A Sapulpa educator will receive the highest award given by the U.S. government for math and science teachers.
Sapulpa Public Schools STEM coordinator Megan Cannon is one of four Oklahoma teachers to win the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The group will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Friday and receive $10,000 awards from the National Science Foundation.
The Presidential Award recognizes teachers for their distinction in the classroom and dedication to improving STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) in 2017 and 2018.
Cannon, who is one of 211 teachers from across the United States to receive the award, submitted her application while she taught STEM courses at Sapulpa Middle School two years ago.
A panel of distinguished mathematicians, scientists and educators at the state and national levels assessed the applications before recommending nominees to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
“It’s definitely very humbling, and it’s a huge honor,” Cannon said in a news release. “To be chosen at the national level is so exciting. It’s not just an honor for me, but it’s also an honor for my students and for Sapulpa.”
She also served as the director of science and engineering education at the Oklahoma State Department of Education before returning to Sapulpa to become the district’s STEM coordinator.
Cannon said she accepted the position in September because she believes the curiosity of young minds about natural phenomena should be used to guide instruction and discovery in the classroom.
“I have a passion for science,” she said. “I want all kids in Sapulpa to be curious about the world. I want them to ask questions about what’s going on around them and want to find out more about it.”
The other Oklahoma recipients are are Gena Barnhill of Yukon Public Schools, Jayci Harris of Byng Public Schools and Julie Klingensmith of Norman Public Schools.
State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister congratulated the four teachers for their work in lifting student outcomes.
“These innovative Oklahoma educators have demonstrated excellence throughout their careers in creating new opportunities for children to engage in mathematics and science,” Hofmeister said. “They are incredibly deserving of this national award and represent the exceptional talent of teachers in our state.”