Teacher Feature: Cascade Middle School’s Lynn Nelson

Lynn Nelson receiving her award
Lynn Nelson teaches with her heart, even when it’s so full that it might break. Lynn’s students have complex life stories and she helps guide them to find their happy ending within her enriched STEM learning environment. Like many students Lynn’s childhood was tough; growing up wasn’t easy. Lynn was the first person in her family to graduate from college. It took 20 years to earn her first two year degree. Lynn was successful because she persevered and because she had caring teachers. It wasn’t an accident that Lynn earned a Masters in Teaching and why she became a teacher; it was her time to give back.

Lynn’s science classroom is challenging and unique. She engages students via amusing science music videos, visual-spatial skill work and real-world experiences like raising Bettas. This is not your mother’s science lab; it’s an engineering paradise. Lynn is part of the grant nPower Girls. Through the grant best practices in STEM education are learned and applied. Lynn’s focus is on inspiring girls to consider STEM careers and supporting disadvantaged youth. She conducts action research to inform her teaching.

Lynn knows that students need doors opened for them. She is helping to develop the 2017 nPower Girls summer camp. She mentored girls so they could attend summer camps at a university and Mt. St. Helens. Lynn assisted hundreds of students to apply for Washington State Promise College Scholarships. She won a Target contest and took an entire 7th grade to the Oregon Zoo. On a trip to OMSI the highlight of the trip was not on the earthquake machine, but on riding the escalator; for some students that was a first. Lynn is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by educating the whole child and expanding their world. Motto: “Good teaching is good teaching.”


Our Teacher Feature highlights the outstanding work of those teachers in the southwest Washington region who were nominated for the honor of Teacher of the Year.