Molly Shabica

Sloan Awards for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics • 2024

Title and Organization Physics, Chemistry, Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School


Ms. Shabica’s experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer and a science teacher at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School have shaped her into the inspiring educator she is today. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Shabica has also pursued advanced education through the Peace Corps Fellows Program and Columbia University. Ms. Shabica’s journey has not been without its obstacles, including a military coup that forced her and her family to flee Mali. However, she has remained resilient and dedicated to her work, inspiring her students to persevere and pursue their passions. Today, Ms. Shabica serves as the acting head of the Science Department at Fannie Lou and continues to inspire others through her work with Math for America, as a Master Teacher. Ms. Shabica’s rigorous and active projects have led students to learn about DNA testing, fingerprinting, blood splatter patterns, and a host of other forensic techniques. It has built interest by creating hands-on experiences that have been memorable to her students. Ms. Shabica is one of those rare visionaries who is also highly practical and skillful in making things happen. She has led the fundraising efforts that got full funding for the Wolbachia Project from Toshiba. When some of the Woods Hole researchers saw her early students’ results, they said, “These must have come from AP students”. They were surprised when they learned the truth as Ms. Shabica has held high and rigorous standards for her 10th grade class. Her story is a reminder that with hard work, determination, and a passion for learning, anything is possible.