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Heather Buskirk


Heather Buskirk developed an interest in science during middle school in St. Louis, Mo., By the time she graduated from Ladue High School in 2000, she had already done a lot of tutoring; but she was not seeking a teacher education program for college.

When Heather enrolled at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, she majored in astronomy-physics and planned to pursue a PhD in astrophysics. Instead, she found herself more engaged by her teaching activities. “I really enjoyed my part-time job operating telescopes for an astronomy observation class.” During her summers, she worked in the physics department programming Flash applets for use in teaching physics and astronomy concepts, and as a teaching assistant for the Masters of Arts in Physics Education (MAPE) program.

Heather graduated from UVA in 2005 with joint bachelor’s degree in arts and master’s in teaching. She teaches three levels of physics at Johnstown High School in Johnstown, N.Y. She also finds time for visits to Missouri. “Whenever I have a break from teaching and preparing for my classes, I like to head home to St. Louis to spend time with my family and ride horses on my parents’ farm.”