Two BHSU alumni honored with Presidential teaching award

Author: Rachel Ireland/Friday, January 24, 2014/Categories: 2014

            Ann Anderson
            Erin Marsh

Two Black Hills State University graduates of the Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction program were among more than 100 educators nationwide to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Ann Anderson, Belle Fourche fifth-grade science teacher, and Erin Marsh, math teacher at the Pierre Indian Learning Center, were the two South Dakota educators honored with the award, the nation&rsquos highest honor for K-12 teaching in these fields. "We are excited to see that our BHSU Math Specialist and Science Specialist graduates are being recognized for their impact on P-12 student learning and for their impact on the way math and science are taught in schools," said Dr. Pat Simpson, dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences at BHSU. "We congratulate them and the BHSU Center for the Advancement of Math and Science Education (CAMSE) for truly making a difference!"

Winners, two from each state, get a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They are also invited to Washington for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and other events, including visits with members of Congress and the Obama administration. Both Marsh, Class of &rsquo12, and Anderson, Class of &rsquo10, said they are humbled and grateful for the national honor.

"My family, principal and students have been the foundation of my success," said Marsh. "My family encouraged me to follow my passion, my principal believed in my abilities, and my students believe in themselves. Inspiring students from five of the 10 poorest counties in the United States to overcome barriers and make academic progress is priceless. Nevertheless, this award encouraged me to be reflective, embrace student barriers, and overcome the challenges of teaching."

Marsh said she has implemented many of the research-based best practices she learned at BHSU into her daily math lessons. "I have to honestly say these practices definitely attributed to earning this award."

Anderson credited winning the award to the outstanding students, parents and staff she works with in Belle Fourche. "The award illustrates my passion for continued learning which is prevalent in a teacher&rsquos career. I believe more teachers should be recognized for their hard work and dedication to the profession." She added that such a prestigious award would not have been possible without the many BHSU professors she had during her time at BHSU.

Previous South Dakota awardees have become leaders on the state mathematics standards writing committees, other committees at the state level, national committees for the National Science Foundation, and leaders in the South Dakota Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

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