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Astellas and The National Science Teachers Association Announce 2009 Class of Local Science Educators

DEERFIELD, Ill., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Astellas Pharma US, Inc. ("Astellas"), in partnership with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), is pleased to welcome its second-year class of Chicago-area science teachers to participate in the 2009 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy. The national, year-long program connects new science teachers to a range of tools and resources, while providing the support needed to build a strong foundation for science in their classrooms. The 2009 Astellas-sponsored science teachers, known as Astellas-NSTA Fellows, include 15 new science educators from middle and high schools in Chicago and the surrounding Cook, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Tazewell counties.

"As a young science teacher I've found that juggling my responsibilities, while at the same time instilling in students an interest in science, can be a daunting task," said Alex Mendralla, an eighth grade teacher at Palombi Middle School in Lake Villa, IL. "I am extremely excited to be a part of an amazing program that understands those struggles and offers solutions to the various frustrations that new science educators encounter."

Headquartered in Deerfield, IL, Astellas' support of the NSTA and the New Science Teacher Academy is one of the key initiatives the company is undertaking to support the local community and the advancement of science in the classroom.

"Science is not only the foundation of our business, it's our passion. A renewed and continued interest in the field -- particularly among our youth -- is what will keep fresh ideas and innovation moving forward," said Seigo Kashii, president and CEO of Astellas Pharma US, Inc. "Our ongoing commitment to the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy reflects our overall goal of fostering the advancement of, and inspiration in, science careers -- jobs that are pertinent in building a brighter future for us all."

According to a 2007 study, roughly one in four new teachers in Illinois leave their teaching careers during their first five years and do not return(1). In an effort to help address the issue of teacher attrition, the NSTA created the New Science Teacher Academy, a professional development initiative designed to help promote quality science teaching, enhance teacher confidence and classroom excellence, and improve teacher content knowledge. The program uses mentoring and other professional development resources to support new science teachers during the often challenging, initial teaching years and to encourage them to stay in the profession.

"The ability to learn and develop exceptional teaching skills throughout a teaching career can have a profound effect on the quality of the teaching force and the performance of students," said Dr. Francis Eberle, executive director, NSTA. "We remained thrilled at the results we see each year and are grateful to have continued support from industry leaders, like Astellas, for this critical program."

For more information about the New Science Teacher Academy, or to learn how to apply, please visit

About NSTA

The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association ( is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership includes more than 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education. The New Science Teacher Academy was created as part of NSTA's John Glenn Center for Science Education Campaign.

About Astellas

Astellas' culture and brand is committed to building community, helping others, encouraging integrity and inspiring people to make a difference, today, tomorrow and every day.

Astellas Pharma US, Inc., located in Deerfield, Illinois, is a U.S. affiliate of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. The organization is committed to becoming a global category leader in focused areas by combining outstanding R&D and marketing capabilities. In the US, Astellas markets products in the areas of Immunology, Urology, Anti-Infectives, Cardiovascular and Dermatology. For more information about Astellas Pharma US, inc., please visit our website at

(1) Karen J. DeAngelis and Jennifer B. Presley, Illinois Education Research Council Symposium June 7-8, 2007, Leaving Schools or Leaving the Profession: Setting Illinois' Record Straight on New Teacher Attrition

SOURCE Astellas Pharma US, Inc.
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