UTeach Austin Alumnus Named Local PhysTEC Teacher of the Year

UTeach Austin Alumnus Named Local PhysTEC Teacher of the Year


Richard Wright, a UTeach Austin graduate and physics teacher at St. Andrew's Upper School in Austin, has been selected as Local PhysTEC Teacher of the Year! This award recognizes Richard as an exemplary teacher in his field.

"The United States has a severe, long-term shortage of qualified physics teachers," say Monica Plisch and Beth Cunningham of PhysTEC, the nationwide physics teacher preparation network.

"Richard’s contributions to physics education are significant and impactful on his students, colleagues, school district, and state at a time when the nation is in desperate need of highly qualified STEM educators."

"Of the approximately 1400 new teachers who are hired to teach physics each year, only 35% have a degree in physics or physics education," "In their 2014 report, the American Association for Employment in Education found that the teacher shortage in physics is number one among 59 education fields. As such, Richard’s contributions are highly valued and respected, and we wish him many years of continued success as an educator."

APS and AAPT launched PhysTEC out of concern over the severe shortage of qualified physics teachers. Since 2001, PhysTEC has supported more than 40 universities to transform their physics teacher education programs into national models, and established a coalition of more than 300 institutions committed to improving physics teacher education. PhysTEC receives funding from the National Science Foundation and from private and foundation gifts to the APS. "Physics teacher shortages are considerable in every region in the United States, and the University of Texas at Austin’s excellent physics teacher preparation program is a service to the state of Texas," say Plisch and Cunningham.

Congratulations, Richard, on this accomplishment. UTeach Austin is very proud of you!

Update: Geoffrey Hart, teachHouston grad and teacher at William P. Clements High School in Sugar Land, was also named a Local PhysTEC Teacher of the Year. Way to go, Geoffrey!