Three W.Va. Educators Named Finalists for Prestigious Presidential Award

Posted: November 21, 2011

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Three West Virginia mathematics teachers have been selected as state finalists for the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Amy Cowgill of Frankfort High School in Mineral County, Neil Reger of Buckhannon-Upshur High School in Upshur County, and Sheila Ruddle of Pendleton Middle School in Pendleton County represent math teachers in seventh through 12th grade. One of the three state-level finalists will now be eligible to receive the national award.

“The teachers we honor have demonstrated uncommon skill and dedication as they help mold tomorrow’s scientists, mathematicians, engineers and math and science teachers,” said West Virginia Superintendent Jorea Marple. “West Virginia’s future and America’s future depends upon young people who have a solid foundation in math and science.”

Established by Congress in 1983, the Presidential award program recognizes one highly qualified mathematics and science teacher from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Territories and the U.S. Department of Defense Schools. The program is administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of The White House. Teachers selected as national winners by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators receive $10,000, a Presidential citation and a trip to Washington, D.C., for a series of recognition events, professional development and an awards ceremony. The national awardees will be announced in the spring.

Cowgill, a National Board Certified teacher, has been described by colleagues as a “technologically savvy teacher who is filled with initiative, energy, enthusiasm, content knowledge and genuine concern for students.”

Reger, who also is a National Board Certified teacher, was recognized in 2010 as West Virginia’s High School Mathematics Teacher of the Year. He has been described as “a self-motivated and conscientious individual who continually strives to improve his practice through his own professional development and through working with students and other teachers.”

Ruddle, a National Board Certified teacher, was West Virginia’s 2010 Middle School Mathematics Teacher of the Year. Colleagues describe her as “a reflective professional who communicates effectively, actively listens to others, and makes instructional decisions based on student learning needs.”

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

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