Lisa Hegdahl teaches 8th grade science at McCaffrey Middle School in Galt. She also serves on the board of directors for the California Science Teachers Association. Her focus is to implement the Next Generation in Science Standards (NGSS) that were adopted by the California State Board of Education in September of 2013. “It is a very exciting time to be teaching science,” she says.

(Photo Courtesy of Lisa Hegdahl)

(Photo Courtesy of Lisa Hegdahl)

The new NGSS standards engage students in three-dimensional learning: Science and Engineering Practices, Cross Cutting Concepts and Disciplinary Core Ideas. “Our district is one of 10 districts in California that has received a NGSS Early Implementation grant that gives us support from K-12 Alliance to begin developing lesson series to support NGSS.”

Like many keeping abreast of an economy that is continually updating itself, Hegdahl did not become a teacher right away.

Hegdahl originally attended UC Davis to major in zoology to work directly with animals at a zoo. There, she volunteered for a veterinarian position at the UC Davis Raptor Rehabilitation Center to get practical experience. During the summers, she volunteered at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

“Then I heard about Moorpark College’s degree in Exotic Animal Training and Management (EATM). The college had an animal compound on-site and I worked closely with other animal professionals such as: Animal Actors of HollywoodLA Zoo and the Santa Barbara Zoo. At that time, they only took 50 students a year, so it was very competitive but I got accepted.”

After having received both her Bachelors of Science in zoology from the University of California, Davis in 1985, and her Associate of Science in exotic animal training and management from Moorpark College in 1987 – it was time to say goodbye to the wolf, the bobcat; the coyote, the red fox, the blue fox, the black bear, the raptors and the reptiles. It was time to teach.

Hegdahl’s prior education counted towards the UC Davis teaching credential program, sparing her a five-year commitment; and instead she was able to complete her teaching credential in Single Subject Science in 1991 in just a year.

Karen Hansen M.S. Earth Sciences, has been an educator and consultant who is currently an analyst regarding land and other public information records. She lives and works in Sacramento, CA. She has been writing about earth and the environmental sciences for since May of 2010. Find her work in several sections of the publication. You can find her work at SF Solar Energy Examiner, SF Environmental News Examiner and Environmental News Examiner 


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