Dec 29, 2013

Pitzer earns Presidential Award

BY RYAN BERRY
MANAGING EDITOR
ARCANUM – Elizabeth Pitzer, a math teacher at Arcanum Elementary, has earned the Presidential Award for Mathematics and Science. The announcement was made on Dec. 20 by President Barack Obama. Pitzer joins 101 teachers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Department of Defense Education Activity to earn this honor. Pitzer will travel to Washington, DC in the coming year to receive the award.

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 2012 awardees named this year teach kindergarten through 6th grade.

Pitzer has taught at Arcanum for 27 years. The fifth grade teacher originally taught general studies, but over the past few years has concentrated on mathematics.

This is not the first time she has been recognized for her role as an educator. In 1997 she was a state honoree for this same award. Nationally, Pitzer earned the Milken Educator Award in 1998, Ashland Oil Teacher Achievement Award and Time Warner Award.

According to Pitzer, the process to be named a Presidential Award winner is long. In addition to a tremendous amount of paperwork, she also had to submit a video of herself teaching. She learned in 2012 she was a state honoree, which meant she would be judged on a national level.

The educator is pleased to earn this honor. “This is an award I had aspired to,” she said. Her dedication to her job is beyond reproach. She admits she is usually the first one at the school and the last one to leave. However, she doesn’t take the credit for being an excellent teacher. “The kids are the awesome ones,” she said. “They make me look good.”

Superintendent John Stephens believes this award was well deserved, "The Arcanum-Butler Local School District is very proud of Elizabeth's accomplishments and excited to see her earn the recognition. She dedicates countless hours to improve her instructional techniques and delivery, ultimately benefiting the students of Butler Middle School."

Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion.

“These teachers are inspiring today’s young students to become the next generation of American scientists, mathematicians, and innovators,” President Obama said. “Through their passion and dedication, and by sharing their excitement about science, technology, engineering, and math, they are helping us build a promising future for all our children.”

Elizabeth Pitzer, teacher from Arcanum, received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. (Photo/Arcanum Schools)

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