Math and Science Teachers Earn Presidential Award

Posted: May 19, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -Two West Virginia educators are among nearly 100 teachers across the country to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for 2007.

Holly Plunkett, a National Board Certified Teacher with 31 years of experience in the classroom, has taught mathematics at University High School in Morgantown for 22 years. She holds certification in seventh through 12th grade math and teaches honors geometry and AP calculus. She also serves as the school’s technology coordinator.

Mickie Ann Richardson, a National Board Certified science teacher, teaches AP biology, biology and conceptual biology at Parkersburg South High School. Richardson, a 20-year veteran, is the sponsor of the Women in Science Club and served as the school’s summer science camp coordinator and science chair. She also served on the state and county textbook adoption committees, as vice president of the West Virginia Science Teachers Association and was the 2007 West Virginia Biology Teacher of the Year.

“Math and science are critical to preparing today’s students for the 21st century,” said Steve Paine, state superintendent of schools. “Holly Plunkett and Mickie Ann Richardson are examples of how excellent teaching can help students learn math and science concepts in fun and creative ways.”  

As part of the award, Plunkett and Richardson each will receive $10,000 over three years from the National Science Foundation. In addition, the teachers were recognized earlier this month at an awards ceremony during an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. The week-long celebration also included professional development.

Established by Congress in 1983, the annual program identifies highly qualified mathematics and science teachers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Territories and the U.S. Department of Defense Schools. Candidates are chosen by a panel of scientists, mathematicians and educators on the basis of their teaching performance, background and experience. The program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

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