10 teachers vie for presidential award

The State Board of Education at its February meeting recognized five mathematics teachers and five science teachers as state finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. 

This award is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through grade 12 mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States.

Teachers applying for the award must submit a video of a lesson taught in his or her classroom and a description of the selected lesson in the video, the instructional strategies used in the lesson, how the students were assessed on the content, personal reflections on life-long learning to improve teaching and student learning, and his or her leadership roles in education outside of the classroom.

Every year, each state and U.S. jurisdiction recognizes up to five math and five science teachers as state finalists. The applications for the state finalists are reviewed by a national committee who recommends two finalists to be considered as awardees for each state. These finalists are subject to a Federal Bureau of Investigation background check before being named as a national awardee.

Established by Congress in 1983, the president of the United States may recognize up to 108 exemplary teachers each year. Awardees receive an all-expense trip for two to recognition events in Washington D.C., a certificate signed by the president of the United States, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

 The 2017 Texas mathematics finalists are: Nichole Bennett, Bowie Middle School, Amarillo Independent School District; Megan Gabriel, Denton High School, Denton ISD; Lauren Hawkins, Richardson High School, Richardson ISD; Mark Rogers, Meridian School, Round Rock, Texas; and Jean Hand Streepey, Highland Park Middle School, Highland Park ISD in Dallas. 

 The 2017 Texas science finalists are: Kay Fincher, Amarillo High School, Amarillo ISD; Laura Frost, Western Hills High School, Fort Worth ISD; Lollie Garay, Redd School, Houston; Terry Snow, Aledo Middle School, Aledo ISD; Kara Swindell, and Margaret Talkington School for Young Women Leaders, Lubbock ISD.