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Nancy Taylor served as the San Diego Office of Education’s Science Curriculum Coordinator for over 20 years. Nancy was renown for her forward thinking and innovative approach to science education and was dedicated to bringing hands on, minds on, interactive pedagogical technics to teachers throughout California and the nation.
Nancy recognized the value of the SeaPerch program and through the San Diego Science Alliance, a volunteer 501c3 organization that fostered collaboration between San Diego’s professional STEM and educational communities. Nancy promoted the organization and sustainability of SeaPerch San Diego (SPSD) and the SPSD Regional Tournament. We sadly lost Nancy to breast cancer but thanks to the dedication of those who shared her passion for superior STEM education her efforts live on in events such as the SeaPerch San Diego Regional Qualifying Tournament. The Nancy Taylor Award is now annually presented to a person or group deemed instrumental in keeping SeaPerch San Diego and the SPSD Regional Tournament as a tool for students and teachers exploring quality STEM education.

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Warren Bacon and Nancy Taylor were married when Nancy died of breast cancer. Warren marveled at Nancy’s abilities to bring innovative and creative STEM education programs to classrooms across San Diego County and beyond. Warren’s desire to do as much as he can to keep Nancy’s work fresh and vital is certainly reflected in the Sea Perch San Diego STEM program. Because of Warren’s generosity to SPSD we can continue to provide a travel stipend to our qualifying teams, gift Sea Perch kits to deserving STEM classes and groups, and offer the annual tournament at its beautiful current venue of Cathedral Catholic High School in Del Mar. We loved Nancy and her work, and we certainly love you Mr. Bacon.

Recipients of the Nancy Taylor Award:

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Andrew, thank you for your commitment, flexibility and "we can make this work" attitude. We appreciate you volunteering so much of your own time to make sure the competition runs smoothly, and for ensuring the experience is meaningful to all. You have not only made an impact on our team, but have made a profound impact on Seaperch students and their families, here in San Diego. We couldn't do it without you!

Andrew Knoll
2023 Recipient


Michael B. Jones is Founder and President of The Maritime Alliance (TMA), which is a non-profit cluster organization started in January 2007.  Originally focused on San Diego – the largest U.S. BlueTech (ocean and water tech) cluster – it has a growing number of members in the U.S. and abroad.  Its Mission Statement is “Promoting Sustainable, Science-Based Ocean & Water Industries”.  Its tag line is “Promoting BlueTech and Blue Jobs®”.   Its BlueTech Incubator was launched in Fall 2017.  The annual BlueTech Week is one of the largest BlueTech networking events in the U.S.  The 11th annual BlueTech Week planned for Nov. 18-22, 2019 is expected to have over 650+ individual participants from 16+ countries at 8 events over 5 days.  TMA is helping promote the creation of regional clusters globally and in 2017 helped form the BlueTech Cluster Alliance which today includes 10 leading BlueTech clusters from 8 countries.  Michael is an angel investor and has helped start a number of organizations and companies.  He was born in Germany, speaks 5 languages and travels extensively.

Michael B. Jones,
2019 Recipient

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Kathleen has participated in and promoted SeaPerch in San Diego since its inception and continues to provide SPAWAR and USN volunteers for the SPSD Regional Qualifying Tournament. This tournament absolutely would not happen without this valuable source of help. The SPSD Council extends their deepest gratitude to Kathleen and SPAWAR for their help making this important, exciting STEM education event.

2018 Recipient

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When Dr. Reese served as Dean Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Exercise Science and Wellness at Grossmont Community College, he procured the pool facilities and necessary facility support to enable SPSD to hold the regional tournament. Mike is an ardent supporter of hands-on, inquiry based STEM education and an invaluable supporter of the SPSD mission.  Mike has moved on to an interim District position in the college planning office but assured continued support for the tournament in the capable hands of Dr. Cary Willard.  With this award, we thank these dedicated educators and Grossmont College for their continued support.

Dr. Michael Reese
2017 Recipient

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Alicia discovered SeaPerch as a participant in the San Diego Science Alliance’s NSF funded Exploring STEM Careers Initiative. She quickly took the reins and promoted SeaPerch at Mar Vista Middle school, where she teaches, convincing site administration that SeaPerch should be part of the middle school curriculum opposed to a voluntary after school program.In a short amount of time, Sweetwater School District recognized the STEM educational value of SeaPerch and offered Alicia the opportunity to provide training and support for SeaPerch curriculum throughout the district.Alicia was awarded the first Nancy Taylor award in recognition of her spirit and dedication to the growth of the SeaPerch program and continuation of the SPSD Regional Qualifying Tournament.

Alicia Johal
2016 Recipient

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