104 Math and Science Teachers Receive Presidential Accolade

By Lynn Olson — November 07, 1984 10 min read
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Mathematics and science educators from around the nation gathered here last month to be honored for their effective and creative teaching.

The 104 winners of 1984 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching represented each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. They were chosen from among thousands of nominees through a search conducted by the National Science Foundation in coordination with the Education Department and a consortium of scientific and professional societies and organizations representing science and mathematics teachers. The project is managed by the National Science Teachers Association.

The candidates, who had to have a minimum of five years’ experience teaching in mathematics or science, and who had to be employed at least half time, were “judged on their creativity in the classroom, their effect on students, and their professional goals and activities,” according to the nsf

Source of Encouragement

“It’s encouraged me to continue to put my very best into teaching,” said Doris W. Hawkins, a biology teacher from White Station High School in Memphis, Tenn., who won that state’s science award. “It also reinforces my conception of teaching as being one of the most important occupations that an individual could have. It’s one where you can really see the results of your teaching from day to day.”

The excellence awards were established by the Congress last year. One science and one mathematics teacher are selected from each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The teacher’s school receives a $5,000 grant from the nsf to be used under the teacher’s supervision to supplement the school’s science and mathematics program.

In addition, the private sector contributed more than $800,000 in financial and in-kind gifts for the 1984 awards. Apple Inc., the International Business Machines Corporation, Commodore, and Tandy-Radio Shack, for example, jointly contributed a microcomputer package to each teacher’s school.

Just as important as the financial and material rewards are the psychic boosts that the awards provide for teachers, said John M. Fowler, the project’s director. Mr. Fowler predicted that “these teachers will float out of town on a cloud.”

“We feel honored,” said Thomas R. Bross, a physics and pre-calculus teacher from Moravian Academy in Bethlehem, Pa., who won the science award for his state. “It gives some prestige to high-school science, which is needed in view of some of the damaging publicity that has come our way in the last year.”

He added: “Programs like this give a high-school teacher some incentive to continue, to perfect his own lectures, to become involved in professional organizations, and to have a chance to rub elbows with other good teachers in science and mathematics.”

Creativity and Innovation

The winners said they emphasized creative approaches to science and mathematics education, high standards, and hands-on experience for students.

Juliana Texley teaches biology and earth- and space-science at Richmond (Mich.) High School. She described how she had designed an interdisciplinary program of science, research, and writing skills for second-year science students that she taught with an English teacher from her school.

“It was so revolutionary that we couldn’t find any model for it,” she said.

Reginald Waddoups, who teaches junior-high school mathematics and introductory computer courses at Kamiakin Junior High School in Kirkland, Wash., described a state-level mathematics contest that he helped develop for middle-school and junior-high-school students and a science and mathematics fair that junior-high-school students run for children at the elementary level.

Mr. Bross built a walk-in pinhole camera for his students and a large lazy susan on which students sit and hold out a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length. As the students bring the dumbbells closer to their bodies, the circular tray rotates faster and faster, demonstrating the “conservation of angular momentum,” he said.

“I like to transmit enthusiasm to the students,” Mr. Bross explained, “and if they haven’t experienced something I’m talking about, I try to demonstrate it.”

He said he spent part of last summer co-leading a college workshop in which high-school teachers developed a curriculum for using the microcomputer as a laboratory instrument to measure light intensity, motion, and temperature, and to put instantaneous time graphs on the screen.

Mr. Bross said that he hoped the nsf and others would fund more summer workshops and seminars for high-school teachers. “It’s one of the only opportunities that high-school teachers have to do research and not be interrupted by study halls and that kind of thing,” he said. “It’s a way to continue to promote high ideals in the teaching of science in high school.”

The following teachers were cited by the awards program:

Alabama: Jane D. Nall, science, Escambia County High School, Atmore; Wanda M. Motes, mathematics, Enterprise High School, Enterprise.

Alaska: Deborah Pomeroy, science, West Valley High School, Fairbanks; James A. Seitz, mathematics, Romig Junior High School, Anchorage.

