LPS' Blake chosen for national science leadership role

Dr. James Blake
Dr. James Blake

Dr. James Blake, Lincoln Public Schools K-12 science curriculum specialist, was recently elected to lead the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA), whose mission is developing leaders in K-12 science education.

Blake will begin his three-year term in June as president-elect before taking over as president in 2019.

Blake will remain in his position at LPS, which he credits for his ascent to this national leadership role. He has served in his current position as curriculum specialist since 2014. He began his career in education as a science teacher at North Star High School.

“The lessons I have learned about being authentic and inspiring hope in the science classroom and with other science educators - I learned those from the people I worked with for the first ten years in LPS,” Blake said. “By sharing myself with the nation through the NSELA election process, and then getting the vote of confidence back from the membership, I feel a sense of pride and I hope my LPS mentors and colleagues can share in this joy because it represents them, too.”

LPS Associate Superintendent for Instruction Jane Stavem said it’s no surprise that Blake was selected for this honor.

“James is committed to quality science instruction that is highly engaging for students. We are grateful for his leadership and look forward to the opportunities our district will have as he interacts with science educators across the nation,” Stavem said.

Added LPS Director of Curriculum and Instruction Takako Olson: “James gets everyone excited about science. With the wealth of knowledge he has in science education, we can honestly say that NSELA is in good hands. We’re looking forward to the positive impact he will make through this work for science educators across the country.”

NSELA's primary goal is to promote leadership in science education through annual professional development and leadership institutes, as well as various publications. As president, Blake will be the “face” of NSELA - facilitating decisions made by its board of directors and acting as a liaison to government, education and business organizations.

“The experience as president will benefit my work in LPS through improved collaboration,” Blake said. “Through organizing professional development and creating leadership publications with the top science leaders in the nation, my network will be expanded to districts like ours so I can learn from and with them and take those lessons back to our district.”