Council of State Science Supervisors
“The voice and vision of science education for the states”

CJ Evans State Leadership Award for Outstanding Service to CSSS and Science Education

“The intent was to recognize a CSSS member for “Outstanding Service to Science Education”. We asked the CSSS Board to select a recipient and TI would award a plaque the night of the CSSS annual dinner, to be presented by the CSSS President and TI.” Ellen Ebert (CSSS President 2016-2017)

“I like the simplicity of TI's original intent. I think it allows the Board flexibility. I think it is nice that it is an award that can go to any member. It seems fitting to be an award that recognizes a lifetime of continued service or a significant project that moves the work of the organization forward.” Tiffany Neill (CSSS President 2017-2019)

 “This award recognizes CSSS members who really represent the spirit of the organization.” Kevin Anderson (CSSS President 2019-2021)

2017 Recipient

C.J. Evans served the CSSS organization for over 20 years in various leadership roles. Her first year on the board, C.J. served as secretary and then as the treasurer for the remaining years till 2017. According to C.J., CSSS was “little more than a social gathering at NSTA for a few years” and then the push for science standards came from the Federal level. C.J. was influential to the growth of CSSS becoming a leading science education organization. Early on, PAEMST programs were only funded with $1200 and C.J. worked with state programs to get them established. C.J.  has been a key liaison in the partnership that CSSS continues to have to this day with the PAEMST  program and it’s NSF partners.

In the early 1990's, C. J. Evans designed the CSSS logo currently in use. The logo came about when similar organizations developed logos and she saw CSSS needed one. Using Clipart to  create the CSSS “element”. The colorful logo has stuck around ever since.

C.J. was the State Science Consultant for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education from 1991 to 2001.  Mel Carnahan, the Governor at the time, had the vision for math, science, and English academic standards in Missouri. C.J. worked with the Science Teachers of Missouri (STOM) to develop Missouri science standards based on the first version of the National Science Education Standards published at the time. Mr. Carnahan’s idea was to test a sample of students with hands-on science projects to gather evidence on the teaching and student retention of the standards. Although the Governor died suddenly in a plane crash and this never came to fruition, C.J. was leading this work that today we value as authentic student performance tasks. 

In C.J.s own words, “my biggest contribution to Missouri science was the constant push for science to be taught in grades 1-6.  In my time as state consultant, science teaching was relegated to about 20 minutes a week. The biggest reason was teachers had little, if any, background in science so we concentrated on professional development. We gave them the equipment to do science and to take back to their schools. Gradually, school districts began buying kits aligned to the standards for the teachers. A cadre of teachers would go around the state giving workshops to train teachers on the kits. It was great fun!”

In 2017, C.J. Evans received the Science Education Leadership award presented by Texas Instruments (TI). The intent was to recognize a CSSS member for “Outstanding Service to Science Education”. Graciously accepting the award upon the announcement of her retirement from the CSSS Board, C. J. received a standing ovation by members. Since then, TI continues to sponsor this award annually at the CSSS Conference.

2018 Recipient

Sam Shaw has made many contributions as a science education leader that include service as a CSSS Board member, ad hoc committee co-chair, and a liaison for a CSSS special project. Sam served as the state science supervisor of South Dakota from 2010-2017. During that time, he led South Dakota as a NGSS lead state. As a CSSS Board member, Sam formerly served as the Professional Learning Committee Co-Chair and Board Liaison 2014-2017 when the committee developed the Science Professional Learning Standards (CSSS 2018). Sam was a co-principal investigator from 2015-2017 for the ACESSE 13 project. Sam assumed the role of CSSS financial officer in 2017 following C.J. Evans. Although Sam left state-level science education in 2018, he continues to be a science education leader as the Director of Science Review for In addition, Sam Shaw currently serves as the CSSS Instructional Resources Adhoc Committee Research Partner.

2019 Recipient

Catherine Mackey exemplifies what outstanding service to science education means. Cathy taught high school science near her home in rural Arkansas for many years. She then moved to the state level to become one of the earliest Arkansas members of CSSS. As the state science assessment specialist in the early 2000’s, she led the development, policy changes, and professional learning for the Arkansas End-of-Course science assessments. In 2011, Cathy represented Arkansas in providing feedback during the development of the Common Core State Standards (2010) and the Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012). Cathy served on the Arkansas NGSS lead state team and was a tireless advocate for the teaching science, particularly the teaching of evolution. Following the adoption of the NGSS in Arkansas, Cathy went on to lead the development and implementation of the Grasping Phenomenal Science Professional Learning System that continues to be a leading exemplar for science professional learning for teachers nationally.  To support the NGSS implementation in Arkansas, Cathy Mackey was one of the leading partners in the ACESSE 13 project and was instrumental in the use and development of the ACESSE 13 practical measures for professional learning. Cathy Mackey was one of the original members to serve as co-chair on the Professional Learning Adhoc committee for CSSS and helped author the Science Professional Learning Standards (CSSS 2018). One of her most noteworthy contributions to science education was prior to her retirement when she represented CSSS in the final editing of Science and Engineering for Grades 6-12: Investigation and Design at the Center (NRC 2018).

