It takes a lot of time to build bridges, but that is what NABT continues to do with a tremendous amount of gusto! While I wasn't there for the initial organization of NABT in 1938, I was there to personally experience the reorganization of NABT that started full steam in 2007. In a volunteer member/leader-dependent organization, presidents Pat Waller (2007), Todd Carter (2008), and John Moore (2009) seized opportunities to venture forward, always with the NABT mission and vision before them. My part of the NABT journey has been spearheaded by the deliberate steps and actions taken by previous presidents, each doing his or her part in handing NABT off to a better place.
As an organization of biology teachers speaking on behalf of biology teachers, NABT is in the unique position to have a true impact on biology education. Despite traversing difficult times, we have always stayed true to that mission, with a resultant continued experience of positive growth. NABT teacher leaders represent the full range of expertise, and every member, including you, has the unique opportunity to enhance his or her professional performance with kindred spirits.
Because of the way our leadership transitions, the voice of every part of the NABT membership is represented in the association. Shortly, I look forward to passing the organization on to the voice of the two-year college president-elect (2011), who in turn will pass the gavel to the newly elected four-year college representative (2012). For the past 72 years we have been perfectly poised to contribute to current conversations in biology education. We are the source for leadership in life-science education.
Our committees are newly restructured to have representation from all levels and enhanced communication to the Board of Directors. A new member section has created a community for outreach coordinators and informal educators, making sure these professionals are recognized among their peers. Our graduate-student members have organized their first NABT Student Symposium this past conference in Minneapolis. It is gratifying to see young professionals attracted and motivated to move up in the NABT ranks —— another asset in a volunteer-led nonprofit association.
This year, via the NABT BioClub, the investment continues in teachers and biologists of tomorrow, the next decade, and beyond. NABT provided green honor cords to over 300 high school biology students to be proudly worn at graduation as evidence of the students' academic distinction.
At your fingertips are themed issues of The American Biology Teacher that provide inquiry-based resources to use now and in the future. These hard-copy journals, in addition to those found electronically on the NABT Web site and BioBlog, are accessible resources that model best practices. Special note to AP Bio teachers: be on the lookout for NABT's latest project in organizing resources targeted specifically for your needs!
NABT has promoted community interaction at the US Science & Engineering Festival on the Mall in Washington, DC; participated in the Vision and Change Conference of the AAAS, HHMI, and NIH; was asked to run a special focus group to review the Conceptual Framework for Science Education Standards; and provided input for the National Lab Skills Symposium. We work to sustain the efforts of key stakeholders in science education and attract speakers like Drs. Richard Dawkins, Eugenie Scott, Francis Collins, Sean Carroll, Jean Michel Cousteau, and Rupa Shevde, among others, to our conference for the sole purpose of interacting with biology and life-science educators. NABT is the right organization at the right time and in the right place for all biology educators.
We have turned obstacles into opportunities for our membership. Where is our future? Hmmm……that's the exciting part! It is wherever we let our actions take us! Inaction is not an NABT option.
In my messages as the 2010 NABT president, I have shared with you the story of one year in the life of NABT —— where we've been, who we can be, why we are going places, and most especially how you can benefit by investing your time and support in NABT.
Thank you to all the generous volunteers who continue to give their time and energies to take up the tasks that abound in nonprofit associations like the NABT.
Thank you to all our members, past, present, and future, whose membership support has made NABT's Mission and Vision endeavors for biology and life-science educators possible.
Thank you to all the members of the 2010 Board of Directors whose active participation and contemplative decisions have worked to secure a bright future.
Thank you to our staff for their efforts in meeting all the unseen aspects required to maintain a seamless association.
I will echo a voice from the past and continue to challenge you with this quote from the first issue of ABT:
The American Biology Teacher
Vol. 1 October 1938 No. 1
Carnegie Institution of Washington
p. 1 and p. 28
““This association though launched and named —— andpossessing a Journal —— is nevertheless still quite incomplete.When, or if, it enrolls most of those who teach secondary schoolbiology —— and others with allied interests —— it can accomplish much ormost of the purposes which are calling it into existence……. May thenext generation be able to look with satisfaction upon that whichthey shall inherit.””
It was my privilege to serve you as president in 2010 and even more wonderful interacting with so many of you. See you in Anaheim! Cheers!