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For Math Teacher, 30 Years Add Up to Presidential Award

PEOPLE

November 11, 1990|CHRISTINA V. GODBEY

"I enjoy math and I like to watch the kids learn it," said Katherine Layton, a mathematics teachers for the past 30 years at Beverly Hills High School. Layton was one of four California teachers to receive a 1990 Presidential Award for Excellence in mathematics and science teaching.

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Presidential Award program recognizes and encourages outstanding teaching and quality education by honoring two science and two mathematics teachers (one each in elementary and secondary schools) from each of the 50 states.

Nominated by fellow teachers, administrators, students and others, winners are selected by a panel of their peers. Organizers say the recipients must have significantly improved students' understanding of science or mathematics, shown a thorough grasp of their subject matter and exhibited leadership in their profession.

A cash grant of $7,500 goes to each winner's school to be spent under the teacher's supervision to enhance the school's math and science program.

Sol Levine, superintendent of the Beverly Hills Unified School District, said: "This is a singular honor for one of the district's truly outstanding teachers, who has distinguished herself as a leader in math education and curriculum development."

Layton, a former board member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, plans to use the money on a number of things. "I hope to buy graphics computers for use in the classroom, establish an in-service math department for teachers and hold workshops for teachers to learn new strategies in teaching," she said.

Layton, who lives in Pacific Palisades, was honored during an October awards ceremony along with the other recipients and was a guest of President Bush in Washington.

Two Malibu residents, both active in the dayworker center there, leave Tuesday for El Salvador to commemorate the deaths of six Jesuit priests and two women slain a year ago by the Salvadoran military.

Ron Hayes and Valerie Sklaresky will join more than 100 other American activists gathering for the Nov. 20 commemoration in San Salvador.

Hayes has repeatedly urged the Malibu council-elect to adopt a sister city in El Salvador because "we are both emerging democracies. They are trying to build their political and social systems, just like we are."

Hayes acknowledged that his ideas depart from the usual sister city relationship that fosters commercial and cultural ties. "I think the council is shocked at having a bond with a war-torn country. But we already have Salvadoran refugees in our midst," he said, referring to the influx of Central American dayworkers to Malibu.

Malibu resident Lisa Izad was recently presented the Westec Award for Youth Heroism.

Thirteen-year-old Izad was recognized for helping save the life of a propane delivery man by pulling him into the swimming pool after an explosion in the family's laundry room.

The Westec Award is given to youths who save lives or prevent injury by acting bravely in emergency situations.

The Asthma & Allegry Foundation of America saluted Beverly Hills resident Mort Olshan as Volunteer of the Year.

Olshan, a longtime supporter of the foundation, was honored Oct. 27 at a dinner at the Beverly Hilton.

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