A Calallen High School math teacher has been named the sole finalist for a prestigious national award.

The Calallen Independent School District board of trustees honored Toni Norrell Monday for her nomination for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The award is the nation's highest honor for teachers of math and science and "recognizes highly qualifies K-12 teachers for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession," according to the PAEMS Website.

Norrell teaches Advanced Placement statistics and Algebra I at Calallen High School. She has been with the school district for 10 years.

Norrell said Monday she was surprised at hearing she'd been nominated for the award. She was even more shocked, she added, to find out in August that she'd been named the sole finalist for the state of Texas, which usually nominates three candidates.

"I'm still getting used to this," Norrell said. "It's kind of exciting."

President George W. Bush will name the recipients of the PAEMS award in the spring of next year. The winners will receive a citation signed by the president and a paid trip for two to Washington D.C. to attend a weeklong series of recognition events and professional development opportunities.

In addition, recipients will also receive gifts from program sponsors from around the country and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

Norrell told the newspaper Monday that she credited the school district for helping her get to this point in her career.

"I think it's a culmination of all the support and teamwork, because we do a lot of team teaching. That's one of the things I like about working at Calallen," Norrell said. "I couldn't have done it without all this support."

Since 1983, more than 3,700 teachers have received the PAEMS award.