Valley teacher wins praise

SES teacher wins Presidential award, one of two in district


F Broschart

Nancy Windholz, a teacher at Saratoga Elementary School, is crowned by SES principal Dave Rangitsch in honor of winning a teaching award from the President of the United States.

Saratoga Elementary School (SES) teacher Nancy Windholz was honored with an award by President Barack Obama for outstanding teaching of math.

Windholz was honored by students, fellow teachers and members of the school board at an assembly Friday at the SES gym. Saying that the award was a sign of the quality of the teaching staff employed by Carbon County School District no. 2 (CCSD 2), superintendent of schools Jim Copeland said, "This is a typical piece of academic success."

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, PAEMST, are awarded on an annual basis to teachers from all 50 states and U.S. Territories, and are the highest honor bestowed by the federal government on teachers, according to PAEMST.

The program, established by congress in 1983 during the Reagan administration, allows the President of the United States to award 108 awards every year. Since the program began, about 4,600 teachers have been given the award, according to PAEMST.

David Rangitsch, principal of SES, told the students at the assembly that Windholz will be traveling to Washington for a recognition ceremony and professional development events, and that she will also receive a cash award of $10,000.

"The recipients of this award are integral to ensuring our students are equipped with critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are vital to our Nation's success," President Obama said in a White House news release. "As the United States continues to lead the way in the innovation that is shaping our future, these excellent teachers are preparing students from all corners of the country with the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills that help keep us on the cutting-edge."

Of the four Wyoming teachers to win the award this year, two of them are employed by CCSD 2, Copeland said. The other CCSD teacher who won the award was high school science teacher Lesley Urasky. Urasky was nominated for the award at her previous district, CCSD 1, Copeland said. But the fact that CCSD 2 now employs two winners of the award speaks highly to the quality of the staff district wide, Copeland said.

"It's just outstanding, more proof that we have an outstanding staff," Copeland said. "Without great teaching, you're not going to have good teaching for the students."


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