State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced Monday that six mathematics and science teachers, including two educators in Los Angeles County, are finalists from California for the 2019 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
Maria Garcia, who teaches at Richard Henry Dana Middle School in the Wiseburn Unified School District in El Segundo, is among the mathematics finalists. Garcia, who been teaching for 20 years, is the Mathematics Department chair at her school and hosts Mathematics Saturday events for parents and students.
Garcia also created the Girls Who Code Club at her school and launched a Hack-a-Challenge, for which students from grades five through 12 came together and worked on creating and building a robot that could successfully clean the surrounding beaches in the community.
Eric Delgado, who teaches engineering design courses at the Lennox Mathematics, Science and Technology Academy in the Lennox Elementary School District, is a science finalist.
Delgado, who has been teaching for 17 years, “provides students with in-depth engineering education experiences and the engineering design process and technical drawing skills,” according to a statement released by Thurmond’s office.
The PAEMST program is administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Presidential Award recipients are honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., and receive a $10,000 special award from the NSF.
Awards are given to teachers who teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics and/or computer science from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Department of Defense schools, and four U.S. territories, which are recognized as a group.
“These teachers are bright stars in our educational system, and they’re being nominated for this prestigious award because they serve as role models for other teachers, inspire students to study math and science, and serve as leaders in their school communities,” Thurmond said. “We want more teachers like them all across California so that all students can enroll in great STEAM and computer science programs to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.”
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