It was a big surprise for Tamarac Elementary School 5th Grade Science Teacher Simone Ryals when Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie visited her during her class on Monday to let her know she was the State finalist for the 2012 Presidential Award or Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Program.
Accompanying Runci were School Board members Robin Bartleman, Donna Korn and School Board Candidate Shelly Solomon along with flowers and balloons.
The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are the Nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education and are an inspiration to their communities.
Ryals will receive official notification of her honor by The White House this week. She will then be considered by a national selection committee composed of mathematics and science educators, teachers and past awardees who will select those teachers to be honored at the national level in Washington, D.C.
“You don’t do the jobs for the perks,” said Ryals. “You do it because you love the children, and you want them to have the very best education possible.”
The winner will receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. Ryals will be recognized at various ceremonies, including the 2012 FAST conference awards ceremony in October in St. Petersburg, Florida, according to Marsy Smith, spokesperson for the Broward County School District.