NCGS Teacher of the Year Award

The NCGS has occasionally granted a Teacher of the Year (TOTY) award to a local K-12 teacher who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of geoscience education.

The winner receives a cash award of $1000, and their entry is submitted in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists national and Pacific Section contests, where they are eligible to win further awards.


The TOTY Award of $1000 went to Toshimi Fujikawa (BA, UC Davis) of Arroyo High School, San Lorenzo, CA. Her NGSS-designed lessons incorporate class discussions, activities and group work to ensure the material is accessible to all students. She follows a systems approach that combines geologic, chemical, physical and biological principles. Her Geology course is a UC-approved high school course that fulfills the A-G Subject Requirement of D Laboratory Science. Her materials address the California Standards well, focusing on critical concepts that enable her students to think geologically while studying Earth systems. She continually seeks materials that increase student interest.


The TOTY Award of $1000 went to Mikko Michael Bojarskyis (MS) of Credo High School in Rohnert Park, CA. Mr. Bojarskyis’s courses combine Earth sciences with planetary science and astronomy. They include units on plate tectonics, geophysics, mineralogy, structural geology and stratigraphic geology through lectures, labs and field trips.


The TOTY Award of $750 went to Molly Shaw Deich of New Brighton Middle School in Capitola, CA


The TOTY Award of $750 went to Chung Sinn Khong of Yerba Buena High School in San Jose, CA.


The TOTY Award of $750 went to Heather Marshall of Ann Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill, CA. Ms. Marshall graduated from CSU Hayward with a B.S. in Geology and has an MS in Science Education from the University of Texas. She worked with the Energy Resources Team at the U.S. Geological Survey for two years before becoming a high school science teacher in 2001. She taught for 5 years in Texas, 3 years at Roseville High School, JUHSD, CA, and has been at Sobrato High School for the past year. She holds a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Geoscience/Earth Science and is working for a second MS, in Teachers in Geosciences, at Mississippi State. Her yearlong Geology/Earth Science course covers the spectrum from astronomy to energy & climate to geology & oceanography to weather. Her materials cover class, labs and exercises.


The TOTY Award of $750 went to Pierre de St. Croix of Harvest Park Middle School in Pleasanton, CA.


The TOTY Award of $750 went to Chaiwat Neokul of Chinese Christian School in San Leandro, CA. Mr. Neokul came highly recommended by both his school and his students. He teaches sixth grade earth science and ninth grade physical science from a curriculum including units on minerals and mineral resources. He has also been a teacher of physics. Mr. Neokul earned his B.S. in 2001 from Pensacola Christian College.


The TOTY Award of $500 went to Joan Carter of Branham High School in San Jose, CA.


The TOTY Award of $200 went to Margaret Klim of Webster Academy in Oakland, CA.


The TOTY Award of $200 went to Ursula Sexton of Green Valley Elementary School in Danville, CA.