June 10, 2009
For Immediate Release
Two Kansas educators among nation’s leading math and science teachers to be honored by White House
Topeka—Sherry Helus and DeAnn Swofford of Kansas were among the 87 educators announced yesterday by the White House as recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for 2008. The teachers will be recognized in the fall at a White House ceremony.
Helus is a third grade teacher at Wamego West Elementary School, Wamego USD 320. Swofford teaches sixth grade science at Pioneer Ridge Middle School, Gardner-Edgerton USD 231.
“There is no higher calling than furthering the educational advancement of our nation’s young people and encouraging and inspiring our next generation of leaders,” President Obama said. “These awards represent a heartfelt salute of appreciation to a remarkable group of individuals who have devoted their lives and careers to helping others and in doing so, have helped us all.”
Awardees are selected from mathematics and science teachers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with the competition alternating each year between kindergarten through sixth grade and seventh through twelfth grade teachers. After an initial selection process at the state level, a national panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators recommend teachers to receive the Presidential Awards. The awards are administered by the National Science Foundation.
Recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching receive $10,000 awards from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for a White House awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and science agency leaders.
The award, established in 1983 by the Education for Economic Security Act, is given annually to outstanding math and science teachers across the United States.
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