Burnsville High School science teacher Jenny Hugstad-Vaa recently received two recognitions for mentoring students and teaching STEM education.
She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Minnesota Academy of Science during the Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) in Minneapolis in March and also one from the Twin Cities Minnesota Regional Science and Engineering Fair at the University of Minnesota in February.
Hugstad-Vaa has been actively engaged in the science field throughout her career at Burnsville High School. In 1990, she launched research competition at the high school and has had over 70 students compete in science fairs at the international level. In 2001, she was chosen to be a representative for the United States to speak at the International Conference on HIV/AIDS in Paris. She received the “Mentor Teacher of the Year” award from the Minnesota Academy of Science in 2005 and began the Advanced Placement Environmental program (APES) at the high school in 2006.
In addition to teaching, Hugstad-Vaa has been heavily involved with a variety of extracurricular activities, including science quiz bowl, science club, green team, coloring club and science fair. She has also coached track and field and gymnastics.
With many accolades behind her, Hugstad-Vaa plans to retire at the end of the 2016-17 school year. She looks forward to traveling, reading and spending time with her grandchildren.