Lehman Catholic & Holy Angels Continue a Strong Tradition of Excellence in STEM Education

Andrea Wilmer

10/9/23 12:38 PM

Lehman Catholic and Holy Angels Schools are awarded the Governor’s Thomas Edison Award for excellence in STEM education.

The Ohio Academy of Science selected 48 Ohio schools and 615 teachers to receive The Governor’s Thomas Edison Awards for Excellence in STEM education and Student Research for their accomplishments during the 2022-2023 school year. Each school received a special Governor’s Award certificate, and each teacher received a complimentary membership to The Ohio Academy of Science. The Technology Division of the Ohio Development Services Agency funded the program.


Lehman Catholic STEM teachers (pictured L - R) who received the award are Denny Maas, Nick Wolters, Tracy Hall, Tony Wagner, and Melissa Safreed. The Lehman Catholic Science Department has received the Governor’s Thomas Edison Award every year since 1988.


Holy Angels STEM teachers (pictured L - R) who received the award are Amanda Brandewie, Carrie O’Leary, Gwen Stiver, and Tony Wagner. The Holy Angels Science Department has received this award consecutively for eight years.

The criteria for the Thomas Edison Award for Excellence are to conduct a local science fair with twelve or more students, to have two or more of these students participate in the District Science Day, or to have six or more students participate in the District Science Day when no local has been conducted, and to have at least two students participate in at least one or more youth science opportunities beyond the classroom.

The Ohio Academy of Science defines STEM education as both the mastery and integration of science technology, engineering, and mathematics for all PK‐12 students. It incorporates scientific inquiry and technological design through student‐focused, project-based curricula to develop skills in communication, teamwork/collaboration, creativity/innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

First established in 1985, the Governor’s Thomas Edison Awards recognizes Ohio schools and teachers who stimulate scientific student research and technological design and extend opportunities beyond traditional classroom activities. Students must participate in one or more youth science opportunities beyond the classroom, including State Science Day, The Ohio Academy of Science Annual Meeting, Buckeye Science and Engineering Fair, Science Olympiad, and other structured STEM‐related youth activities.

“These schools and teachers are preparing students for the future through application-based learning.”, said Michael E. Woytek, the Academy’s Executive Director. Woytek went on to say, “Their students are learning and gaining confidence by solving complex problems through inquiry and technological design.”

“Lehman Catholic and Holy Angels have a strong history of excellence in STEM education,” said Sr. Ginny Scherer, “none of this happens without faculty and volunteers from both schools who are dedicated and care about providing the very best opportunities and education in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. What truly makes us unique is how we bring an understanding of our Catholic Christian faith into our STEM classrooms to gain a better understanding of the beauty of God’s creation.”

Sr. Ginny Scherer, former physics and chemistry teacher and longtime head coach of the Science Olympiad at Lehman Catholic, is an influential and supportive member of the Lehman Catholic science department.