Marsalis Elementary STEAM Academy Earns National Certificate for STEM Excellence


Thomas L. Marsalis Elementary STEAM Academy is the first school in Dallas ISD to earn the National Certificate for STEM Excellence from the National Institute for STEM Education (NISE). 

“The road to this designation in a pandemic has been tough, but still a wonderful experience for our campus,” shared Principal Kimberly Richardson. “For Marsalis to be able to provide a valuable educational option to the South Oak Cliff community means everything to me. This has been many years in the making!”

The NCSE recognizes individual school campuses for their commitment to and systematic support of teachers’ understanding and use of high-impact, evidence-based STEM instructional strategies.

Headquartered in Houston, NISE was conceived by seasoned, practicing educators and is based on thousands of hours of research, professional development, curriculum design, and educational leadership. 

Using an online platform and supported by a dedicated NISE STEM leadership coach, educators and instructional leaders work together to refine school operations and instruction to further strengthen STEM practices and the campus’ overall STEM culture.

“T. L. Marsalis STEAM Academy was incredibly enthusiastic from the beginning about STEM,” said Dr. Mary Roberts, Retired Dallas ISD Deputy Superintendent and the campus coach from NISE. “They came in ready to implement project-based learning, include more technology applications, and promote more student collaboration. Now, they demonstrate in their classrooms and in delightful hallways that STEM is part of every child’s learning every day.”Marsalis Elementary STEAM Academy Earns National Certificate for STEM ExcellenceAs part of earning the NCSE campus certification, six Marsalis classroom educators also earned the National Certificate for STEM Teaching (NCST), further contributing to the school’s collective STEM expertise. They are Brittany Taylor, Caitlyn Gibbs, Sasha Greene, Ketia Fellows, Deena Palenapa and campus STEM Instructional Lead Monica Napier.

About the National Institute for STEM Education

NISE is a research-based support system for campuses and teachers seeking to strengthen STEM instruction and outcomes. Based on 15 STEM Teacher Actions that evolved from STEM professional development originally created at Rice University, NISE’s campus and teacher certificates help school leaders and teachers understand and apply research and best practices in STEM, 21st-century learning, and professional development. For information, visit


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