Kansas finalists named for math, science teaching excellence awards


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Three mathematics educators and three science educators have been named 2021 state finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

The 2021 state finalists for mathematics are Melissa Schoepf, Thomas More Prep-Marian Junior-Senior High School, Salina Diocese; Elizabeth Self, Kepley Middle School, Ulysses Unified School District 214; and Kimberly Tate, Chisholm Middle School, Newton USD 373.

The 2021 state finalists for science are Stephanie Alderman-Oler, Eisenhower Middle School, Kansas City USD 500; Arthur Ballos, Wichita East High School, Wichita USD 259; and Erica Huggard, Emporia High School, Emporia USD 253.

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are the nation’s highest honor for mathematics and science teaching. They are presented to educators who show a high degree of knowledge, innovation, skill and leadership.

Elementary and secondary educators are recognized in alternating years. This year, secondary teachers are being recognized. Kansas had seven mathematics applicants and 11 science applicants (a list of applicants is attached). Each of the state finalists will be recognized at the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network (KEEN) conference Feb. 10-11, 2022. They also will compete for a national finalist title.

Two educators from each state, one in the area of mathematics and one in science, may be named national finalists. Each of the national finalists will receive a $10,000 award.

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