Justice High School Teacher Receives Award From National Science Teaching Association

By Office of Communications
Employee News
March 21, 2024

Kirsten Salonga, an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) environmental science and biology teacher at Justice High School, has been named one of six winners of the National Science Teaching Association’s (NSTA) 2023 Robert E. Yager Exemplary Teaching Award

Salonga is passionate about representation and experimentation. As a 2019-20 Fulbright Scholar, she continues to utilize her experiences teaching English at Universidad Nacional in Bogota, Colombia, to create and implement content that is accessible and rigorous. 

As the recipient of an Educate Fairfax grant, she implemented “Hydroponics in Action!” in her classes; bringing science to life as students created their own models of photosynthesis while participating in project-based learning. 

Her classes are a unique mixture of scientific content and English language development, and she has created much of the ESOL Environmental Science and ESOL Biology curriculum that many teachers in Fairfax County Public Schools use today.

The Robert E. Yager Exemplary Teaching Award recognizes full-time K–12 teachers of science who successfully use innovation and excellence in their classrooms. Those chosen are teachers who share Yager’s passion for education and continued professional development. The award also honors Yager’s effort to make excellent science education accessible to students of the 21st century and beyond.

As a winner, Salonga received a plaque, $1,000 toward expenses to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education, and $1,000. She will be honored during a special celebration at the national conference.