Two Virginia middle school teachers are among 108 educators named by President Barack Obama on July 1 as recipients of the 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.
Melanie Pruett, a seventh-grade teacher at Bailey Bridge Middle in Chesterfield County, earned the award for mathematics; and Anne Moore, formerly a seventh-grade science teacher at Robious Middle in Chesterfield County – earned the award for science. Moore is now a career and technical education teacher at Goochland Middle in Goochland County. The two teachers were among four finalists in each content area selected by review committees convened by the Virginia Department of Education.
“I look forward to personally congratulating these two outstanding Virginia teachers,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples. “They each have undergone rigorous scrutiny at both the state and national levels and are now recognized as among the best of the best in mathematics and science instruction.”
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.
Pruett and Moore will each 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 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching program is administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House. Each year, the award alternates between teachers in grades K-6 and grades 7-12.The program was established by Congress in 1983 and authorizes the president to bestow awards each year to honor outstanding mathematics and science teachers in the 50 states, District of Columbia, federal territories, Puerto Rico and Department of Defense schools.