4 Mainers named finalists for national award to recognize math, science teachers

Posted Oct. 08, 2012, at 4:05 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Four Maine teachers have been named finalists for a national award that honors science and math educators.

The National Science Foundation will pick up to one math and one science teacher from each state to receive the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, according to a Maine Department of Education press release.

The nominees are Lauree Gott, a science teacher at Veazie Community School; Sally Plourde, a second-grade teacher at Prides Corner School in Westbrook; Elizabeth Vickery, a kindergarten teacher at Cushing Community School; and Karen Jagolinzer, a fifth-grade teacher at Frank H. Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth.

The four educators were recognized during the Oct. 5 Maine Science Teachers Association conference in Gardiner.

“You are living, breathing, walking best practice machines,” Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen said during the ceremony. “It is evident that you do and will continue to share your practices and your example with teachers across Maine.”

Winners of the Presidential Teaching Award receive $10,000 prizes from the National Science Foundation to use at their discretion, as well as a trip to Washington, D.C., for a White House awards ceremony next spring, according to the press release.

Gott teaches grades 5-8 at Veazie Community School, where she has been teaching for 19 years. She was a Maine Teacher of the Year nominee in 2002.

She also teaches science methods courses at Husson College and participates in the Vital signs Project with the Gulf of Maine Research Center.

Plourde has been teaching for 26 years and has served as a mentor for student teachers from the University of Southern Maine and University of New England, according to the press release.

She is a Unum Teachers’ Hall of Fame inductee and recipient of the Catherine Sullivan Professional Service Award.

Vickery, who has been teaching for 18 years, has presented at several education conferences and has served on her district’s curriculum science committee since 2007.

Jagolinzer, a teacher for 17 years, serves as a math and learning area liaison for the grade 5 team and as a member of a fifth-grade team professional learning community.

“These teachers are four great examples of the caliber of teaching that will both prepare and inspire Maine students to follow careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Antia Bernhardt, science and technology specialist at the Maine Department of Education. “We are fortunate to have them in our schools.”

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