The Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching is awarded every year by a committee of mathematicians and educational leaders. Kingsville math teacher Charlene Atkins says she started out as business education major, but a state-wide shortage of math instructors caused her to change focus. Click to hear KMZU’s Bob Allen talk with Kingsville Math Teacher Charlene Atkins:

Charlene Atkins

Atkins has spent 15 years teaching math in Kingsville and says she is honored to be included as a finalist due to the size of the district. Having only 120 students, Atkins believes the recognition is unique as teachers from much larger districts draw more attention.

Another finalist, Odessa math teacher Melissa Livengood says one of her students nominated her for the award. Click to hear KMZU’s Bob Allen talk with Odessa math teacher Melissa Livengood:

Melissa Livengood

Livengood believes she would not be in this position if not for the tremendous professional development opportunities provided by the school district. She believes the district’s effort to increase student achievement is a major reason for her success.

The winner of the award is flown to Washington D.C. to meet the President and take part in discussions on education and receives a ten thousand dollar cash award.