Student Profile

Nikki Skinner – Teacher of the Year

Texas Science teacher and Western Governors University student Nikki Skinner earned the Teacher of the Year award at Almeda Elementary School.

“Having been nominated by my peers, I am happy that people see that science is important and that we are really working hard to make it meaningful, not to just pass a test but to make life long enthusiasts of science exploration out of students,” Nikki said. “The engineers of tomorrow are sitting in a 5th grade class today. I like to think that I am enabling them to be that scientist, robotics expert, or engineer.”

Nikki enrolled at WGU in 2005 to earn her master’s degree in science education after learning about WGU through a poster in the teacher’s lounge. “It was exactly the answer I was looking for to complete my graduate degree. I needed a flexible program that could accommodate my schedule and still allow me to teach full-time,” she said. Nikki earned her undergraduate degree from Texas Southern University in elementary education.

“Being able to go to school and completing on your own schedule is the reason WGU works for so many working adults,” Nikki said. “Last year my mother developed cancer, I was teaching, attending WGU, and I was dealing with my own housing crisis. If it wasn’t for the flexibility WGU allows, I would have had to drop out.”

“This degree is a step up. I’ve made a commitment to be more than the average teacher, I’m evolving,” Nikki stated. “I have had supervisors tell me I’m a master teacher. With this degree, I now feel this title is appropriate.”