Dr. Tony Donen, principal of STEM School Chattanooga, has earned a STEM Excellence Award from the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN).  Donen is the recipient of the STEM Innovator Award for 2018.  TISN STEM Excellence Awards are four competitive awards that recognize outstanding teachers, leaders, and advocates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.  TSIN will honor Donen and the other three award winners at the fourth annual Tennessee STEM Innovation Summit on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Nashville.

The STEM Innovator Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the support of STEM education and outreach within a region.  The winners are leaders who identify, support and promote innovative teaching practices. The award winner also serves as a catalyst for STEM integration across the state.

Donen is the founding principal of STEM School Chattanooga and is committed to helping improve STEM education throughout the country.  Since the inception of STEM School Chattanooga, the school has become a national leader in STEM education and a model for innovative teaching practices and real-world student engagement.  America Achieves recognized the school as one of thirty worldwide denoted as a "World-Leading Learner School." Fab Foundation also recognized STEM School Chattanooga for prominence in digital fabrication STEM education. Donen has led professional development throughout Tennessee as one of the lead principals for the Innovative Leaders Institute for school leadership teams and provides opportunities for teachers and leaders from across the country to visit STEM School Chattanooga’s innovative campus.

“STEM School Chattanooga is one of several exciting specialty school learning opportunities available to students in Hamilton County Schools,” commented Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “Dr. Donen, his staff, and students are leaders in STEM education in our district and shining examples of how to make learning relevant for Future Ready Institutes coming to high schools in the district this fall.”

STEM School Chattanooga, located in a technologically advanced facility on the campus of Chattanooga State Community College, is currently a grade 9-12 school in Hamilton County Schools.  The school’s educational approach involves students in projects and problem-solving experiences to explore solutions to real-world challenges.   The school’s focus is on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  First Robotics honored the school with the Engineering Inspiration Award.  The school was also named a World-leading Learner by the Global Learning Network and was one of two schools in the country selected for the Fab Foundation Leadership Cohort.