Enos and Leigh honored as Biotechnology Education Champions


Megan Schulz

GHS Science teachers David Enos and Eric Leigh honored as Biotech Education Champions for 2017


On November eighth GHS science teachers David Enos and Eric Leigh were honored as “Biotechnology Education Champions 2017” by MassBio, a Cambridge based organization that is made up of many biotech companies located in Massachusetts.

The awards ceremony held at the BC Club in Boston officially recognized Mr. Leigh and Mr. Enos as champions of Biotechnology Education. These two Gloucester High School teachers were chosen to be honored for their dedication to Biotech education.

Leigh first got involved with MassBioEd, a division of MassBio that trains teachers to teach their students biotech skills and the importance of biological sciences, in 2009. As a result of that relationship, in 2013 Eric Leigh received the Joshua Boger “innovative school of the year” recognition for life science education award.  

The $10,000 grant attached to that recognition provided GHS with the first significant purchase of modern biology tools.

“This technology will help students get involved in the field of Biology. This will also give them more options and more opportunity,” said Leigh.

According to Enos, Leigh’s relationship with MassBioEd brought GHS into the 21st century. He also got the other Biology teachers at GHS involved with MassBioEd. “The training and professional development that MassBioEd provided has revolutionized teaching and learning at GHS,” said Enos.

Soon after the course was approved Leigh and Enos applied for and received a $100,000 grant for biotechnology equipment from the Mass Life Sciences Center. As a result there is now a state of the art biotechnology laboratory at GHS.  

Leigh and Enos are committed to providing students high quality, engaging and relevant life sciences curriculum that prepares them for the 21st century. They developed a Biotechnology class at Gloucester High School and continue to work towards their goal of building it into a full-year course and certificate program. They also recruit students into Gloucester Biotechnology Academy vocational program, which helps to illuminate biotechnology career pathways for high school graduates. 

Eric and David describe the vision for the future of life sciences education at GHS to be one where “more students get the opportunity to learn 21st century science skills through hands-on lab activities, we equip and motivate an increasing number of students to pursue careers in the growing field, teachers are better equipped to teach hands-on science with state of the art equipment and strong professional development, and GHS becomes a regional magnet school through school choice for students who are interested in STEM.”  – MassBioEd website.

The Biotech industry in Massachusetts will need to fill 11,600 additional jobs by 2022. However though Massachusetts higher education programs are growing the number of biotech-related degree graduates, the biotech-related job postings are increasing at a faster rate.

Mr. Leigh and Mr. Enos are trying to help fill those positions by promoting Biotech education at GHS.

“Because of this grant, there has been new training for biology teachers,” said Science Program Leader Carol Cafasso. “This is a new era for us working with this level of technology.”

“This award is a true honor,” said Enos. “Having our vision for Biotech education recognized beyond the walls of our classrooms is just the type of thing that will give GHS the reputation we deserve as a top tier school in Massachusetts.”

Tonight, Enos and Leigh will be presented to the school community in recognition of this award, and look for their upcoming interview with Dr. Safier on “Superintendent’s Corner.”