Area teachers win Presidential Awards for science, math

Posted June 7, 2010 2:15 p.m. EDT
Updated June 7, 2010 3:18 p.m. EDT

— Teachers from Durham and Chapel Hill were named Monday as recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

The annual award recognizes the best science and math teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level.

Each year, the award alternates between math and science teachers in kindergarten through sixth grade and those in seventh through 12th grades. This year, honorees teach in grades seven through 12.

Maria Hernandez of Durham won for math in North Carolina, while Judith Jones of Chapel Hill won for science.

“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 Barack Obama said in a statement. “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.”

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