When science teacher Mike Smith joined the faculty at this small K-12 school in the rural coal mining town of Coalfield, the science department was at an all-time low: test scores were low and both academic and physical renovations were desperately needed. Mr. Smith worked to implement a vertical integration for the school's entire science curriculum and led a campaign to build two science labs. Now graduates of Coalfield's science program find that they are well prepared for university-level classes, and in some cases are even better prepared than students from much larger schools. Smith promotes science education both in and out of the classroom. To raise student and public awareness about the health of a local stream, he coordinated a program called "Kids in the Creek." For his science fairs, he obtains judges from nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Because of all the exciting learning opportunities Mr. Smith presents, many of his students are preparing for careers in science. Sought after by many large, urban schools, Mr. Smith refuses to leave Coalfield.