State finalists for math and science teaching excellence awards named

Two northwest Kansas educators were among the nominees

TOPEKA – The Kansas State Department of Education today announced the 2014 state finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching during a ceremony held at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson. These awards represent the nation’s highest honor for mathematics and science teaching.


The 2014 state finalists for mathematics are:

• Michelle Kelly, Basehor Elementary School, USD 458 Basehor-Linwood,
• Anne Sobba, Nieman Elementary School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission
• Kandy Williams, West Elementary School, USD 320 Wamego.

The 2014 state finalists for science are:
• Elaine Colvin, Humboldt Elementary School, USD 258 Humboldt
• Brandi Leggett, Prairie Ridge Elementary School, USD 232 De Soto
• Clayton Schrader, West Indianola Elementary School, USD 345 Seaman

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are presented to educators who show a high degree of knowledge, innovation, skill and leadership. Elementary and secondary educators are recognized in alternating years. This year, elementary educators are being recognized. Kansas had 12 mathematics nominees and 9 science nominees (a list of all nominees is included). Each of the finalists receives a $500 cash award and will go on to compete for a national finalist title. Two educators from each state, one in the area of mathematics and one in science, may be named national finalists next spring. Each of the national finalists will receive an award of $10,000.

The awards ceremony was part of a two-day conference open to the nominees and other members of the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network. The conference, which took place Monday and Tuesday at the Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center in Hutchinson, included presentations from leading Kansas educators, Westar Energy and the Kansas Cosmosphere.

Two northwest Kansas educators were nominated for the science award: Terra Keeten of Phillipsburg Elementary School and Tamara Wynn of Trego Grade School.