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T.J. Harris Upper Elementary Science Teacher Pearlie Walker Earns Shell Urban Science Educator Development Award back button

Pearlie Walker, T.J. Harris Upper Elementary School Science Teacher

Shell Oil Company and the National Science Teachers Association recently announced the recipients of the annual Shell Urban Science Educator Development Award. The awardees (listed below) were honored at a special banquet and ceremony at the NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Nashville, Tenn.

Shell Urban Science Educator Development Awardees:

• Olukayode Banmeke, science teacher, Duval High School, Lanham, Md.

• Aja Brown, science teacher, P.S. 214 Lorraine Hansberry Academy, Bronx, N.Y.

• Paul Orbe, science teacher, Academy for Enrichment and Advancement, Union City, N.J.

• Vanessa Perez, science teacher, Sul Ross Middle School, San Antonio, Texas

• Elena Reyes Lovins, science teacher, Amboy Elementary School, Sherwood, Ark.

• Sarah Tazghini, science teacher, Khalil Gibran International Academy, Brooklyn, N.Y.

• Pearlie Walker, science teacher, T.J. Harris Upper Elementary School, Meridian, Miss.

“Diverse science teachers serving in challenging environments must receive professional development to engage all students in inquiry based and hands on activities,” said Frazier Wilson, VP Shell Oil Company Foundation and Manager of Social Investment. “Our investment in their development will also create a pipeline for their participation in science leadership initiatives while strengthening recruitment and retention of technical and inventive talent from underrepresented groups that will help solve the complex problems of today’s world and its future.”

Created for K–12 classroom science teachers in urban settings, the Shell Urban Science Educator Development Award is designed to help strengthen quality science teaching and enhance teacher content knowledge.

“Each of these awardees has conveyed a desire to develop their skills as teachers so that they can better foster their students’ interest in science,” said NSTA President Carolyn Hayes. “We are very proud of this year’s award winners and are grateful for their commitment to science education and to their students.”

Each of the teachers received $1800 to be used to attend the national conference. While there, they attended a variety of workshops and presentations specifically geared towards urban science teachers.

“We are so proud of Ms. Walker for earning this tremendous accomplishment and award,” said Dr. Amy Carter, MPSD Superintendent. “Ms. Walker was one of seven chosen from across the nation for exemplary teaching in the field of Science, and her accomplishments go to show that the Meridian Public School District has some of the best teachers in the state and in the nation.”

About NSTA: The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA),, is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership includes more than 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.

About Shell Oil Company: Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with 93,000 employees in more than 90 countries. In the U.S., Shell operates in 50 states and employs nearly 20,000 people working to help tackle the challenges of the new energy future. Shell Oil Company is a leading oil and gas producer in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, a recognized pioneer in oil and gas exploration and production technology, and one of America’s leading oil and natural gas producers, gasoline and natural gas marketers, and petrochemical manufacturers.

About Meridian Public School District: The Meridian Public School District prepares all students in a parent and community partnership to be literate, self-directed learners with the confidence and character to compete in a complex and ever-changing world. MPSD serves six thousand students on 13 school campuses. For more information, please visit us on the web at

1019 25th Ave | Meridian, MS 39301 | PH: 601-483-6271