A Northridge teacher who honed her craft at Roscoe Elementary School in Sun Valley has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
Caroline Piangerelli, who splits her time between state and local programs aimed at improving mathematics instruction, received word this week that she was one of 214 teachers nationwide to receive the prestigious award.
Established in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, the awards are given by the National Science Foundation.
"It's overwhelming. It's really an honor to be recognized this way," said Piangerelli, who will receive a $7,500 grant to be used for the enhancement of math and science teaching.
Piangerelli, who is married and has a 3-year-old daughter, will also travel to Washington later this year to accept her reward.
"I'm happy to receive this, but there are thousands of other teachers out there that are literally working miracles in their classrooms every day. I only wish more of my colleagues could receive recognition like this," she said.
Piangerelli, who was raised in Northridge and Moorpark and graduated from Cal State Northridge, was nominated for the award by her former principal at Roscoe.
Asked the secret of her success, Piangerelli said she gives students "a lot of room to discover on their own."
"There are a lot of ways to look at things, not just in mathematics but in every subject," she said.
"I encourage my children to do a lot of talking. We don't need to tell them everything at the beginning. They need time to explore and discover."
In offering his congratulations, Neal Lane, director of the National Science Foundation, praised the winning teachers for "mastering excellence."
"Since we entrust our teachers with the intellectual development of our children, we must work to identify those ingredients that comprise excellence in math and science teaching--and then cultivate those same ingredients in all teachers, he said."