide range of classes in my 26 year career, including physical science, botany, zoology, forensic science, environmental science, earth science, along with several co-taught classes with
special education teachers.”

“I can honestly say that I love my job at Hononegah and the community in
which I work,” Moore said.

“I am so unbelievably fortunate to work with incredible colleagues- the best around. That is a huge reason why I continue to want to learn and grow. I also work with the best students and I mean that sincerely. They make me a better teacher and a better person... I also need to thank my administrators for being so supportive of these
initiatives and my work with these organizations.”

Beyond teaching, Moore also serves as one of the sponsors for HCHS's GAIA Club.
Through these efforts, Moore helped lead HCHS to become an “Arbor
Day Service School.”

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