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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #15-57
July 7, 2015
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Congratulates California
Math and Science Teachers Receiving Presidential Honors

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today congratulated two California teachers who are among the 108 educators nationwide recently announced by President Barack Obama as recipients of the 2013 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

The California science awardee is Scott Holloway, a college prep and Advanced Placement physics teacher at Westlake High School [] External link opens in new window or tab. in the Conejo Valley Unified School District. The California mathematics awardee is Marianne Chowning-Dray, who teaches Algebra II/Trigonometry and Advanced Placement Calculus BC at Eastside College Preparatory School [] External link opens in new window or tab., an independent school in East Palo Alto.

"I am pleased to congratulate these outstanding teachers as they receive this presidential honor," said Torlakson. "Teachers are the foundation of our schools, and good teachers change people's lives forever and cultivate the leaders of tomorrow. Science, technology, engineering, and math are especially important subjects today in California, and I applaud teachers who teach it well and inspire students to excel in these fields."

The PAEMST—the highest honor bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 mathematics, science, and computer science teaching—is awarded annually to outstanding teachers from across the country, Puerto Rico, Department of Defense Education Activity schools, and the U.S. territories. Since the program's inception in 1983, more than 4,300 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.

The winners are selected by a panel of scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial nomination process done at the state level. Each year, the award alternates between teachers of kindergarten through sixth grade and those teaching seventh through the twelfth grades. Winners receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also are invited to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony, as well educational and celebratory events.

For more information, visit the PAEMST [] External link opens in new window or tab. Web site, see President Obama's White House announcement [] External link opens in new window or tab. or learn more about the California awardees [] External link opens in new window or tab..

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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