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Bethel coach, 4th-grade teacher, only Kansan selected for science academy

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – This summer Adrian Howie, fourth-grade teacher at South Breeze Elementary School in Newton, and Bethel College assistant women’s basketball coach, will pack his bags and head to New York City to attend the 2009 Phil Mickelson ExxonMobile Science Academy.

Approximately 6,500 teachers applied for the academy and only 100 were accepted. Howie, who lives in Maize, was the only Kansan.

Just five years after graduating from Bethel College and its teacher education program, Howie has distinguished himself as a teacher.

He’s known for holding students’ attention with technology, such as Wii, or electronic “clickers” for answering questions, but he doesn’t stop there. Howie has used costumes, makeup or whatever it takes to engage his students.

“He knows how to gain kids’ attention,” Newton USD 373 assistant superintendent Michael Clagg told The Newton Kansan. “Once he’s captured them, it’s a teachable moment.

“He’s the kind of teacher you hope your kids get sometime in their career.”

At the academy this summer, Howie anticipates learning new ways to help students understand math and science.

“I am really excited to go,” he told The Kansan. “I’m excited about the growth, to go on a national level and see what they are doing in classrooms.

“It’s a great opportunity for a local teacher to get out to the national level.”

Presenters at the five-day academy include math and science experts from the National Science Teachers Association and Math Solutions, who present fun ways to learn math and science, with the goal of helping third- through fifth-grade teachers hone their teaching skills in math and science and help them inspire their students in these subjects.

Teachers accepted to the science academy have all their expenses paid. It will take place just outside New York at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J., a leader in providing interactive science and technology education.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. For more information, see the Bethel web site at

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