California Educator

October 2016

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F O U R C A L I F O R N I A E D U C ATO R S , including three CTA members, were recently named among the winners of the 2014 and 2015 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). e award is the nation's highest honor specifically for teachers of K-12 mathematics and science (including computer science). e award, which includes $10,000 from the National Science Foundation, recognizes educators who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning. Each year, the award alternates between teachers of grades K-6 and teachers of grades 7-12. "ese teachers represent the best of their profession in math and science, and are extraordinary role models for their stu- dents," says state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. "eir dedication and expertise prepare our students for successful careers in a technologically advanced world and a global economy." Up to 108 awards are given annually. Winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and edu- cators following an initial selection process at the state level. For more information and to apply, see Presidential Awards for Excellence Members recognized for math and science teaching The 2015 PAEMST mathematics winner is Maria McClain, who teaches multiple courses at Deer Valley High School in Antioch, Contra Costa County. McClain, Antioch Education Association, has been teaching mathematics for 28 years. As Mathematics Department chair at Deer Valley High, she supports the transition to the Common Core by facilitating professional development and collaboration opportunities for teachers. The 2015 PAEMST science winner is Michael Towne, an engineering and AP physics teacher at Orange Vista High School in Perris, Riverside County. Towne, Val Verde Teachers Association, teaches 10th-graders at Orange Vista, which opened this year. He taught AP physics and engineering at Citrus Hill High School for nine years, where his students won local, regional and state awards for applied science and engineering projects they designed and built. The 2014 PAEMST mathematics winner is Andrew Kotko, a teacher at Mather Heights Elementary School in Mather, Sacramento County. Kotko, Folsom Cor- dova Education Association, has taught first grade at Mather Heights for the past five years. He is a founding teacher of the Folsom Cordova Academy for Advanced Learning, a public magnet school focused on inquiry and project-based learning. By affirming exploration and risk-taking, he instills a foundation of critical thinking and problem-solving in his students. The 2014 PAEMST science winner is Erica Rood, a teacher at CHIME Charter School in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles County. As an innovator in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, Rood has created curriculum for both the National Aeronautics and Space Admin- istration and Edwards Air Force Base's Junior Test Pilot School to inspire elementary students toward STEM disciplines. 46 CTA & You

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