GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It is the highest honor given by the president to outstanding K-12 math and science teachers across the country. On Tuesday, the Mississippi Department of Education confirmed that a Gulfport educator is one of the state finalists for the national award.
Angela August is the new assistant principal of 28th Street Elementary School. But, don't be surprised if you find her still teaching in the classroom. August just learned she is one of four finalists in Mississippi for the "Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching". She was nominated by her principal for her math skills when she taught fourth grade at the school last year.
"Oh, I was ecstatic! I was very overwhelmed, very honored, very thankful, grateful, very excited, because I tell you, never give up," said August.
The prestigious award recognizes teachers who develop and implement creative strategies that help their students learn. August uses certain questioning techniques, hands-on materials, and teamwork to encourage her students to come up with their own answers.
"It's very hard for a child that's struggling to get frustrated, but to not give up on them. Not just to give them the answer teaches them to just hang tight and keep going with it. Be strong and use those problem solving skills," said August.
The award also honors teachers who inspire their colleagues.
"I think as an educator, it's very important to remember that we're here for each other, to help each other," said August.
August is now in the running for the national title. If she wins, she will get to add another honor to her career as a 19-year educator.
"I'm interested to see if I'll be the state finalist and go up to Washington. That will be awesome!" she said.
Of the four Mississippi finalists, one math teacher and one science teacher will be selected for the national awards. The top winners from each state will be announced later this school year. They will receive a certificate signed by President Barack Obama, a paid trip for two to Washington, D.C. to attend recognition ceremonies and professional development events, and a $10,000 prize from the National Science Foundation.