WASHINGTON, D.C. - President George W. Bush recently honored math teacher Toni Norrell from Calallen High School with the 2007 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the Nation's highest honor for teaching in these fields.
Norrell, who was in Washington last week to accept her award, is the only math winner from Texas and one of 99 teachers nationwide to receive this prestigious award.
"We are delighted to have an opportunity to honor the teachers with these events," said National Sciene Foundation Director Arden L. Bement Jr. "Excellent teachers are crucial to our children's success in science and mathematics, and they have a tremendous impact on their students‚ future interests and pursuits. As a nation, our future innovation and competitiveness depends upon young people who have a solid foundation in these disciplines and an interest in further study."
In a citation from President Bush to Norrell, she is commended "for embodying excellence in teaching, for devotion to the learning needs of the students, and for upholding the high standards that exemplify American education at its finest."
As an awardee, Norrell receives a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, the federal agency that administers the awards program on behalf of the White House. Norrell will also receive a trip for two to Washington, D.C., for a week of celebratory events and professional development activities.
Among the activities during that week are a day with scientists and science educators at NSF; meetings with members of Congress and federal agency leadership; and a reception and dinner at the U.S. Department of State featuring guest speaker Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, a NASA Astronaut-Mission Specialist.
Established by Congress in 1983, the Presidential Awards program annually identifies highly qualified mathematics and science teachers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. territories, and the U.S. Department of Defense schools. This year's recipients, recommended for the award by a panel of leading mathematicians, scientists, and educators, are teachers of grades seven through 12.