MADISON — Six Wisconsin educators are finalists for the 2015 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, one of the nation’s highest honors for mathematics and science teachers.

Wisconsin’s finalists for the Presidential Teaching Awards are

  • Scott Anderson of Brodhead, Juda High School (mathematics);
  • Candice Behnke of Lena, Oconto Falls High School, (science);
  • Juan Botella of Madison, Monona Grove High School (science);
  • John Hayes, Northland Pines High School, Eagle River (mathematics);
  • Amy Traynor, DeLong Middle School, Eau Claire (mathematics); and
  • Mary Walz, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac (mathematics).

“Presidential Teaching Award finalists bring mathematics and science alive in the classroom, which is so important to our kids,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “This program brings needed recognition to the work of our teachers and their dedication to students and the teaching profession.”

Nominations for the award can be made by principals, teachers, parents, students, or members of the general public. Nominees must complete an extensive written and video application that demonstrates their mastery of mathematics or science content; use of appropriate instructional methods and strategies; effective use of student assessments to evaluate, monitor, and improve student learning; reflective practice and life-long learning to improve teaching and student learning; and leadership in education outside the classroom.

Applications for Wisconsin’s six finalists will be judged at the national level by a committee organized by the National Science Foundation. The panel may select one teacher of mathematics and one of science to receive Presidential Awards from each state and four U.S. jurisdictions. In addition to recognition and professional development events in Washington, D.C., winners receive $10,000 and a citation signed by the president.

The National Science Foundation administers the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Since 1983, more than 4,300 teachers have been recognized for their contributions to mathematics and science education.

top teacher

Cynthia L. Miller photo

Juda’s Scott Anderson was in attendance during the in-service held at Brodhead High School last Tuesday, Aug. 25. Anderson, a high school math and science teacher at Juda High School has been chosen for the 2015 Presidential Awards for excellence in Math and Science teaching. His application has been forwarded to the national level.