HISD science teacher named Presidential Award finalist

January 9, 2009 2:20:21 PM PST
HISD elementary science teacher Amanda Santana has been named one of five Texas finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), which is the highest recognition that a math or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. The award honors teachers for their contributions to teaching and learning and their ability to help students make progress in mathematics and science.

"It is such an honor to be nominated for this prestigious award. I have been blessed to have excellent mentors throughout my teaching career who have encouraged me to grow and taught me how to teach and celebrate science in my classroom," said Santana. "It is also so rewarding to see the excitement in the students when they visit the science lab. Children are naturally inquisitive and I learn from them every day as we ask questions and look for answers together."

Santana has been teaching for 18 years and is an elementary science teacher at HISD's The Rice School. She has been a bilingual teacher at both The Rice School and Davila Elementary. In 2007, Santana was named HISD's Bilingual Teacher of the Year.

"We are extremely proud of Ms. Santana. When I walk into her science lab, I find students transformed into little scientists engaged in critical thinking and hands-on activities," said The Rice School Principal Kimberly Hobbs. "Ms. Santana is instrumental in the academic success of our exemplary students. Her commitment to teaching and learning can be observed daily at The Rice School. There is no one more deserving than our Amanda to receive this award."

Teachers honored for the PAEMST award are identified from thousands of schools across the country. If chosen as a national winner, the state finalists will receive $10,000 and an all expense paid trip for two to Washington D.C. for ceremonies that include recognition from the President of the United States at the Capital.

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