Essex Tech Biotechnology Teacher Wins Outstanding Teacher Award for 2021

HATHORNE — Superintendent Dr. Heidi Riccio is pleased to announce that Debora O’Reilly, a biotechnology teacher at Essex Tech, is the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) Massachusetts’ Outstanding Biology Teacher for 2021.
O’Reilly has been an educator for 23 years and has spent the last seven years at Essex Tech. Each year, she dives into new projects with her students to help them understand the importance, difficulty and positives of conducting real-world research. She also teaches them to share their love of science, partnering with a local middle school to have her students instruct younger students on labs and research. In the past O’Reilly and her classes have worked with students from Higgins Middle school in Peabody and Marshall Middle School in Lynn.
O’Reilly collaborates with her students as well as her peers in the science world as an educator, working with researchers at Vanderbilt University to test for a certain bacteria and local farmers to collect soil samples. She also worked with LabXchange, a digital platform that brings science and labs to students who may not have access to the resources needed.
The NABT gives the award annually to one science teacher in grades 7-12 in each of the 50 states. In order to receive this award, recipients have to dedicate a major portion of their teaching career to biology or life science, and they are also judged on their teaching ability and cooperativeness with students, staff and the community.
Winners of the NABT OBTA are special guests of the Carolina Biology Supply Company at an Honors Luncheon in Atlanta, Georgia, to be held later on this year. Winners also receive gift certificates, resources from sponsors, award certificates and a complimentary one-year membership to NABT.
“Throughout her time here, Debora has excelled as an educator and shared her passion for biology with students, staff and families,” Superintendent Riccio said. “She is very deserving of this impressive award, and we are grateful to have her on board. Congratulations on this worthy achievement.”
To learn more about the NABT OBTA, click here.

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