North Carolina Middle School Teacher Headed to Bahamas to Study Endangered Sea Turtles

Posted on Jun 6, 2017

  • STEM
VSL News

DALLAS, June 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A North Carolina middle school teacher may just have the most interesting “what I did on my summer vacation” tale to tell when the 2017–18 school year begins.

Sponsored by Voyager Sopris Learning, Catherine Hickey, an Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) teacher for Person County Schools in Roxboro, N.C., will spend nine days in July in the Bahamas tracking endangered sea turtles as part of JASON Learning’s Student & Teacher Argonaut Program, designed to transform K–12 STEM teaching and learning.

Hickey’s district was the winner of a drawing sponsored by Voyager Sopris Learning, a Dallas-based education solutions provider, following the company’s recent webinar focused on helping struggling readers. Students and teachers must apply for the program through JASON, often competing against their peers around the world.

For the expedition that runs July 13–21, Person County Schools’ Chief Academic Officer Dr. Wendy Staskiewicz selected Hickey, who is in her fifth year at the district and second year teaching AIG middle school students.

“I immediately thought of Cat, who joined our district fresh out of college and is such a promising young educator,” Dr. Staskiewicz said. “She is so good at thinking of new ways to get students excited about project-based learning and helping her students make real-world connections to the topics they study. This is a once-in-a-lifetime research project opportunity, and she will be able to return to the classroom and use this experience to teach her students in new and exciting ways.”

In the Bahamas, Hickey is to be paired with a student and, along with other teachers and youths, will work side-by-side with scientists and engineers—both in and out of the water—as they track, tag and release the endangered green and hawksbill sea turtles, study their migration patterns, and collect and analyze key data. Researchers are working to ensure the sea turtles’ habitats are protected from coastal development and that their food resources continue to be abundantly available.

“With the hands-on experience and testing we’ll be doing, it will help me better learn how professionals use science in the field,” said Hickey, who earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of North Carolina. “I don’t have a science background so this will be an incredible learning opportunity for me and allow me to incorporate what I learn in the Bahamas into lessons and projects in our classroom.”

Since the founding of JASON Learning 26 years ago, more than 500 students and teachers have participated in the Argonaut Program.

“We’re thrilled we could sponsor such a talented young teacher like Catherine Hickey for this exciting, outdoor learning adventure,” said Jeffrey A. Elliott, President, Voyager Sopris Learning. “Beyond the nine days in the Bahamas, Cat can return in the fall as a STEM role model and share firsthand with her students what she learned in the JASON classroom.”

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About Voyager Sopris Learning
Voyager Sopris Learning® is committed to partnering with school districts to meet and surpass their goals for student achievement. The suite of instructional and service solutions we provide is not only research based, but also evidence based—proven to increase student achievement and educator effectiveness. Our solutions have been fully tested in the classroom, ensuring that they are easy to implement and teacher friendly. They are innovative, both in overall instructional approach and in the strategic use of technology in blended and 100 percent online solutions, and they are supported by an unparalleled commitment to build local capacity for sustained success. With a comprehensive suite of instructional resources, we provide assessments, professional development and literacy and math instructional tools—both comprehensive intervention and supplemental—and resources to build a positive school climate. Voyager Sopris Learning is a business unit of Cambium Learning® Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABCD), based in Dallas, Texas.

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About Cambium Learning Group, Inc.
Cambium Learning® Group is a leading educational solutions and services company committed to helping all students reach their full potential. Cambium Learning accomplishes this goal by providing evidence-based solutions and expert professional services to empower educators and raise the achievement levels of all students. The company’s award-winning brands include: Learning A-Z® (, ExploreLearning®(, Kurzweil Education® (, and Voyager Sopris Learning® (, which, together, provide breakthrough technology solutions for students and teachers—including best-in-class intervention and supplemental instructional programs; gold-standard professional development; valid and reliable assessments; and products that enable access to learning for all students.  Cambium Learning Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABCD), is based in Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit


Media Contact

Ileana Rowe
Senior VP of Marketing
Voyager Sopris Learning
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Doug Thompson

Thompson Drake Public Relations
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Investor Contact

Barbara Benson
Chief Financial Officer
Cambium Learning Group, Inc.

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