The Washington Science Teacher Association named Rochester Middle School teacher Pete Duranceau this year’s Science Teacher of the Year for Middle School Education.
Duranceau has taught science for 30 years. He pursued the teaching profession because he was interested in having an impact on people and making a difference.
“Pete is passionate about kids and science, in that order,” says Rochester Middle School Principal Will Maus. “He regularly, visibly, gets goosebumps in my office talking about student success in science. He’s the most caring science teacher I’ve known.”
Duranceau is focused on learning, for both fellow teachers and students. He is his school’s instructional teacher leader for science. He leads his peers through goal setting and attainment, data reviews, lesson planning, and the curriculum review process. If one of his students misses an assignment or scores low on a test, Duranceau sees it as an opportunity for that student to improve, learn more, retain better, and become more proficient at science.
“I love my job,” says Duranceau. “In my class, students bring ideas and make decisions. I care, I listen, and we learn together. I’m not going to leave anybody behind.”
The state award comes with an unrestricted $500 honorarium. Duranceau hasn’t decided how he will spend that money yet, but he would like to use it to support his after-school robotics club, which had teams that placed first and second in the Centralia College tournament last spring.
Duranceau will be honored at the 2016 National Science Teachers Association Conference in Portland, Oregon, November 10–12.