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Heather Buskirk

INSTRUCTIONAL COACHHeather Buskirk

In addition to her experience teaching physics at Johnstown High School, Mrs. Buskirk was an integral part of designing and teaching at The Learning Project, the project-based learning STEM academy for Johnstown students that began in 2013.

She has led workshops on project based learning, and in her role at PTECH, Mrs. Buskirk provides support for the teachers in their use of project based learning to design and deliver curriculum.

Mrs. Buskirk earned her bachelor’s degree in astronomy and physics and her Master of Teaching with Physics Certification from the University of Virginia.

In her own words

From what do you draw inspiration in your life/teaching career?

I was a physics teacher for the Johnstown School District and used project based learning in my own classrooms. I helped design Johnstown’s Learning Project in 2013. The Learning Project is a fully integrated project based learning program for seniors in which they receive credit for math, physics, participation in government, economics and English all together through real-world project experiences.  I have been an advocate for project based learning in the district and beyond.

Why did you choose teaching, and what do you enjoy most about it?

I chose teaching when I discovered my favorite part about my major in college (astro-physics) was sharing it with others.  The further I went in the pursuit of teaching, the more I found I loved the challenges and opportunities the career offered. Teaching is far more exciting and rewarding than the research I was doing in astronomy.

Why have you chosen to work at PTECH?

I love the opportunity to really think about school from the ground up. What is really best for kids and why?

What are some of your interests outside of work?

I enjoy hiking and spending time outdoors in nature whenever possible. My husband and I have two children.

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