Two Virginia teachers earn Presidential Mathematics and Science Teaching Awards

Two Virginia teachers were among 104 educators recognized with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching this week by the White House and the National Science Foundation.

The award is the nation’s top honor for math and science teachers, and it honors teachers who develop and implement high-quality instructional programs that improve student learning.

Kathleen O’Dell, who teaches sixth-grade and advanced mathematics at Christiansburg Middle in Montgomery County, received the presidential award for K-6 mathematics, and Julia Young, who teaches fifth-grade science and mathematics at E.W. Chittum Elementary in Chesapeake, received the presidential award for K-6 science. Both were among the Virginia state finalists nominated for the award in 2016 by committees convened by the Virginia Department for Education.

“Teachers like Kathleen and Julia are helping Virginia schools lead the way in innovative instruction that prepares students for new challenges and opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said. “Please join me in congratulating them on these well-deserved recognitions.”

Both teachers will receive a $10,000 unrestricted award from the National Science Foundation, a presidential certificate and a trip to Washington, D.C. for a series of recognition events and professional development activities.