supporting Cambridge public school students

Kris Newton, CRLS Science Teacher and Science Olympiad Coach, Receives Kenneth S. Neal Award from CSV

Kris Newton receiving her award from Laura Margosian, Director of High School Programs

Kris Newton began her teaching career 23 years ago at CRLS. She serves as Physics Teacher and Instructional coach for her colleagues. Past her modest demeanor, Kris possesses an extensive background of accomplishments. Kris holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, a M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a certificate of School Administration from Cambridge College. She’s been instrumental in contributing to CRLS physics curriculum development and collaborates on assessment and standards committees. Kris teaches upper level honors and AP Physics, as well as ninth-grade multidisciplinary science. Her merits don’t stop there, as she mentors Harvard education student interns, leads a wide range of teacher workshops and has presented at the annual National Science Teachers Association.

Kris’ responsibilities far surpass her school time duties, as she devotes long hours after school as CRLS Science Team and Olympiad Coach. Her legacy at the helm of the Science Team dates back almost 20 years. CSV is also celebrating 15 years of formal partnership with the Science Olympiad team: recruiting, training, and matching scientists and engineers to mentor students in all areas of science. The volunteers prepare students to put their best effort into the statewide competition. Kris is essential to this thriving partnership and each year supervises 15-20 dedicated volunteers who advise students competing in 25 science events. She shepherds multiple moving parts with impeccable organization and ease.

In 1999, when CSV formally partnered with the team, Kris also served as the Science Olympiad state director. On the heels of CRLS winning the state championship that year, Kris gave birth to her first son. Being an avid and devoted science coach, Kris was determined to stand by her team. She attended the Chicago national competition with her newborn infant and husband in tow.

Kris’ coaching skills have energized the team. This past March, CRLS ranked ninth in the state out of 45 high schools, one of only four urban public high schools at the competition. The team also celebrated ranking in the top ten in seven of the individual events.

CSV programs could not run without dedicated CPS teachers like Kris Newton. Her exemplary commitment to education, the science team and to CSV, make our partnership a momentous success.

It’s simply a perfect formula when science volunteers meet Kris. Immediately they talk shop and jump right in. When their long hours of trouble-shooting pay off, and experiments produce results, from behind the scenes you can see Kris light up the room. This dynamic passion for science education enriches her students and volunteers.

This school year, Kris provided a specialized science training workshop for CSV volunteers. Her comprehensive training provided science tutors with exceptional development and best practices to enhance their service.

Moreover, Kris thanks her volunteers with a unique personal touch – she gives each mentor thank-you jars of her own homemade salsa and jam. She also coordinates a year-end celebratory supper bringing students and volunteers together.

Finally, in her down time when Kris is not baking or assisting power yoga classes, she’s a mother of two and has contributed to numerous academic publications. Kris exemplifies the ideal of a science teacher who draws students into a community of scientists and engineers. We are delighted to honor her with a 2014 Kenneth S. Neal award.