OS teacher a state finalist for presidential teaching award - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ocean Springs teacher a state finalist for presidential teaching award

MS Board of Educ. Chair Bill Jones (l) & State Superintendent of Educ. Dr. Tom Burnham (r) congratulate Linda Parrot MS Board of Educ. Chair Bill Jones (l) & State Superintendent of Educ. Dr. Tom Burnham (r) congratulate Linda Parrot

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Linda Parrott, a chemistry teacher at Ocean Springs High School, has been selected as a Mississippi finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

She is now one of two Mississippi secondary school science teachers eligible to receive the presidential award, the nation's highest honor for United States mathematics and science teachers of kindergarten through 12th grade. The awards program is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House.

"These teachers are national role models for educators to emulate, for students to admire, and for parents, administrators, and communities to nurture," notes Rita Colwell, NSF director. "PAEMST Awardees have been shown to devote more time to professional development, to incorporate innovative approaches into their classroom teaching, and to be more likely to use computers and other technologies in their classrooms."

Parrott has been teaching 20 years, ten of which have been at Ocean Springs High School. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Memphis, a master's degree from William Carey College, and is nationally board certified. She serves as a Live Oak Writing Project Teacher Consultant and was named STAR Teacher in 2009. 

"My goal is to help every student achieve an understanding of what science is and its importance in today's world," Parrott said. "The most important measure of success to me is seeing a child's face light up as they understand something, which until that moment was a mystery."

"The AP Chemistry class I taught the year that Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast is one of the most memorable classes I have taught. We struggled to put our lives back together and learn science at the same time. The normalcy of school helped to keep us going through tough times. We ended with much accomplished in Chemistry, but most of all with valuable lessons about what is truly important."

A national panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators will select up to one mathematics teacher and one science teacher from each state. Teachers who are selected as Presidential Awardees receive a $10,000 award, a presidential citation, and a trip to Washington, D.C. for a series of recognition events, information exchange programs, and an awards ceremony.

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