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Stillwater, Owasso science and math teachers win presidential award

President Barack Obama on Wednesday named Mark Thomas, of Stillwater High School, and Sarah Vann, of the Owasso Eighth-Grade Center as Oklahoma's outstanding mathematics and science teachers.

Thomas and Vann were among 108 to receive the honor on Wednesday. They will receive their awards and $10,000 from the National Science Foundation later this summer in Washington, DC.

According to the White House, the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country."The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level. Each year the award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades,'' the White House said in a news releaseThe awardees named Wednesday teach 7th through 12th grade.

"These teachers are shaping America’s success through their passion for math and science,” Obama said.

“Their leadership and commitment empower our children to think critically and creatively about science, technology, engineering, and math. The work these teachers are doing in our classrooms today will help ensure that America stays on the cutting edge tomorrow.”

Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›