Whether it’s a Little League trophy or a pat on the back from your boss at work, being recognized for hard work feels good; when it is the President of the Unites States congratulating you, it feels great.
Local Walnut Elementary School sixth grade teacher Jamie Garner has been feeling pretty great lately as a recent recipient of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Only 102 math and science teachers are recognized for their teaching talent, one from each subject in each state as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Department of Defense Education Activity, who will be acknowledged in the coming year at a ceremony in Washington D.C.
“These teachers are inspiring today’s young students to become the next generation of American scientists, mathematicians and innovators. Through their passion and dedication, and by sharing their excitement about science, technology, engineering, and math, they are helping us build a promising future for all our children,” said President Barack Obama.
Garner is not new to accolades. She was named the 2013 Stanislaus County Teacher of the Year for the 4th-6th grade division in May. This is her seventh year teaching at Walnut.
“Jamie possesses a wealth of qualities and skills that single out her teaching as exemplary,” said Walnut Principal Mark Holmes in May. “She sets extremely high standards for herself, and consequently her students. Her instructional focus and level of organization are phenomenal. She is able to accomplish a tremendous amount of work in any given instructional day, and despite her exceptional qualifications, she seeks to learn and improve.”
The Presidential awardees will each receive $10,000 furnished by the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion and will have the opportunity to visit with members of Congress and the Administration at educational and celebratory events during their time in Washington, D.C. The winners, after being reviewed at the state level, are selected by a panel of distinguished educators, mathematicians and scientists. The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded each year, alternating between kindergarten through 6th grade and 7th through 12th grade teachers.
President Obama deems the annual award important because of his critical goal of strengthening science, technology, engineering, and math or STEM education. His aim of preparing 100,000 science and math teachers over the next decade inspired 100kin10—a collation of leading service organizations, corporations, universities, and philanthropies, among others working to train and advance STEM teachers across the nation.