A math teacher at McGaugh Elementary School has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching, state education officials announced Friday.
Vicki Newman, who has been a mentor teacher for the Los Alamitos Unified School District since 1987, was among 216 educators in the country who were honored, according to Susie Lange of the California Department of Education.
Newman will be given a grant of $7,500 to improve the math program at her school. She also receives an expense-paid trip to Washington in October to attend an awards ceremony at the White House.
The prestigious award is given every year to two elementary school and two secondary schoolteachers in science and mathematics in every state, as well as in four designated U.S. jurisdictions, Lange said.
Newman, who could not be reached for comment Friday, is a member of the Calculators and Mathematics Project writing team at Cal State Fullerton. She has developed the Math Problem-Solving Program teacher guide and student handbook for the fifth grade and, earlier in her career, won an award from the Los Angeles Student Film Institute for a mathematics and language arts video she produced.
In 1983, the White House directed the National Science Foundation to establish the Presidential Awards program to recognize teachers "who demonstrate extraordinary talent," according to the release.
Teachers are nominated by their colleagues and school administrators and must work at least half their time in a public or private school, and have five years experience to be eligible.