Geneva School District 304 News Article

Staff Spotlight: Stephanie Algrim

Stephanie Algrim and Gizzy the tortoise

Sixth grade science teacher Stephanie Algrim has been teaching middle school science since 1994. She came to Geneva Middle School North (GMSN) in 2008. She took a short break from GMSN when she and her family moved to Seattle but came back to GMSN when they returned in 2020.

She is an animal lover who fosters dogs and cats from Anderson Animal Shelter with her family. Plus, her teaching “assistant” is a 30-year-old Bell's Hingeback tortoise named Gizzy, who lives in her classroom. Gizzy recently helped the class with gravity models to show the relationship between mass and gravitational force. She also helps with biosphere lessons (like food web, animal adaptations).

“I got her the first year that I was teaching and sometimes she helps with lessons,” said Ms. Algrim. “The kids love her, and she has her own Instagram account!” Many of Ms. Algrim’s students asked for an Instagram account so they could stay in touch with Gizzy.

“I've taught in several school districts and Geneva 304 has the most amazing staff, students, and parents that I've ever experienced,” she said. “I love walking into Geneva Middle School North each day and being surrounded by such supportive and enthusiastic colleagues!”

Ms. Algrim earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Michigan State University with a minor in science and social science. She also achieved a master’s degree in middle school science education at National Louis University.

In her spare time, she loves to be outdoors. “I spend a lot of time in the Pacific Northwest. Biking and hiking are my favorite summer activities, and, in the winter, I downhill ski every chance I get! I'm also frequently at the Geneva Library finding my next good read.”

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