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Dr. Lawrence Gruszecki

2020 - 2021 Connections Last Updated: 7/28/2020 2:36 PM

After serving 20 years in the U. S. Army, I began to pursue the dream of becoming a science teacher, which led me to Berry College where I completed a Master’s in Education. I was very fortunate to become a member of the E. T. Booth and Eagle Mountain aviary, where I found many opportunities to professionally grow in a collegial faculty. In 2001, I was honored to be the second male teacher to become E. T. Booth’s Teacher of the Year. Soon after, the Woodstock Kiwanis Club also recognized me with their Apple Award.

As a science teacher at E. T. Booth, I began teaching 7th Grade Life Science. I was able to use instructional, organizational, and presentation experience developed in the Army, as well as instructional technology techniques in my class presentations and hands-on activities. That interest led to becoming a member of the first Cherokee School District Teach 21 certification class. I also made Instructional Technology presentations at Georgia Science Teacher Association and National Science Teacher Association conventions. As my interest in education grew, I completed an Educational Specialist degree at Berry College as well as having one of my research papers published in a Berry College textbook.
After several years at Booth, I moved to 8th Grade Physical Science and enjoyed teaching chemistry and physics concepts. I realized that my dream to be a science teacher began in my high school chemistry class where my chemistry teacher was one of two of my favorite teachers, the other being my biology teacher. The interest of teaching with Instructional Technology continued and I completed a doctorate in Instructional Technology and Distance Education as well as being published in the Distance Learning Journal.

I am extremely honored to have initiated E. T. Booth Research Program with the Science Research as an Element of STEM (Science Research ∈ STEM) course, which is an academic Elective course. The course provides students with the opportunity to learn and practice research methodology each school year as they move from 6th grade to 8th grade. The knowledge foundation built in the Science Research classwork not only prepares students for success in their math and science classes, it also prepares them for the 11th and 12th grade Advanced Placement Capstone research courses at EHS.

E. T. Booth Research students demonstrate the ability to independently learn and think beyond the academic science classroom. They glean information from research sources and are self-sustaining consumers of knowledge. Additionally, they possess the proclivity to investigate on their own volition, statistically analyze, communicate as a scholar, and the grit to rise to the challenge of learning beyond the horizon of their grade level.
The E. T. Booth Research Program was represented by 12 of our Research students, 6th through 8th grade, at the 2020 Georgia Science and Engineering Fair. Five of our Research students received Special Awards, two of our students received Best in Category Awards, and eight of our students received First, Third, or Fourth Honors. This success exemplifies the superior scholarly ability of our students as well as the purpose and value of the Booth Research Program.