Meet the 2024 Inspire the Future: FIRST Recognition Program Honorees

The FIRST® community is fortunate to have many dedicated and inspirational teachers and schools who give their time and support to FIRST year after year, encouraging students to develop a lifelong love of learning and collaboration.

In 2022, we launched the Inspire the Future: FIRST Educators Recognition Program as part of our commitment to recognize the outstanding work of educators in the FIRST community. This year, we are recognizing our first cohort of schools as part of the Inspire the Future: FIRST School Recognition Program. We could not advance the mission of FIRST without their critical contributions to fostering high-quality and supportive learning environments.

This Teacher Appreciation Week, we are proud to announce our fifteen educator and ten school honorees as we welcome them into the 2024 Inspire the Future: FIRST Recognition Program cohort. Selected from nominations made by the global FIRST community, these outstanding PreK-12 FIRST educators and schools engage students in STEM through classroom or afterschool activities and demonstrate an outstanding commitment to expanding access to FIRST programs.

Join us in congratulating our honorees on FIRST social media using the hashtag #InspireTheFuture.

Follow FIRST on LinkedInFacebook, and Instagram for more to celebrate our honorees!


2024 FIRST Educators Recognition Program Honorees

🍎 Liz Fitzgerald – Grand Junction, Colorado (PreK-1)

🍎 Paul Fleming – Reno, Neveda (Grades 2-5)

🍎 Lisa Sizelove – Frederick, Oklahoma (Grades 2-5)

🍎 Abril Moctezuma – Holtville, California (Grades 6-8)

🍎 Terri Smith – DeWitt, Iowa (Grades 6-8)

🍎 Helen Arrington – San Jose, California (Grades 9-12)

🍎 Steve Cline – Windsor, Colorado (Grades 9-12)

🍎 Neil McLeod – Lenexa, Kansas (Grades 9-12)

🍎 Alandra Kahl – White Oak, Pennsylvania (Grades 9-12)

🍎 Tiffani Cortez – Waco, Texas (Grades 9-12)

🍎 Marc de Asis – Vancouver, Canada (International)

🍎 Eleftheria Ringa – Alexandroupoli, Greece (International)

🍎 Gaurav Berwal – Bahadurgarh, India (International)

🍎 Emma Mphahlele – Cape Town, South Africa (International)

🍎 Burhan Sengun – Istanbul, Turkey (International)


2024 FIRST School Recognition Program Honorees

✏️ Valinda School of Academics – La Puente, California

✏️ Mesa View Elementary – Grand Junction, Colorado

✏️ American Heritage Schools: Broward – Plantation, Florida

✏️ Lakeview Academy – Gainesville, Georgia

✏️ Horizon Science Academy McKinley Park – Chicago, Illinois

✏️ Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation – Evansville, Indiana

✏️ Lamar School – Meridian, Mississippi

✏️ Knob Noster High School – Knob Noster, Missouri

✏️ Mountain Island Charter School – Mount Holly, North Carolina

✏️ McKeesport Area High School – White Oak, Pennsylvania