2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
In 2008, my colleague Paula Young, now retired, nominated me for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Paula won the 2005 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. I had been nominated in 2002 for the 2003 cohort, but didn't make it to the state finalist level. This time was different. I submitted my application in April 2009 and in December, I found out that I was the Missouri finalist, meaning that I was the only math teacher to be sent on to the national committee to consider. Each state could choose as many as three math and three science teachers to be sent to the national level, and I was the sole math teacher to earn the state's nod that year. What an honor! Two Missouri science teachers names were passed on to the national committee. In June of 2010, I found out that I had been approved at the national level and had thus been named a 2009 awardee. I would be heading to Washington, DC in December of 2010 for a week of professional development, speakers, tours, receptions, and a brief meeting with President Barack Obama. What an amazing honor! My wife, daughter, and nephew traveled with me to DC for the week. In all, the 2009 cohort consists of 103 math and science teachers from across the country, including U.S. territories, the District of Columbia, and Department of Defense schools for dependents living abroad.
My district was pretty excited about the honor as well. My school put my story on its homepage and the electronic messaging marquis out in front of the school congratulated me all summer. The first media coverage about the award was on KSDK's website, though I had no TV or radio coverage about the award. The Suburban Journals ran an article on my selection and included a video. Truman State University, where I earned my undergraduate and Master's Degrees, also noted my honor. Later in the year, I recieved a proclamation from the Missouri State Legislature and Northstar, the school paper at Francis Howell North, ran a story and video about that. There was a fair amount of newpaper coverage after my trip to Washington as well.
Below is a photo of me with NSF Director Subra Suresh and OSTP Director John P. Holdren.
Below is a photo of me, the other 102 Presidential Awardees from 2009, and President Barack Obama.
2006-2007 Francis Howell School District Teacher of the Year
After being a Francis Howell North Teacher of the Year nominee and finalist 8 times, the 2006-2007 school year was the year that I won the honor. I then submitted an application for the district-level selection committee and was named the 2006-2007 district Teacher of the Year.
2003 Achieved National Board Certification
I hold National Board Certified in Adolescent and Young Adulthood Mathematics through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The process of becoming a National Board Certified Teacher is a rigorous process that can take up to 3 years. I say that the process was the best professional development of my career. Some compare it to working on a Master's Degree (or more) in one single year. I'm proud to work in the Francis Howell School District, where I have so many colleagues who hold this advanced credential.