Education Leaders in Yonkers, NY, and Henderson, TN, Win Inaugural YouScience® Innovative Educator Awards

Honorees recognized for their work to inspire and guide students to reach their full potential

AMERICAN FORK, UTAH (PRWEB) — Two respected educators have been named the inaugural recipients of the  YouScience® Innovative Educator Award, recognizing their exceptional contributions in guiding and inspiring students to explore their aptitudes and make informed decisions about their futures. This award celebrates educators who have implemented innovative approaches to empower the next generation of professionals through academic and career exploration.

The winners of the inaugural YouScience® Innovative Educator Award are Principal Steven Mazzola of Saunders Trades and Technical High School from Yonkers, New York, and School Counselor Darlene Goff of Chester County Schools from Henderson, Tennessee.

Steven Mazzola and Saunders Trades and Technical High School prepare students for academic and career success. With over 30 years of experience in education, Principal Steven Mazzola has been a driving force at Saunders Trades and Technical High School, where he has served as principal for nearly 20 years. Under his leadership, the school has consistently achieved graduation rates of 94-98% or higher. Mazzola’s innovative approach combines career and technical education (CTE) courses with academic programs, ensuring students are well-prepared for success in both school and life. He introduced YouScience® to the school, helping students identify their best-fit career and educational pathways and quantify their skills for potential employers.

Saunders Trades & Technical High School is committed to combining vocational and academic instruction to provide graduating students with skills for employment and academic preparation for college. Situated in the diverse school district of Yonkers, the third largest city in New York state, the magnet school has implemented strategic measures to enable and empower its students through various tools and programs. The remarkable outcomes achieved by Mazzola, the administration, staff, and students are a testament to the profound impact of their work.

Christina Nola, Assistant Principal of Saunders Trades and Technical High School, expressed her delight at the acknowledgement of Mazzola’s outstanding work, stating, “Mr. Mazzola is the personification of a true educational warrior! Under his nearly 20-year tenure as Principal of Saunders Trades and Technical High School, Mr. Mazzola challenged all staff and students to maximize their full potential. Leading by example, he never stopped loving the classroom or lost his passion for teaching, and he maintained his role as teacher in his capacity as Principal. He expanded the 112 years of traditions and maintained the legacy of what being a part of the Saunders family is about. At the helm, Mr. Mazzola fostered relationships with parents, staff, and students—making Saunders a second home where every member is loved, appreciated, and respected.”

Highlights of Principal Mazzola’s accomplishments:

  • Integration of career and technical education (CTE) courses with academic programs, providing a comprehensive educational experience that prepares students for both employment and college.
  • Creation of a positive and inclusive learning environment that embraces diversity and fosters student success.
  • Introduction of YouScience to help students identify their best-fit career paths and quantify their skills, empowering them to make informed decisions about their futures.

Darlene Goff of Chester County Schools uses data to transform educational experiences for students Darlene Goff of Chester County Schools in Henderson, Tennessee, has been counseling students for over 21 years. Noting that many of her junior high students lacked a clear direction for their high school educational pathways, she spearheaded efforts to create a more meaningful and impactful educational experience. She has worked tirelessly to make high school pathway recommendations based on their personalized results. Through one-on-one sessions with teachers from appropriate aptitude-fit programs, Goff and her team deliver personalized guidance and support, resulting in significant success stories for students as they discover their individual pathways. Field trips have been made more meaningful through targeted recruitment efforts to encourage student engagement aligned to their best-fit career clusters.

Darlene’s exceptional contributions to the success of Chester County Schools have not gone unnoticed by the administration and staff, who have emphasized her innovative and student-centered approach. Dr. Belinda Anderson, Principal, Chester County Junior High School, praised Darlene’s advocacy, stating, “School Counselor Darlene Goff’s unwavering dedication and innovative approach have revolutionized the educational experience at Chester County Junior High School. By empowering students to discover their unique pathways and providing personalized guidance, she has transformed their futures. Through her tireless efforts, Darlene has not only made a difference in the lives of countless students but has paved the way for a more meaningful and impactful educational journey. Her commitment to student success is truly inspiring.” Chester County Schools began working with YouScience in 2017, and in 2019 participated in a career education and workforce development study of five counties in West Tennessee funded by a USDA grant with the Tennessee Board of Regents. After the grant funding ended, Goff championed keeping, and even expanding, use of YouScience in the Chester County Schools to ensure intentionality in their career advising program. As they begin the 2023-2024 school year, the district is committed to expanding programs and industry engagement with  YouScience® Brightpath, through their Innovative School Model grant funded by the Tennessee Department of Education.

Highlights of Counselor Goff’s achievements:

  • Extensive experience counseling students with a focus on individualized guidance, ensuring that each student’s unique needs and aspirations are understood and addressed.
  • Organization of one-on-one sessions with teachers from aptitude-fit programs, providing personalized guidance and encouragement to students on the cusp of discovering their individual pathways.
  • Utilization of YouScience® Aptitude & Career Discovery and Insights & Analytics to help students gain certainty about their future academic pathways, empowering them to make informed decisions about their educational and career goals.

Innovative educators make the difference

“We are thrilled to recognize Principal Steven Mazzola and Counselor Darlene Goff with the YouScience Innovative Educator award. They exemplify the transformative power of educators who utilize the right tools to promote career exploration and certifications, bridging the expanding skills gap in the U.S.,” said Edson Barton, CEO, YouScience. “These educators equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate an ever-evolving job market and make informed decisions about their educational and career paths.”

The YouScience Innovative Educator Award recipients are selected based on their innovative programs and use of YouScience solutions to support students’ career exploration journeys. These educators have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to fostering a positive, forward-thinking educational environment that prioritizes student success and future readiness. Educators, students, and parents are encouraged to nominate deserving educators who are making a significant impact in career exploration using YouScience products. Nominations for subsequent winners can be submitted by completing a  submission form. To learn more about YouScience, please visit

About YouScience
YouScience® is the leading technology provider dedicated to solving the skills and exposure gap crisis for students and employers. Its end-to-end platform, YouScience® Brightpath, connects education with career applications designed to help students unlock their potential for future pathways. YouScience leverages proven research, artificial intelligence, and industry input to help individuals identify their aptitudes, validate their skills and knowledge, and get matched with real-world educational and career pathways in high-demand occupations. YouScience is the preferred choice of individuals, parents, educators, and counselors to guide and support educational and career pathways, currently serving more than 7,000 educational institutions and millions of users nationwide.

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