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District STEM Director Selected to Lead National Science Organization

February 25, 2019

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tanya Arja
Office of Communications

Tampa, Fla. – (February 25, 2019) – Hillsborough County Public Schools Director of K-12 STEM Education, Mr. Larry Plank, has been chosen to serve as the president of the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA). He will begin his 3-year term in June as president-elect before taking over as president in 2020.

NSELA works to develop leaders in K-12 science education across the country to maximize effective teaching and learning. Mr. Plank is a national leader in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, bringing innovative STEM curriculum to Hillsborough County students and professional development for teachers and staff.

Superintendent Jeff Eakins says he is not surprised Mr. Plank was chosen for this prestigious role. “Larry Plank is completely driven to provide cutting-edge opportunities for students. He wakes up every day and gives it his all to ensure our students have the best resources and support they need to be ready for post-secondary education and the workforce.”

Mr. Plank will continue his role in Hillsborough Schools, directing STEM education and events for students at every grade level, both in and out of school.

Some of his most recent work in our district and the Bay area includes starting up and spearheading the Tampa Bay STEM Network, a collaborative of educational and STEM partners focused on strengthening STEM educational experiences for children in Tampa Bay, managing multiple grant-funded programs from the National Science Foundation, NASA and more, and serving as an advisor to the district for 100Kin10, a national group working on eliminating science and STEM teacher shortages in Florida.

“As a long-term member of NSELA, it is an honor to be elected to this role by science leaders around the nation. I hope that I can give back to emerging leaders as much as I received from previous leaders in the organization “, said Larry Plank, Director of K-12 STEM Education for Hillsborough County Public Schools.

Larry Plank has served in Hillsborough County Public Schools since 2000. Prior to his career in education, Mr. Plank worked as a marine biologist for the State of Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission where he monitored commercially and recreationally important grouper, snook and redfish populations in the Gulf of Mexico.

For more information on HCPS STEM:
For more information on NSELA:
For more information on 100Kin10:
For more information on STEM Learning Ecosystems:
For more information on the Tampa Bay STEM Network:


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