Maureen Pollitz recognized for her selection to prestigious nationwide board
During last night’s meeting of the Picayune School Board of Trustees, Nicholson Elementary Gifted Teacher Ms. Maureen Pollitz was recognized for her selection to a prestigious nationwide board. Pollitz, who has been with the school district for 18 years, has been chosen by Samsung as one of nine teachers to serve on a nationwide teacher advisory board for STEM teachers.
In 2015, Pollitz (pictured standing) won a Samsung Solve for Tomorrow grant for the district for $137,000 worth of technology. The competition for the grant challenges 6th – 12th grade U.S. public school teachers to submit ideas for how their students can use STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to solve problems in their communities.
“There has been a high turnover of STEM teachers and that has been very prevalent in the south and Mississippi is on that list,” Pollitz shared. “Teachers are leaving (teaching STEM) and Samsung wants to do something about it.”
Pollitz explained, “Samsung’s goal is to keep those quality teachers in the STEM program so we can have STEM in our future. They brought us together to see if we could brainstorm and come up with a solution. It is a two-year commitment and I’m honored to be part of their advisory board because STEM is my passion and we need to give a wonderful STEM education to our children because this is where we will succeed in this world.”
Pollitz said she has been to Samsung already for a brainstorming session to decide if mentorship, collaboration, or professional development. She said at this point, all ideas are still in the planning stage and they are working toward helping these STEM teachers and keeping in the district.
Also during last night’s meeting, the district accepted two grants from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation in the amounts of $ 8,400 for South Side Upper Elementary and $17,850 for Nicholson Elementary for the purchase of Chromebooks. A Chromebook is a laptop designed to run Google's Chrome OS (operating system) and runs applications that are cloud-based versus running resident on the computer. They are known for their speed and intuitive nature for users.