Skip to Content Skip to Footer Accessibility Concerns
Front of Dysart Unified School District Building

Shadow Ridge Teacher Named Outstanding Biology Educator


Zachary Zimmerman, a teacher at Shadow Ridge High School, was honored with the 2020 Outstanding Biology Teacher Award (OBTA) for advancing biology education in the state of Arizona. The award was presented to Mr. Zimmerman by The National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) in conjunction with Carolina Biological Supply Company.

The award recognizes a teacher who has made invaluable contributions to the profession, enhancing the teaching of biology. Considerations for the award include teaching ability, experience, innovation, initiative, positive student-teacher interactions, and collaboration in the school and community. The award is given annually to a teacher from each U.S. state, the District of Columbia, US Territories, and Canada. 

“By approaching education as a builder, I am able to equip young people with critical thinking and interpersonal skills, as well as a solid grasp of the scientific method so that they can become problem solvers that change the world,” wrote Mr. Zimmerman of his teaching philosophy. "I am honored to receive this recognition. It is my pleasure to empower students to become tomorrow's innovators."

Mr. Zimmerman has 15 years of experience teaching science education, the last five at Shadow Ridge, where he teaches Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors biology, as well as anatomy and physiology. He also co-developed the state-aligned biology curriculum for the Dysart Unified School District, leads the Professional Learning Community of biology teachers for his school, and regularly partners with local scientists to provide students with practical lab experience and career advice. Mr. Zimmerman’s dedication to student success is especially exemplified by the extra hours he spends tutoring students on weekends and evenings, resulting in establishment of the leading AP biology program in the district.

“Mr. Zimmerman’s commitment to the success, well-being, and personal growth of his students is an asset to his community and to advancing science education in Arizona. We are pleased to recognize his service with this award,” said Dr. Daryn Stover, Arizona’s OBTA Director.

A special presentation to OBTA winners will be given by the NABT at its national conference, which will be held virtually this year in November due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the award, Mr. Zimmerman will be presented with a gift certificate from Carolina Biological Supply Company and a complimentary one-year membership to the NABT.

For More Information

15802 N Parkview Place, Surprise