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Obama recognizes two Hawaii teachers with Presidential Award

Two Oahu private school educators have been awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, President Obama announced Wednesday.

‘Iolani School mathematics teacher Amy Yonashiro and Sacred Hearts Academy science teacher Erin Flynn are among 108 educators nationwide who will receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation as part of the honor.

“These teachers are shaping America’s success through their passion for math and science,” President Obama said in a statement. “Their leadership and commitment empower our children to think critically and creatively about science, technology, engineering, and math. The work these teachers are doing in our classrooms today will help ensure that America stays on the cutting edge tomorrow.”

The presidential award is given annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, U.S. territories, and Department of Defense Education Activity schools.

The awards alternate between teachers teaching kindergarten through sixth grade and those teaching seventh through 12th grades. This year’s awardees teach secondary grades.

The winners are selected by a panel of scientists, mathematicians and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level. Flynn was one of six finalists for Hawaii in the science category while Yonashiro was one of four finalists.

The winners will be recognized at an event in Washington this summer.

Hawaii’s recipients last year were two public school educators: Mililani Mauka Elementary science teacher Dave Morishige and Aliamanu Elementary math teacher Laura Fukumoto.

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