PSU alumna Sarah Luvaas, MS ’08, is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The award is sponsored by the White House and the National Science Foundation and was presented September 8, at a ceremony in Washington, DC.
Luvaas is a third-grade teacher at Redland Elementary School in the Oregon City School District. She has always worked in Title I schools, including Redland and Mt. Pleasant Elementary Schools.
Winners of this award receive $10,000, travel to Washington, DC, for the ceremony, and have an opportunity to network with other STEM teachers and officials of the Obama administration.
Established by Congress, the award is the highest honor that the US government bestows on K–12 math and science teachers. More than 4,400 teachers have earned the award, established in 1983 as a way to promote and improve the quality of STEM instruction in the United States. This year’s 215 award winners have come from all 50 states and US territories.
From her nomination:
In Sarah’s classroom, students use precise mathematical language and communicate their reasoning as they work through their rigorous tasks. She constructs sequential lessons that advance student learning through a continuum of understanding that includes the use of manipulatives, technology, and discourse.
When Sarah is not pursuing professional development opportunities for her personal growth, she is facilitating professional development within her school and across the district on integrating technology in the classroom and implementing best practices for mathematical instruction. Sarah also impacts student learning across the community by being a member on school and district committees designing initiatives and setting goals, mentoring new teachers, and presenting at school family nights.