CITGO Announces Winners of Fourth Annual Fueling Education Program

More than 100 teachers receive STEM-related prizes to benefit their classrooms and schools
Jul 7, 2016 10:00 AM ET

HOUSTON, July 7, 2016 /3BL Media/ – CITGO Petroleum Corporation awarded 102 elementary and middle school teachers this week as the winners of its fourth annual Fueling Education Program.  The teachers received prizes related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to benefit their students in grades K-8 and help enhance programming in their schools, located in the Northeast, Central and Southern regions of the United States.

Three Grand Prize winners were selected to receive a one-of-a-kind in-school training session led by ‘America’s Science Teacher,’ best-selling author and Emmy-award winning television personality, Steve Spangler. The teachers have the opportunity to invite up to 99 other fellow teachers from their school district to attend and learn STEM-related topics, lessons and activities to engage their students. Each Grand Prize winner also received a $5,000 voucher to purchase classroom supplies from National School Supply. The following teachers received the Grand Prize: 

•    Megan Wilder of North Elementary School, Prince George, Va. 
•    John Chybion of Jupiter Elementary School, Palm Bay, Fla. 
•    Courtney Weretka of Pershing Elementary School, Joliet, Ill. 

The workshops will be held in each of the winner’s school districts in October and November 2016. Teachers will also receive professional development credit by attending the workshop and will be given a gift bag from Steve Spangler with items that they can use to replicate experiments taught during the workshop in their own classrooms.

“The goal of the workshops is to provide tools and resources to help teachers ignite a passion for science within their students by making STEM subjects more exciting, engaging and meaningful within their classrooms,” said Steve Spangler. “Together, we can spark creativity and curiosity among students by delivering memorable learning experiences.”

Nine First Prize winners were also chosen for an all-expense paid trip to Spangler’s “Science in the Rockies” seminar, held Wednesday, July 6, through Friday, July 8, 2016, in Denver, Colo. During the seminar, these teachers participated in hands-on workshops to further develop the way they teach STEM subjects. Each First Prize winner also received a $1,000 voucher to purchase classroom supplies from National School Supply. The following teachers were awarded this First Prize: 

•    Tiffany Floyd, J H Blackwell Elementary School, Richmond, Va. 
•    Caroline Solazzo, Seymour Smith Intermediate Learning Center, Pine Plains, N.Y. 
•    Jennifer Sword, Sanderson Elementary School, Lancaster, Ohio 
•    Dana Knapp, Pinewood Elementary School, Elkhart, Ind.
•    Stacey Meehan, J C Ellis Elementary School, Metairie, La. 
•    Dana Ogden, Douglas Elementary School, Tyler, Texas 
•    Mary Chancey, Jordan Middle School, Lawrenceville, Ga.
•    Shelly Furr, Pumpkin Center Primary School, Lincolnton, N.C.
•    Beth Harrison, Mount Lebanon Elementary School, Pendleton, S.C.   

Caroline Solazzo was thankful for the opportunity to discover new ways to engage her students.  

“As a teacher in a public school system, there isn’t always enough money for professional development opportunities like the Steve Spangler Science in the Rockies conference, so I was very excited to have the chance to attend,” said Solazzo. “As a technology and special education instructor, I am always looking for projects that I can use to engage all of my students in science and this was an amazing opportunity to discover innovative ways to do that.” 

Finally, 90 Second Prize winners received a $1,000 voucher to purchase classroom supplies from National School Supply. 

Throughout the past four years, the CITGO Fueling Education program, which focuses on the importance of engaging young students in STEM subjects, has contributed new school supplies to hundreds of teachers across the country. CITGO believes that providing educators with the resources they need is a critical investment for the future of students and their communities. 

To learn more about the program, visit

About Steve Spangler 
Steve Spangler is a best-selling author, educator, entrepreneur and Emmy award-winning science communicator who finds the most creative ways to make science fun. His videos featured on YouTube have more than 190 million views, and his online experiments are widely used by parents and educators to increase student engagement and inspire young scientists to learn more about STEM-based careers. Steve is probably best known for using YouTube as his classroom to teach millions of people how to turn a bottle of soda and a roll of Mentos into an erupting soda geyser. Spangler is a frequent guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show where she dubbed him “America’s Science Teacher…because his creativity and sense of fun are inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders.” For more, visit or   

About CITGO 
CITGO is committed to giving back to the local communities it serves through its network of locally owned stations. CITGO Marketers and Retailers own and operate nearly 5,500 CITGO locations and are proud to support their communities. For more information on the positive impact of the locally owned CITGO stations, visit

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit