Meet ADE Award Finalist: Alyson Nelson

By Jenny Burns, Community Coordinator for Allen Distinguished Educators
February 1, 2016


Alyson teaches 11th and 12th grade at Nikola Tesla STEM High School in Redmond, WA. She is leading and developing the Advanced Biomedical Engineering: Discovering Passion through Innovative Design bio-medical engineering program

For the past ten years, Alyson Nelson has been impacting high school students in the science classroom. A native of South Carolina, Alyson graduated from Clemson University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Science Teaching with a minor in Biology. During her tenure at Mauldin High School in South Carolina, Alyson taught Biology, Environmental Science, and Human Anatomy and Physiology, serving as a teacher mentor and evaluator and writing science curriculum for new course offerings. She has excelled in teaching gifted and talented student populations and has been a leader in technology in education throughout her career.

In 2012, Alyson was named Teacher of the Year at Mauldin High School and was a top 10 finalist for District Teacher of the Year in Greenville County, the largest school district in South Carolina. During this time, she graduated with a Masters of Educational Technology degree and a graduate certificate in School Technology Coordination from Boise State University. In 2013, Alyson and her husband moved to the Seattle area and Alyson was hired to develop a Signature STEM Lab at the newly opened Nikola Tesla STEM High School in Redmond, Washington. With her experience in teaching about the human body, Alyson developed the Advanced Biomedical Engineering Lab to address global challenges in engineering and medicine. Over the past two years, students in this program have won numerous awards, collaborated and interned with industry professionals, achieved entry into prestigious universities, and began their pursuit of careers in the medical field. Alyson’s hope is to continue to inspire young people to pursue their passion in healthcare through providing a rigorous, engaging, and innovative program.

Meet the other finalists for the $25,000 Allen Distinguished Educators Award.


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