MPH Apply Now

Manlius Pebble Hill educator recognized as an outstanding teacher

Manlius Pebble Hill School’s veteran science teacher Sue Foster was recently honored by the Technology Alliance of Central New York as an outstanding teacher who excels in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

Foster and four educators from other schools will be honored May 1 at the 27th annual TACNY Outstanding Teacher Awards Banquet at the Ramada Inn Syracuse, where they will receive a plaque and an honorarium of $1,000. 

Foster has been on the faculty of MPH since 1991 and has served as Science Department chair since 2007 and has been a leader in STEM initiatives. She teaches grades six, seven, 11 and 12 with courses ranging from environmental science to geology to forensics. Over the years, she has encouraged many of her students to participate in the Central New York Science and Engineering Fair.

This year, MPH sophomore Lwam Asfaw won one of two top award spots to attend the INTEL International STEM Fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In fact, MPH students have won one or both of the top two spots over the last four years. With Foster’s support, MPH has reengaged in the Science Olympiad, offering a new opportunity to students in both middle and upper school.

A hands-on scientist, Foster engages her students with a variety of field experiences including geology trips to Chimney Bluffs and a sixth grade exploration of Butternut creek. Her geology class alone offers six trips throughout the year. Foster has over 200 career field trips under her belt as an educator.

“These field experiences help students understand their surroundings with a novel viewpoint; a new vocabulary and context allow them to sense their connection to the natural world. This is a lifelong lens; this is the life of the mind,” says Foster.

“Mrs. Foster makes science fun — she’s always interested in letting us explore new ideas,” says one of her middle school students.

A member of the National Science Teachers Association, the Museum of Science and Technology and the Science Teachers Association of New York State, Foster continues to think creatively and engage young learners in STEM initiates in and out of the classroom.

For more information on the TACNY Outstanding Teacher Awards Banquet, visit