LeCroy named 2011 Outstanding High School Science Teacher

Published 4:08 pm Thursday, November 3, 2011

The list of accolades for Isabella High School’s Jay LeCroy grew once again as he was named this year’s Outstanding High School Science Teacher by the Alabama Science Teachers Association in October.

LeCroy teaches advanced physics, advanced chemistry and physical sciences for grades 8-12 at Isabella, and he currently serves as mentor and coach of the countywide robotics team that began at Isabella.

“When we travel from the county to compete, we are finding that these kids are able to do real well academically against the bigger schools in the state,” LeCroy said. “They’re building their confidence up. In life, having that confidence is very important.”

LeCroy also oversees the Science Olympiad Team, Girls Engaged in Math and Science (GEMS), Environmental Science Team, Isabella Water Watchers Club and Isabella Remote Control Club, which are all encompassed in a 4-H club called the Isabella Society of Mad Scientists.

“This is for any student who wants to participate in these academic teams,” LeCroy said. “If it weren’t for the kids, I would not have had the recognition from the state to win this award. We wouldn’t have been able to create the programs.”

LeCroy has received numerous grants and equipment totaling about $40,000 from Chewacla Cooperative Extension, current and former state senators and representatives, local businesses and residents, and even one from Bill and Melinda Gates for bio-equipment for Isabella’s lab.

“I’m always looking for someone to help fund this program,” LeCroy said. “We get no funding from anybody. All of our money comes from donations and grants.”

LeCroy said much credit goes to his wife, a teacher in Isabella’s English department, because she helps him write all of the grants.

“It’s a team effort, he said. “She’s as much a part of this award as I am. It makes it easier when you have two people working together.”

A former marine biologist, LeCroy received the opportunity to teach science at Isabella five years ago, and he has been there ever since.

“I thought I could make a difference,” he said. “I wanted to offer kids a more hands-on approach to science and make it interesting. We have a lot of fun with it.”

LeCroy credited his students’ parents as well for their help and support. Through advanced curriculum and extracurricular activities, he said he is trying to prepare his students for college and the workforce.

“The more training we give them, we get a stronger workforce, and some of them may come back here in time,” LeCroy said. “The county would become stronger because of it – all from a science program.”