W.Va. Educators Receive Prestigious Presidential Award

January 21, 2011

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Cynthia Burke, a math teacher at Sherrard Middle School in Marshall County, and Rebecca Jones, a science teacher at Lumberport Middle School in Harrison County, are among 103 mathematics and science teachers to receive the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The teachers recently received their awards during a ceremony at the White House.


Cynthia Burke receives the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Also shown in the photos are left, Dr. Subra Suresh, director of the National Science Foundation, and right, Dr. John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

“Science and technology have long been at the core of America’s strength and competitiveness, and the scientists and engineers who have led America on its remarkable path to success share something very precious: science and math teachers who brought these critical subjects to life,” President Barrack Obama said. “(With this award), we honor some of the best of these teachers and thank them for their dedication. They are inspirations not just to their students, but to the nation and the world.”

Presidential award winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level. Candidates are chosen based on their teaching performance, background and experience. Each year the award alternates, going either to science and math teachers in grades K through 6 (as it is this year) or to those teaching in grades 7 through 12.

Rebecca Jones receives the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

"There is no higher calling than furthering the educational advancement of our nation’s young people," state Superintendent of Schools Ted Mattern said. “As a state and a nation, our future innovation and competitiveness depends upon young people who have a solid foundation in math and science. That foundation begins with teachers like Cynthia and Rebecca.”

Winners receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also receive an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and science agency leaders.

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.

For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.

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