Appleton teacher receives national honor

Kara Pezzi
Kara Pezzi

APPLETONĀ - An Appleton East High School teacher is headed to Washington, D.C. She is one of 14 recipients of an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship.

Appleton East chemistry teacher Kara Pezzi's love of science started as a child.

"Especially chemistry. That's central science and why things do what they do. It helps explain the world," Pezzi explained.

Starting in September, Pezzi will get to share that love and expertise with the Department of Energy in D.C. She will take part in an 11 month fellowship.

"I'm overwhelmed right now. It's very exciting," Pezzi told FOX 11.

The point of the program is to have science, technology, engineering and math or STEM teachers share ideas with policy makers.

"Our whole economy revolves around STEM. So we need workers, educated people," said Pezzi.

Pezzi told us it's also an opportunity to represent her students and colleagues on a national level.

"We need more people to know what's happening in Northeast Wisconsin and I think this is a good way to do it," she explained.

"Really makes me confident that she has that power to help and assist our future education system," said Appleton East principal Matt Mineau.

Pezzi applied for the honor by writing five essays and submitting three letters of recommendation.

Mineau wrote one of those letters.

"The amazing thing about Miss Pezzi is her passion. Her passion for education and giving back and empowering youth," he said.

"I think she's awesome. She's really good at explaining things, because chemistry is usually kinda hard to understand. She makes it a lot more simple," said Britta Hare, one of Pezzi's students.

Pezzi told us it's a win when students catch her love of science.

They see that science isn't boring. Science is really fun," she said.

In 2011, Pezzi received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. She was one of about 100 teachers nationwide to get that honor.