President Obama kicked off the new school year by recognizing four Idaho teachers with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
Idaho’s Presidential Award winners were among 213 teachers from across the country who are receiving the national award.
Among Idaho’s winners is a veteran, award-winning science teacher who helped draft new academic standards that the Legislature refused to consider.
Idaho’s winners include:
- Giselle Isbell, formerly of Anser Charter School and currently of Athlos Academies, mathematics
- Linda Truxel, Barbara Morgan Elementary School, McCall, science
- Jason George, Vision Charter School, science
- Micah Lauer, Heritage Middle School, West Ada, science.
“The recipients of this award are integral to ensuring our students are equipped with critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are vital to our Nation’s success,” Obama said in a White House news release. “As the United States continues to lead the way in the innovation that is shaping our future, these excellent teachers are preparing students from all corners of the country with the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills that help keep us on the cutting-edge.”
As part of their recognition, the teachers are invited to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony and to meet with Obama administration officials. They also receive a $10,000 from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion.
The winners were nominated at the local level and then selected by a panel of mathematicians, scientists and fellow teachers.
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George was a member of the team of teachers, scientists and education stakeholders who helped develop a new set of science standards that were rejected by the Idaho Legislature earlier this year with little explanation or debate by lawmakers. As a result, Idaho’s science standards are unchanged and the process of updating standards has been delayed again until 2018.
George has previously received the Governor’s Industry Award for Notable Teaching in STEM.