Newcastle’s Zach Beam named Wyoming Teacher of the Year

Newcastle High School science teacher Zach Beam is Wyoming’s 2023 Teacher of the Year. (Wyoming Department of Education)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — A Newcastle High School science teacher has been named Wyoming’s 2023 Teacher of the Year.

The Wyoming Department of Education said Zach Beam’s award was announced in a surprise assembly today at the high school. Beam teaches physical science, physics and advanced chemistry.

“Zach has the ability to bring the excitement of learning to his students with innovation and explanation,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder said in the department’s news release. “What he is doing in the area of STEM education — and what he plans to do next fall — just goes to show that he is all-in with letting his students grasp these far-reaching concepts in a way that is really, really fun and exciting.”

Beam has taught at Newcastle High School for nine years, the department said. He will teach a science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, lab in Newcastle in fall 2023.

“I was honored to be named Weston #1 District Teacher of the Year, but it is above and beyond to be named Wyoming Teacher of the Year,” Beam said. “It was amazing to see the student reaction to the announcement and it continues to get me excited to see them excited.”

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Weston School District #1 Superintendent Brad LaCroix said Beam’s care for students shows in the relationship he has established with each of his students.

“He is an exceptional teacher that has the art of making science fun and exciting as well as educational for the students,” LaCroix said. “He is greatly respected by students and staff at Newcastle High School as well as in the community.”

Beam has a bachelor’s of science degree from Black Hills State University and a master’s of arts in science education from Western Governors University. He previously worked for the U.S. Forest Service Job Corps’ Education Department.

The Wyoming Teacher of the Year represents the teaching profession in Wyoming, acting as liaison among the teaching community, Wyoming Legislature, Wyoming Department of Education, districts and communities, the department said. The individual is an education ambassador to businesses, parents, service organizations and media and an education leader involved in teacher forums and education reform.

“My message to my profession and to the public is to value the opportunities that we can provide our students, “ Beam said. “Every time students get exposed to new information, it could be the ember that ignites their passion for education and their future endeavors. We do not always know what will engage our students, but when we open up new avenues we show them that they are capable in new ways. I want the public to know that as teachers we are inspired by the ‘ah ha’ moments that our students have and we want to foster that excitement when our students ‘get it’ for the first time or make a connection to prior learning.”