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Sacred Hearts teacher wins presidential award


  • Melanie Ah Soon
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Melanie Ah Soon, a 6th-grade science teacher at Sacred Hearts Academy, was one of 85 math and science teachers nationwide named today as recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

The White House announced the list of winners. The educators will receive their awards in Washington, D.C., later this year.

Ah Soon teaches science and language arts at the Kaimuki school. This is her fifth year at Sacred Hearts and 19th year overall as a teacher.

She was the only teacher from Hawaii selected this year.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country.

Each year the award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades. The 2010 awardees named today teach kindergarten through 6th grade.

Winners receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and the Administration.

President Barack Obama has committed to strengthen science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and prepare 100,000 effective science and mathematics teachers over the next decade.  These commitments build on the President’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign, which has attracted more than $700 million in donations and in-kind support from corporations, philanthropies, service organizations, and others to help bolster science and technology education in the classroom.

“The teachers we honor today have demonstrated uncommon skill and devotion in the classroom, nurturing the young minds of tomorrow’s science and math leaders,” Obama said in a news release. “America’s competitiveness rests on the excellence of our citizens in technical fields, and we owe these teachers a debt of gratitude for strengthening America’s prosperity.”

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