Carla Recher began her teaching career as a substitute teacher in San Diego after completing her credentialing program at San Diego State University. Although she is a Southern California native, she had never heard of Lancaster as she drove from San Diego for an interview for a full-time teaching position. Carla was hired on the spot for a position at Piute Middle School- where she is still teaching today.
Carla began teaching 6th grade and eventually switched to teaching 7/8th grade math. After a few years of teaching, Carla decided to challenge her top students by turning their class into “Math Exploration” which led her students to participating in the Future City Competition. Future City is a cross-curricular program that challenges students to make connections as they apply math and science concepts to real-world issues. Carla recalls this being the beginning of her interest in alternative energy and environmental issues.
The Math Exploration class eventually became the precursor to the school’s STEM program. As the program at Piute Middle School developed further, Carla was introduced to MEEC and the free STEM resources it provides High Desert educators. “Since becoming involved with MEEC in 2010, I have taken advantage of many of the different opportunities they offer to teachers” she states. Carla has received MEEC grants to help fund environmental classroom projects which have included lessons on solar energy, wind energy and energy consumption. With the help of MEEC, she is also focusing on getting the Piute School Garden up and running which will serve as an ongoing Service Learning project for her students. Last summer, Carla was selected as a recipient of a scholarship to attend The Key Issues Institute in Keystone Colorado and has been incorporating what she learned into the curriculum that she teaches.
“My main goal in teaching is to give my students experience and opportunities,” Carla said, “MEEC has made it possible for me to get many of the materials for my students that provide great hands-on learning experiences.”