A National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certified teacher, Mrs. Combs, received a B. S. in Biological Sciences from Marshall University and a Master of Education degree from the University of North Florida. Retiring from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after 35 years of teaching in Florida, Jo began her teaching career in the Duval County schools.
Experiences teaching Biology and Secondary Science Methods in Jacksonville, at Broward College, and Florida Atlantic University stimulated Mrs. Combs’ interest in teacher training and mentoring. After retirement, Mrs. Combs was asked to return to work within the Broward County Schools assisting high school science departments, assisting new educators with alternative certification, and, most recently, assisting departments with EOC Biology strategies and resources. Mrs.Combs presently works as a trainer under the STEM programs in Broward County.
Mrs. Combs’ professional experiences include leadership as
Science Department Chairman of J.P. Taravella and Marjory
Stoneman Douglas High Schools and, for 20 years,
Lead Teacher in the Academy Programs for Students Underrepresented in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering. Mrs. Combs has served many years on school improvement committees and as the chairman of three of these School Advisory Committees; she has served on state teacher testing, curriculum, Science textbook, and software committees. She has served as a clinical educator for the Professional Orientation Program and a Directing Teacher for Intern Teachers.
Her love of teaching Biology has led her to develop plans and teaching materials specific to her students’ needs and her own interests and professional development. Second to her love of classroom teaching was her role as a department chairman
involved closely with colleagues in analysis of curriculum and assessment development and teaching strategies.
In addition to teaching all academic levels of Biology and
Advanced Placement Biology, Earth Science, Physical Science,
and Ecology, Mrs. Combs taught Science Research. Her research students were successful competitors in symposia, local, state, and international science competitions. Honored as a Teacher of the Year by her peers at J.P. Taravella and Stoneman Douglas High Schools, Mrs. Combs was also honored as a Teacher of the Year for her work with Science Fair participants.
Mrs. Combs has written materials and served as a consultant for science supply companies and worked as a contributing author to a Biology text. Mrs. Combs has presented at the national conventions of NSTA and NABT. She has received recognition as an Outstanding Teacher in Florida in the Tandy Academic
Excellence in Science competition, as a Florida’s Biology Teacher of the Year by the National Association of Biology Teachers, and as a State of Florida Finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching.