Outline of the state of Virginia with a torch. Text reads: Virginia Department of Education.

Four Teachers Selected as State Finalists for Presidential Awards

by | Sep 2, 2018 | News, Schools & Education

From the Virginia Department of Education

Richmond, Va. — Four elementary teachers are Virginia finalists for the 2018 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The award – regarded as the nation’s top honor for mathematics and science teachers – recognizes teachers who develop and implement high-quality instructional programs that improve student learning.

The 2018 Virginia finalists in grades K-6 are as follows:

  • Allison Crisher of Luxford Elementary in Virginia Beach for mathematics
  • Melissa Follin of Old Donation School in Virginia Beach for mathematics
  • LoriAnn Pawlik of Penn Elementary in Woodbridge for science
  • Rebecca Schnekser of Cape Henry Collegiate in Virginia Beach for science

“The commitment each of these teachers brings to the classroom is commendable,” Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said. “They encourage deeper learning by engaging their students in impactful and thought-provoking lessons. I look forward to personally congratulating each one at a future Board of Education meeting.”

Review committees convened by the Virginia Department of Education selected the state finalists. The application process requires nominees to provide evidence of deep content knowledge and exemplary pedagogical skills and focuses on the following five dimensions of teaching:

  • Mastery of mathematics or science content appropriate for the grade level taught;
  • Use of instructional methods and strategies that are appropriate for students in the class and support student learning;
  • Effective use of assessments to evaluate, monitor and improve student learning;
  • Reflective practice and life-long learning to improve teaching and student learning; and
  • Leadership in education outside the classroom.

A national review process — facilitated by the National Science Foundation — determines the final awardees for each state. The 2018 national winners are expected to be announced by the president sometime next year. National winners will receive a $10,000 unrestricted award from the National Science Foundation, a presidential certificate, and a trip to the nation’s capital later this year for a series of recognition events and professional development activities.

The National Science Foundation administers the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching program on behalf of the White House.

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