CASPER, Wyo. — A Newcastle High School science teacher has been named Wyoming’s 2023 Teacher of the Year.

Zach Beam, who teaches physical science, physics and advanced chemistry, has been selected as the Wyoming Teacher of the Year. Beam’s selection was announced in a surprise assembly at Newcastle High School on Thursday, according to the Wyoming Department of Education.

“Zach has the ability to bring the excitement of learning to his students with innovation and explanation,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder. “What he is doing in the area of STEM education — and what he plans to do next fall — just goes to show that he is all-in with letting his students grasp these far-reaching concepts in a way that is really, really fun and exciting.”

Beam has taught at Newcastle High School for nine years and will be teaching a science, technology, engineering and mathematics lab in Newcastle in fall 2023, according to the WDE.

“I was honored to be named Weston #1 District Teacher of the Year, but it is above and beyond to be named Wyoming Teacher of the Year,” Beam said. “It was amazing to see the student reaction to the announcement and it continues to get me excited to see them excited.”

Weston School District #1 Superintendent Brad LaCroix congratulated Beam.

“He truly does care for all his students, and it shows by the relationship he has established with every one of his students,” LaCroix said. “Zach has been a science teacher for WCSD #1 for 10 years. He is an exceptional teacher that has the art of making science fun and exciting as well as educational for the students. He is greatly respected by students and staff at Newcastle High School as well as in the community.”

Beam has a bachelor’s of science degree from Black Hills State University and a master’s of arts in science education from Western Governors University. He previously worked for the U.S. Forest Service Job Corps’ Education Department.

“My message to my profession and to the public is to value the opportunities that we can provide our students,“ Beam said. “Every time students get exposed to new information, it could be the ember that ignites their passion for education and their future endeavors. We do not always know what will engage our students, but when we open up new avenues we show them that they are capable in new ways. I want the public to know that as teachers we are inspired by the ‘a-ha’ moments that our students have and we want to foster that excitement when our students ‘get it’ for the first time or make a connection to prior learning.”