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2 LA Unified teachers selected as finalists for national award

Yana Gracile | July 22, 2014

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Presidential Awards teachers LAUSDTwo LA Unified elementary school teachers are among six California educators selected as finalists for the 2014 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching or (PAEMST).

The two were selected in the science category: Kristen Johnson, a fifth grade teacher at low-performing 93rd Street Elementary School, where she has taught for 21 years; and Erica Rood, a third grade teacher at high performing CHIME Charter School in Woodland Hills, where she has taught for six years.

“The subjects these outstanding educators teach so well are part of STEM education, an area that is critically important to the success of our students and our state,” State School Chief Tom Torlakson said in a press release of all the finalists.

“From these early grades, and with such engaged and inspired instructors, we will be able to encourage more students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—the building blocks of learning.”

The nominees must demonstrate a mastery of math or science, appropriate use of instructional methods and strategies, effective use of assessment strategies, lifelong learning, and leadership in education outside the classroom.

The California Department of Education (CDE) partnered with the California Science Teachers Association and the California Mathematics Council to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program, which was enacted by Congress in 1983 and authorizes the President each year to bestow up to 108 math and science awards to teachers nationwide.

The awards are considered to be the highest honor for math and science teachers.

The full list of California nominees is here.

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