Cedar Hill ISD STEM Teacher of the Year Is Made for Moore

teacher receiving certificate
Photo courtesy Cedar Hill ISD

Exploring a STEM Lab on Campus For Everyone

(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) Leslie Moore’s official foray into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) began by raising her hand last summer.

Moore’s STEM Journey is just beginning, but she achieved a notable highlight in a short period of time.

Last month, the sixth-year Bessie Coleman Middle School Career & Technical Education (CTE) Teacher was named the inaugural Cedar Hill ISD STEM Teacher of the Year. The honor came with a $10,000 reward – half of which Moore is required to use toward additional STEM efforts.

She is exploring the possibility of a STEM Lab on campus “which everybody can use.”

Bessie Coleman Principal Jared Peters was looking for volunteers last summer for a STEM Liaison.

“I said ‘I would do it’, and I was tasked with starting the STEM Clubs on campus. I just wanted to make the campus look good and put us on the map,” said Moore, who has lived in Cedar Hill for the past 18 years. “Now that I’m into STEM, my interest is heightened. I’m researching all types of things. I’m always advocating for the campus.”

Peters said he was thoroughly impressed with Moore’s efforts, which included starting the Pre-Med on campus.

Setting the Tone For The Campus

“Mrs. Moore has done an excellent job infusing STEM into Bessie Coleman,” Peters said. “Her STEM Kickoff set the tone for our campus and the excitement continued throughout the year. She played an integral part in putting together our Bessie Coleman STEM Night, which was the largest event on campus this year.”

Moore said she was genuinely surprised when she was selected out of 10 finalists at the Teacher of the Year Awards last month.

“The competition was steep – I wasn’t expecting it,” Moore said.

Moore joined the staff at Bessie Coleman in 2016 after working in sales at IBM and TXU Energy, respectively. A Plano native, Moore was a Business Major at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Moore teaches College & Career Readiness, and she’s incorporating many STEM themes into her classes.

“With our big focus being on STEM, I can make this a STEM-infused class,” Moore said.

“I speak to different people in the community and get them to come in and speak to our class.”

Exploring Scholars STEM Interests

Moore said scholars are interested in the energy field – which has several jobs in Texas. She said they know the importance of energy after the entire state was affected by the freeze in February 2021.

Moore said the Pre-Med Club was a great success in 2021-2022.

“We learned about different types of doctors and what those doctors do,” Moore said. “They had to think about a problem they wanted to solve in the world and come up with a product. We have one scholar who hopes to become a Dermatologist, and we talked about how a lot of doctors are also entrepreneurs.”