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Duval teacher selected for nation's highest science/math honor

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Rick Pinchot, a fourth-grade math and science teacher at Chets Creek Elementary has been selected as a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. It is the nation’s highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching.

The PAEMST, which is administered by the National Science Foundation, was enacted by Congress in 1983. The program authorizes the president to bestow up to 108 awards each year on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Pinchot is one of three finalists in the state in the field of mathematics, and was chosen by a state selection committee, which included prominent mathematicians, scientists, mathematics and science educators, and past awardees. Pinchot has been teaching at Chets Creek Elementary since he was hired with the district in 2001. He’s been an exceptional education teacher, a gifted instructor, a co-teacher and an inclusion teacher. He’s taught third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students, and has been an Intervention Math Navigator teacher guiding second- and third-grade at risk students toward mastery.

“This is an elite group of teachers who can say they have been selected as a finalist for this presidential award, and I am proud to know that the dedication and commitment of Mr. Pinchot is being recognized on a national level,” said Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals. “Mr. Pinchot is one of our district’s phenomenal teachers who go above and beyond for our students. He is a prime example of the dedicated teachers that make up our district, and I congratulate him for receiving this honor.”

The award recognizes those teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning. Since the program's inception, more than 4,100 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.

“Rick Pinchot is a mathematical leader with the vision, conviction and energy to make unprecedented results become a reality in mathematics, both in his own classroom and in classrooms across our school,” said Principal Susan Phillips. “The teachers, coaching staff and administrators at Chets Creek Elementary are blessed to call Rick a colleague. “

The finalist selected as the state recipient will receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, as well as a trip for two to Washington, D.C., for a weeklong series of recognition events and professional development opportunities. Award winners will be announced right before the trip, which occurs this spring.

SOURCE: Jill Johnson, Duval County Public Schools

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