Celia Dozier, the biomedical science teacher from the Career Technical Educational Center (CTEC), was recently honored by the Shelby County Board of Education and the Shelby County Schools Education Foundation as the 2020 High School Teacher of the Year.
Dozier has been teaching in Shelby County for three years. She taught biology and forensics at Helena High School for two years before becoming the biomedical science teacher at CTEC this school year.
She serves as the HOSA (Future Health Professionals) advisor and as a Summer School ACCESS teacher. She also serves on the school’s budget committee and instructional leadership team. Each summer, she creates and teaches a science curriculum at Samford University through Gear Up to students from the Birmingham City School District. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has also volunteered as a tutor for virtual students in inner-city schools.
Dozier said it is her goal to ensure that every lesson planned is intentional and purposeful. By doing this, she intentionally caters to all learning styles and keeps students engaged.
“I try to take my students on a journey through the material so that all of the information is connected and can be applied beyond a summative assessment,” Dozier said.
“One of the best aspects of my job is that students can truly explore the wonders of science and I am able to make it real world,” she added. “As a result, they enjoy playing a role as a geneticist and this curiosity excites them to further explore the content and career opportunities in science.”
One such lesson involved the students studying about genetic disorders that occur because of errors during meiosis. The students previously completed activities during class that worked toward familiarization with scientific vocabulary, specifically regarding genetics terminology relating to chromosomal mutations. They also began conducting research on a genetic disorder of their choosing in order to deepen their understanding of this topic.
“For this lesson, the students were given a ChromoScan case study board that included chromosome decals, an ASIM activity called ‘Disorder Detectives’. Their goal was to play the role of a cytogeneticist and place each chromosome on their board to produce their patient’s karyotype,” Dozier said. “As they moved through the lesson, they had to answer questions about the patient, identify which, if any, chromosomal anomalies were present, and record this on their patients data chart. After recording their information, they used their diagnosis table to interpret which disorder resulted from their chromosomal anomaly. The students were assessed by their ability to accurately read their ChromoScan board and correctly diagnose their patient.”
After researching a well-known STEM curriculum to teach Biomedical Science, Dozier felt that the program had some disadvantages. After getting the blessing from her principal and the Career Technical Education supervisor, Dozier set out to develop her own curriculum. She researched several different programs that could be incorporated into curriculum.
“Although it has had challenges due to COVID-19, it has been wonderful to write my own program and meet the needs of the students I serve.” she said. “I believe that I have still provided my students with the same, if not better opportunity to learn and be career-ready in Biomedical Science as I am able to tailor my curriculum to their needs and expectations.”
School Teacher of the Year Winners – High School Level
Calera High – Tamika Whitt-Wright
Chelsea High – Ashley Stuckey
Helena High – Anita Lewis
Montevallo High – Jessica Gothard
New Direction – Mary E. Woolard
Oak Mountain High – Danny DuBose
Shelby County High – Marisol Lilly
Vincent Middle High – CSM Mary L. Kyser