Bush names Memphis teacher nation’s top educator

newsroom@tri-statedefender.com | 5/30/2007, 7 p.m.

Memphis teacher Kathryn Jordan receiving the 2006 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in Washington, D.C., from Dr. Cora B. Marrett, assistant director for the Directorate for Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation (left), and Dr. Arden L. Bement Jr., director of the National Science Foundation (right). Jordan teaches at Double Tree Elementary School. “The concepts I try to teach are not only properties of magnets, but also the joy of posing questions and finding answers,” Jordan said. (Courtesy photo)

President George W. Bush is honoring science teacher Kathryn Jordan, from Double Tree Elementary School in Memphis, with the 2006 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the Nation’s highest honor for teaching in these fields. Jordan is the only science winner from Tennessee, and one of 93 teachers nationwide to receive the prestigious award.
In a citation given to Jordan, President Bush commended her “for embodying excellence in teaching, for devotion to the learning needs of the students, and for upholding the high standards that exemplify American education at its finest.”
As an Awardee, Jordan receives a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the federal agency that administers the awards program on behalf of The White House, and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, DC, for a week of celebratory events and professional development activities.
In a letter to Awardees, President Bush said, “Math and science are critical components of America’s technological and competitive strength. Through the American Competitiveness Initiative, my Administration is working to advance American innovation and support the efforts of teachers by increasing investments in research and development, promoting education in math and science, and encouraging entrepreneurship and technological advances.”
Established by Congress in 1983, the annual Presidential Awards program identifies highly qualified mathematics and science teachers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Territories, and the U.S. Department of Defense Schools. This year’s recipients – recommended for the award by a panel of leading mathematicians, scientists and educators – are K–6th-grade teachers.
“These teachers exemplify what President Bush’s American Competitiveness Initiative aims to achieve by raising the bar for math and science education for all students, who are America’s future leaders of innovation,” said John H. Marburger, III, director of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
“Recently, I began the process of becoming a National Board Certified Teacher, and the self-evaluation and reflection involved in that process helped me grow as a teacher, and gave me the courage to apply for the Presidential Award,” said Jordan, when asked why she applied.
For more information, visit www.paemst.org.