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School District Five educator awarded by S.C. Department of Defense

For Immediate Release – February 28, 2020



School District Five educator awarded by S.C. Department of Defense

CHAPIN – Julie Krusen, biomedical sciences instructor at The Center for Advanced Technical Studies (The Center) in Lexington-Richland School District Five, has been named the 2020 South Carolina Department of Defense (DoD) Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) Teacher of the Year. 


“I am honored to have received this honor from the SC JSHS, but it would not have been possible without the hard work of our Biomedical Science students, my co-teacher Ms. Howell, and the support and vision of our administration,” said Krusen. “Conducting individual student research projects has allowed our students to win awards and receive patents that have helped set biomedical students at The Center apart from their peers when it comes time to apply for college, internships, and scholarships.”


Krusen was selected from a group of 30 teachers for her educational excellence in the sciences, engineering, or mathematics. The award is provided through the sponsorship of the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, and is administered by the Academy of Applied Science. 


“A teacher is the heart and soul of these events,” said Dr. Don M. Jordan, SC JSHS Director. “Without the willingness of the teacher to devote their time, energies and expertise to students, there would be no symposium. We congratulate Julie for what she does for science and math education in South Carolina.” 


Krusen has 16 years of experience in science education in School District Five. Credited for developing the biomedical sciences curriculum taught at The Center as an inaugural staff member, her work is now a model for the state. She received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, with a concentration in animal science, from the University of Tennessee and an interdisciplinary masters of art from the University of South Carolina. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and served as School District Five’s Teacher of the Year from 2013-2014. 


“Ms. Krusen is most deserving of this recognition for the outstanding performance of her students in the South Carolina Junior Science and Humanities Symposium,” said Dr. Al Gates, director of The Center.  “In addition to her exemplary pedagogical and technical skills, Ms. Krusen has an unparalleled ability to develop nurturing and mentoring relationships with her students. The rapport that she has with students allows her to push them to perform at levels of excellence rarely seen in high school students.”


The SC JSHS invites high school students to report on the results of their original research investigations in STEM and compete for scholarships and recognition at university-held regional symposia.  All students in grades 9-12 enrolled in public, private, or home schools are eligible to participate in their local regional symposium.


At this year’s 48th annual competition on Jan. 31, 2020, three of Krusen’s students in the biomedical science program were selected as semifinalists, along with one student placing second in their assigned room. Krusen’s daughter Kelsey, who is a Biomedical student at The Center and senior at Spring Hill High School, was named the Grand Champion and will compete in the National competition in April. 


The challenging and relevant four-course PLTW Biomedical Science sequence at The Center allows students to investigate the roles of biomedical professionals as they study the concepts of human medicine, physiology, genetics, microbiology, and public health. Students engage in activities like investigating the death of a fictional person to learn content in the context of real-world cases. They examine the structures and interactions of human body systems and explore the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, all while working collaboratively to understand and design solutions to the most pressing health challenges of today and the future.