Donald Elementary Becomes First Texas Elementary School to Earn National Certificate for STEM Excellence from National Institute for STEM Education

Posted by Whitney Dove on Jul 10, 2018 7:24:22 AM

Lewisville ISD’s first STEM academy earns campus certification integrating research and best practices in STEM, 21st century learning, and professional development

HOUSTON — July 10, 2018 — Donald Elementary is the first elementary school in Texas to earn the National Certificate for STEM Excellence from the National Institute for STEM Education (NISE). The K-5 school will also be the first STEM Academy in the Lewisville Independent School District (ISD), which is located just north of Dallas.

“For us, the NISE certification process was about digging deeper into what STEM truly means and what that looks like in the classroom,” said Michelle Wooten, principal of Donald Elementary. “The certification process took things much deeper than a textbook could. It helped us gain a different perspective about STEM education. It allowed me to look into our classrooms with a different lens that’s more inquiry-based, and it helped me set STEM goals for our campus that are much more specific. It helped our teachers develop their STEM teaching skills and become better equipped to provide opportunities for students across all of those disciplines — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

The National Certificate for STEM Excellence recognizes individual school campuses for their commitment to and growth in teachers’ implementation of 21st century and STEM strategies. With the support of an experienced STEM coach, 22 teachers at Donald Elementary completed the National Certificate in STEM Teaching (NCST), while the school concurrently completed its requirements for the National Certificate in STEM Excellence-Campus Certificate (NCSE).

“Each teacher who became certified took away something different based on what they teach, whether it’s art, science, math, or language arts,” said Wooten. “We’re proud to be STEM certified, and we’re grateful for the opportunity we’ve had. It’s something that everybody will benefit from — our teachers, students, and parents. We look forward to seeing where the future takes us.”

The Lewisville ISD STEM Academy at Donald Elementary is set to officially open in August.

About the National Institute for STEM Education

NISE is more than a certifying body. It is a research-based support system for campuses and teachers seeking to strengthen STEM instruction and outcomes. For information, visit