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Congratulations Chris Mathews!

ANKENY, Iowa (September 7, 2018) - An Ankeny elementary teacher is one of six Iowa educators selected as a state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.


This award is the nation’s highest honor for kindergarten through 12th-grade educators of math and science.  East's Chris Mathews, an eleven-year veteran teacher was chosen for math. 


"Educators are continuing to learn and understand how students think about mathematics and with this expanding knowledge we are creating opportunities where students employ their ability to think deeply, persevere and work hard, and make sense of challenging situations," said Mathews.


Recognized for their contributions in the classroom and their profession, award recipients are leaders in the improvement of math and science education and role models for their colleagues and in their communities.


“These teachers are an inspiration to their students, colleagues, and communities,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise. “As Iowa grows its commitment to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, their leadership is especially important.”


More than 5,000 teachers from each of the 50 states and four U.S. jurisdictions have been recognized since Congress created the program in 1983. The awards are administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.


The Iowa finalists include:



Natalie Franke, second grade, Brookview Elementary, Waukee
Deborah Little, fourth grade, Denver Elementary, Denver
Chris Mathews, fourth grade, East Elementary, Ankeny



Lisa Chizek, fourth and fifth grade, North Tama Elementary, Traer
Katie McGrane, 4th grade, Margaretta Carey Elementary School, Waverly
Jill Payne, 5th grade, Jefferson Intermediate, Pella