Arizona: Wayne Williams, science, Corona Del Sol High School, Tempe; Sherry Baca, mathematics, Granite Mountain Junior High School, Prescott.

Arkansas: William A. Merrifield, science, Fayetteville Senior High School, Fayetteville; Linda F. Shibley, mathematics, Southeast Middle School, Pine Bluff.

California: Alfred W. Guenther, science, Stephen M. White Junior High School, Carson; Lyle Fisher, mathematics, Redwood High School, Larkspur.

Colorado: Marie Z. Sullivan, science, Sabin Junior High School, Colorado Springs; Christine J. Comins, mathematics, Pueblo County High School, Pueblo.

Connecticut: Joel W. Block, science, Brien McMahon High School, Norwalk; John C. De Meo, mathematics, Coginchaug Regional High School, Durham.

Delaware: Harry J. Dillner, science, Christiana High School, Newark; Harry Kutch, mathematics, William Penn High School, New Castle.

District of Columbia: Kathleen Sweeney-Hammond, science, The Maret School, Washington; Ethel Cobb Henderson, mathematics, Banneker High School, Washington.

Florida: Angie L. Matamoros, science, Coral Springs High School, Coral Springs; Marita H. Eng, mathematics, Sandalwood Junior-Senior High School, Jacksonville.

Georgia: Annie Laura Pace, science, Cedar Shoals High School, Athens; Raymond L. Lamb, mathematics, Northside High School, Atlanta.

Hawaii: Iris H. Shinseki, science, Aiea High School, Aiea; Reverie N. Suzuki, mathematics, Iolani School, Honolulu.

Idaho: Joanne Tegan Thompson, science, Capital High School, Boise; Jerry Helgeson, mathematics, Meridian Senior High School, Meridian.

Illinois: George S. Zahrobsky, science, Glenbard West High School, Glen Ellyn; Cathy J. Cook, mathematics, Margaret Mead Junior High School, Elk Grove.

Indiana: Nevin E. Longenecker, science, John Adams High School, South Bend; Martha E. Hegg, mathematics, Elston High School, Michigan City.

Iowa: Kenneth A. Hartman, science, Ames Senior High School, Ames; Karen A. Dotseth, mathematics, Cedar Falls Senior High School, Cedar Falls.

Kansas: Kenneth J. Bingman, science, Shawnee Mission West High School, Shawnee Mission; Beverly W. Nichols, mathematics, Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, Shawnee.

Kentucky: Jane Scott Sisk, science, Calloway County High School, Murray; Thomas Richard Mowery, mathematics, Southern Junior High School, Lexington.

Louisiana: Gary L. Stringer, science, West Monroe High School, Ouachita High School, Ouachita Parish Gifted Program, Monroe; Barbara I. Stott, mathematics, Riverdale High School, Jefferson.

Maine: Jane Abbott, science, Waterville High School, Waterville; Andrew W. Williamson 3rd, mathematics, Lincoln Academy, Newcastle.

Maryland: Paul H. Hummer Jr., science, Middletown High School, Middletown; Carvel LaCurts, mathematics, Pocomoke High School, Pocomoke City.

Massachusetts: Joreen Valerie Piotrowski, science, Newman Middle School, Needham; Martin J. Badoian, mathematics, Canton High School, Canton.

Michigan: Juliana Texley, science, Richmond High School, Richmond; Timothy Vail Craine, mathematics, Renaissance High School, Detroit.

Minnesota: Daniel D. Danielsen, science, The Blake School, Minneapolis; Richard A. Hanson, mathematics, Burnsville Senior High School, Burnsville.

Mississippi: Della M. McCaughan, science, Biloxi High School; Mary Kathryn McMullan Sims, mathematics, Bay Springs High School, Bay Springs.

Missouri: Frank S. Quiring, science, Clayton High School, Clayton; Donnie W. Priest, mathematics, Rolla Senior High School, Rolla.

Montana: Jim Cusker, science, Sentinel High School, Missoula; James Williamson, mathematics, Columbus Junior-Senior High School, Columbus.

Nebraska: Ronald James Cisar, science, Lewis and Clark Junior High School, Omaha; Alvin A. Gloor, mathematics, Westside High School, Omaha.

