Two Missouri teachers have been honored with a prestigious national award.
Kathleen Dwyer of the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District and Ruth Knop from the Parkway School District were named winners of the 2015 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
The annual award honors some of the country’s top science and mathematics teachers. The winners are selected by a panel of scientists, mathematicians and educators.
“Having effective math and science teachers inspires our students to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Missouri Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “These teachers are to be commended for their hard work and dedication.”
Dwyer has been a science teacher at Maplewood Richmond Heights High School in Maplewood for the last 15 years where she teaches chemistry, AP chemistry and science research. She also plays an active role in student involvement by participating in the Junior Science and Humanities Symposia Program.
“Once you have kids excited about competing and winning, they get excited about learning more,” said Dwyer.
Knop has taught mathematics at Parkway West High School in Ballwin for 15 years. She currently teaches honors precalculus and Algebra II. She sponsors Mu Alpha Theta, a math honor society that promotes the enjoyment of mathematics to high school students.
“It is a source of pride for students to be able to say, ‘I’ve done well in math and science,’” said Knop.
Knop and Dwyer received a certificate signed by President Barack Obama, a trip to Washington D.C. as well as a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. More than 4,300 teachers have been recognized since the award was founded in 1983.
Preparing, supporting and developing effective educators is one of the main goals of Missouri’s Top 10 by 20 initiative, which aims to make Missouri a top 10 state for education by 2020.