LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Catherine Duplisea

Position: STEM Model Lead Teacher/ Data Specialist
School: Orchard STEM School
School District: Cleveland Metropolitan
City, State: Cleveland, OH

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Catherine Duplisea was nominated by Marvin Menifee, a member of the community.

Ms. Duplisea has been an educator for 13 years, yet she continues to positively impact her scholars, colleagues, and the education community as a whole with a passion for returning joy and creativity to learning. In the past year, Ms. Duplisea has been recognized by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, GUND Foundation, and Cleveland Foundation for her Excellence in Teaching, as well as the State of Ohio awarding her State Board District 11 Teacher of the Year! She was also recognized as one of four finalists for the Ohio Teacher of the Year.  

Ms. Duplisea's positive energy, love for children, and burning desire to make a difference in the world are evident in her daily work as the STEM Lead Model Teacher at Orchard STEM School in Cleveland, Ohio. As a previous kindergarten teacher, Ms. Duplisea consistently fostered a learning environment of creativity, respect, and high expectations for all. Both her evaluations and student growth measures were accomplished year after year. During the 2016-2017 school year, Orchard STEM School was the recipient of Apple's ConnectED grant where every student received an iPad. Ms. Duplisea became a leader in her school, creatively using the technology to personalize instruction and collect student thought processes via digital portfolios, allowing learning to be joyous, individualized, and highly effective. This success led her to her current position of STEM Model Lead Teacher at Orchard STEM.

As the STEM Model Lead Teacher, Ms. Duplisea has the pleasure of working with every student and teacher in the building to transform learning opportunities and make learning relevant, fun, and life-changing. With a focus on STEM and technology integration, Ms. Duplisea has been an integral part of transforming learning and teaching to be more student centered, real-world based, and more creative. In the two years that Ms. Duplisea has been in her current role, Orchard STEM School's staff and students have earned STEM designation by the State of Ohio, and Apple Distinguished School status for consistently showing that learning has been augmented and reinvented through the use of technology and problem-based learning.  

Some of her current missions for positive change include incorporating coding in all grade levels from preschool to eighth grade. This includes her networking with other Apple Distinguished Schools and educators to try and bring an App development course to her middle school scholars. Duplisea speaks of the amazing life changing opportunities that this could potentially bring to Orchard scholars!  "Imagine what this could do for a student who creates and App that is a hit in the App store!  For some of our scholars, this would allow them to not worry about where their next meal is coming from, or where they are going to sleep tonight", she says. This type of innovation and outside the box thinking is what truly makes Duplisea a stand out. She loves her job, and it is evident that her passion for Cleveland's youth is at the heart and soul of her every thought and action.