Heather Messer has spent over 25 years developing teaching methods that deeply engage, help to build equity, and are student focused. In Messer’s work at Clark Street Community School in Middleton, her goal is to be a responsive educator working on relevant and practical learning experiences developed in concert with students and their input whenever possible. Messer believes strongly that learning happens best in context, so many of her learning experiences happen outside of the traditional classroom. Messer believes it is vitally important that educators connect students with experts in their content fields and that students practice critical thinking in context. More and more, Messer finds herself teaching about the impact of climate change on the environment, balance, and the importance of biodiversity, no matter what discipline umbrella the intended material is supposed to fall under. “I look forward to a time when science is once again respected and treated with only healthy skepticism. To help advance this cause, I continue teaching high school science!” said Messer.