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What's Up Magazine

Dimitra Neonakis

Jan 09, 2017 03:27PM ● By Cate Reynolds

Dimitra Neonakis

Wye River Upper School, Centreville

Years teaching at WRUS: 5

Currently teaching: 9th–12th grade Honors Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Ocean Science, Environmental Science, Zoology, Forensics, Dance

Proudest teaching moment: “It’s hard to separate out one single proud teaching moment. Students make me proud of them every day when they have ‘aha moments’ during experiments, in discussion, or while writing. I guess I was most proud of my group as a whole when Smithsonian facilitators told us we were one of the best groups to participate in their Q’rius programs.”

Teaching philosophy: “I believe in empowering students by gently guiding them as they make their own discoveries, learn experimental design, and craft scientific argument. I believe that science at its best is bold and creative, as neuroscientist GM Edelman so aptly puts it ‘Science is imagination in the service of the verifiable truth.”

Toughest challenge facing educators: “I think one of the toughest challenges we have is adjusting our pedagogy to meet the needs of a global, 21st century world. It means embracing technology and all types of diversity as we teach students to collaborate effectively as they work to think critically and creatively solve challenges in a rapidly changing world.”

Dimitra brings a constant zeal for any and all STEM instruction and activities at WRUS. She finds joy in sharing her passion with her students and she knows how to peak their interests in science. Dimitra has developed strong relationships with many organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution, Washington College (Chestertown), the Corsica River Conservancy, the Department of Natural Resources, The Center for Environment & Society and many more. Through these partnerships Dimitra and her students participate in unique labs, real-life hands-on science, and scientific data collection and evaluation.” —Chrissy Aull, Head of School

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