The award honors teachers who inspire students to pursue a degree or career in the STEM field. Students Keeley Alexander, Sarah Craft, Jackson Eisenhauer and Srushti Untawale nominated Farrar for the accolade.
“I am in awe both for having students who think so highly of me but also because, as a junior high student, I was inspired by Christa McAuliffe,” Farrar said.
The educators were recognized in honor of McAuliffe and the six other space shuttle Challenger astronauts who died 32 years ago.
Craft, who plans to study biomedical engineering in college, said Farrar inspires her through her focus on learning and not memorization. “Dr. Farrar cares about all of her students’ ability to thrive in her classroom, and challenges them to perform at their highest level,” she said. “Her love for all things science is obviously apparent in her teaching, and it engages and motivates the class to love science just as much.”
Farrar said students are the reason she loves her job.
“They hold themselves to a higher standard and give 100 percent, and I never want to let them down by giving less than my all,” she said. “All I do is listen to what they are interested in, what they are passionate about, and then find ways to encourage them to follow that path. When they find themselves in the dark, I will give them a flashlight and a map but not an escort.”