Downtown School Educator Receives Presidential Award
Barb Leise, kindergarten/first grade multi-age teacher at the Downtown School, has received the 2010 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
President Obama today identified 85 mathematics and science teachers as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The educators will receive their awards in Washington, D.C. later this year.
The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level. Each year the award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through sixth grade and those teaching seventh through 12th grades. The 2010 awardees named today teach kindergarten through sixth grade.
Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
President Obama has committed to strengthen science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and prepare 100,000 effective science and mathematics teachers over the next decade. These commitments build on the President’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign, which has attracted more than $700 million in donations and in-kind support from corporations, philanthropies, service organizations, and others to help bolster science and technology education in the classroom.
“The honor associated with winning the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching could be considered on par with winning the Nobel Peace Prize,” said John Johnson, principal at the Downtown School. “I am very proud of Mrs. Leise and of the expertise she demonstrates each and every day with our children. This is quite an honor for Mrs. Leise, for the Downtown School and for the entire Des Moines Public School District.”
Leise was one of three mathematics teachers from Des Moines Public Schools who were named finalists for the award in October. She has been teaching in Des Moines Public Schools for 20 years and is completing her 13th year at the Downtown School.