2021 Recipient

At the 2021 meeting of the national Council of State Science Supervisors (CS3), Dr. Tom Keller of STEM Education Strategies LLC, based in Newcastle, Maine, was awarded the prestigious C. J. Evans Award. Participating in the award ceremony were Shari Templeton of Maine, Dr. Ellen Ebert of Washington, Tiffany Neill of Oklahoma, and Dr. Stephen Pruitt of Georgia. The awarding of this honor was due to Dr. Keller’s steadfast support of new members to the organization and continual willingness to assist the president and board. A recent notable innovation was his development and implementation of a monthly series of virtual meetings particularly for new members, focusing on topics such as working with legislative policymakers and standards for professional development. He is a former president and treasurer of the organization and served as state science supervisor in Maine for 18 years.

Tom Keller CJ Evans Award Announcement

2022 Recipient

At the 2022 national meeting of the Council of State Science Supervisors (CS3), Tiffany Neill, Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Oklahoma Department of Education was awarded the prestigious C. J. Evans State Leadership Service Award. 

Tiffany Neill embodies the essence of the Framework with an ability to see the trees but also the forest. She is a visionary for where things can go and the wherewithal to put the steps in place to get there. 

As President of CSSS, she was a service leader. Ms. Neill was sensitive to state needs and limitations while always being inclusive. Some folks can get twisted around the bylaws, but this awardee always led with the vision and mission of the organization. Always ready to contribute, Tiffany has been a part of every major initiative that has come out of CSSS in the last decade.

Tiffany Neill served as a co-PI on the ACESSE (Advancing Coherent and Equitable Systems of Science Education) NSF grant from the very beginning and participated on many NASEM Advisory Panels at the Board of Science Education. Her vision and view of state science education has influenced the direction of STEM/Science education in our country.

We cannot forget the leadership and vision the recipient displayed during the pandemic. When state offices were shutting down, Ms Neill helped pull together that initial team of people in one weekend to start working on resources. No one can forget the contributions of many CUBERs who worked on those documents that were completed in just a few days.

This recipient is a mother, a science educator, a leader, a visionary, a servant, and a friend. Tiffany Neill is the CSSS 2022 C. J. Evans State Leadership Service Awardee.

2023 Recipient

At the 2023 national meeting of the Council of State Science Supervisors (CS3) Brett Moulding was awarded the prestigious C. J. Evans State Leadership Service Award. 

CJ Evans was initially the state math supervisor from Missouri until she saw the light and became the state science specialist. As with all CS3 Board members, CJ did her full-time plus job at the Missouri Department of Education and then served CS3 as a Board member, then Treasurer of the organization for more years than is polite to count. Suffice it to say she provided outstanding service to CS3 and science education and thus this award was named in her honor and she was the first recipient. Being Treasurer gives you intimate insight into the making of the sausage that is so critical to a highly functioning organization and she did it so well for so many years.

Now, about this award, this award is bestowed on someone who has provided years of leadership, service, … and more leadership …. And more service.  You don’t get this award for one or two outstanding achievements, you are awarded the CJ Evans award for the impact you have had, in your state, in the nation, and in the organization. And usually those are positive impacts!

It is my honor to give this award to a member who has demonstrated time and again their commitment to science education in their state and nation.

This year’s honoree served as president of CS3 from 2003 to 2005, as a member of the Board on Science Education, as the author of several earth-shattering reports, has introduced countless science educators to 3D teaching and learning, has been a mentor, colleague and friend to many of us in this room This year’s recipient is Brett Moulding.

2024 Recipient

At the 2024 national meeting of the Council of State Science Supervisors (CS3) Juan-Carlos was awarded the prestigious C. J. Evans State Leadership Service Award. 

At the 2024This award reflects the mission, vision, and values of our organization and goes to an individual who holds those characteristics in every aspect and beyond.

This year’s award goes to someone who has been a mentor to me for the past 10 years and likely doesn’t even know they hold this official title. This likely is a role this individual may hold for you as well, especially if you have ever posted a question, sometime with urgency and/or panic, on the CSSS listserv. This individual likely responded to your inquiry with a personal email that contained a wealth of knowledge, perspectives, and an offer to follow up if you have any additional questions. And, if you did follow up, you were likely met with a sense of calm that provided some pathways forward along with some laughter. This individual has contributed to the works of the Board on Science Education, Building Capacity for State Science Education (BCSSE), Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Education, CSSS Finance Committee, National Science Foundation grant, and a variety of STEM initiatives both in the United States and Guatemala.

And with almost 20, give or take a few years, dedicated to science education at the state, national, and international levels and held various roles within CSSS, including past-CSSS President, please join me in honoring our dear friend, colleague, and mentor, Dr. Juan-Carlos Aguilar as the 2024 CJ Evans State Leadership Award recipient.


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