Nevada: Virgil A. Sestini, science, Bonanza High School, Las Vegas; Jennifer Jo Salls, mathematics, Robert McQueen High School, Reno.

New Hampshire: Rodney F. Mansfield, science, Merrimack High School, Merrimack; Timothy Howell, mathematics, St. Paul’s School, Concord.

New Jersey: Dorothea Allen, science, Boonton High School, Boonton; Jane B. Kennedy, mathematics, Morris Knolls High School, Denville.

New Mexico: Brother Joseph Matthew Walsh, science, St. Michael’s High School, Santa Fe; David Dee Archer, mathematics, Roswell High School, Roswell.

New York: Chirakkal Variyam Krishnan, science, East Islip High School, Islip Terrace; Mark E. Saul, mathematics, Bronx High School of Science, Bronx.

North Carolina: Lucille H. Daniel, science, Rutherfordton-Spindale High School, Rutherfordton; David Lewis Darragh Green, mathematics, Charles Edward Jordan High School, Durham.

North Dakota: John T. Hobbs, science, Fordville Public School, Fordville; Leland Sabby, mathematics, Valley City High School, Valley City.

Ohio: Clifford L. Schrader, science, Dover High School, Dover; Rudd Adams Crawford Jr., mathematics, Oberlin High School, Oberlin.

Oklahoma: Otis Autry, science, Booker T. Washington High School, Tulsa; David Lee Drennan, mathematics, Norman High School, Norman.

Oregon: Richard F. Duncan Jr., science, Whitford Junior High School, Beaverton; Scott D. McFadden, mathematics, Sheldon High School, Eugene.

Pennsylvania: Thomas R. Bross, science, Moravian Academy, Bethlehem; Barry L. Kauffman, mathematics, Penn Manor School District, Millersville.

Rhode Island: Leslie Ferry Bettencourt, science, Lincoln Senior High School, Lincoln; Sue Himelick Fisher, mathematics, South Kingstown High School, Wakefield.

South Carolina: Elizabeth M. Reagan, science, J.L. Mann High School, Greenville; Alexia B. Latimer, mathematics, Eastside High School, Taylors.

South Dakota: Marvin D. Selnes, science, Patrick Henry Junior High School, Sioux Falls; Rochelle VonEye, mathematics, Plankinton High School, Plankinton.

Tennessee: Doris W. Hawkins, science, Overton High School, Memphis; Polly Anna Philips Harris, mathematics, Bearden High School, Knoxville.

Texas: Linda J. Oldham, science, Stratford High School, Houston; Marjorie Valentine, mathematics, John Jay High School, San Antonio.

Utah: M. Russell Hunt Jr., science, Davis High School, Kaysville; Jolene M. Morris, mathematics, Bennion Junior High School, Bennion.

Vermont: Elizabeth Ann Carvellas, science, Colchester High School, Colchester; M. Marklyn Trainor, mathematics, Rutland High School, Rutland.

Virginia: Betty Wade Jones, science, N.B. Clements Junior High School, Prince George; Barbara Day Bass, mathematics, St. Catherine’s School, Richmond.

Washington: Jack Dombrosky, science, Clover Park High School, Tacoma; Reg Waddoups, mathematics, Kamiakin Junior High School, Kirkland.

West Virginia: James Attison McClanahan, science, Poca High School, Poca; Dorothy Dale Williamson, mathematics, St. Albans High School, St. Albans.

Wisconsin: Marilyn F. Hanson, science, James Madison Memorial High School, Madison; LeRoy C. Dalton, mathematics, Wauwatosa West High School, Wauwatosa.

Wyoming: Elizabeth A. Horsch, science, Kelly Walsh High School, Casper; Judy Adams, mathematics, Laramie Junior High School, Laramie.

Puerto Rico: Federico Aponte Acaron, science, John F. Kennedy High School, Santa Isabel; Luz P. Gonzalez Rivera, mathematics, Ana Roque High School, Humacao.

A version of this article appeared in the November 07, 1984 edition of Education Week as 104 Math and Science Teachers Receive Presidential Accolade


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