WASHINGTON — Two Alaska teachers were honored today at the White House for their innovative math and science instruction.
They are Laura Ann Hulsebus, who has taught fourth- through sixth-grade math at Eagle River's Alpenglow Elementary School since 2006; and Cheryl Silcox, who teaches at Anchorage's Winterberry Charter Waldorf School in the Anchorage School District.
Hulsebus and Silcox were among 87 teachers invited to Washington after winning the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching last summer. The award came with a $10,000 prize from the National Science Foundation.
President Barack Obama used the event to announce five new public-private partnerships as part of the "Educate to Innovate" program that will prepare 10,000 new math and science teachers over the next five years as well as support professional development for 100,000 current teachers. The program also encourages the federal government's 200,000 scientists and engineers, including those at NASA, to volunteer.
The president today praised the award winners for their role in training the next generation of inventors, scientists and mathematicians. Everyone remembers the teacher or mentor who showed them something about the world that made a difference in their lives, Obama said.
"It could be a word of encouragement, a helping hand, a lesson that sparked a question, that ignited a passion, and ultimately may have propelled a career," he said.