JHS Teacher Receives National Award

Rich Brooks

Rick Brooks, JHS math teacher and recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

On Monday, August 22, President Obama awarded 213 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching – and Johnston High School’s Rick Brooks was among the winners.

The prestigious award honors outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. Winners, including Brooks, receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation and are invited to Washington, D.C. for an awards ceremony.

One to four winners were chosen for each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity schools. Brooks won for the Iowa grades 7-12 award cohort, along with Lynnetta Bleeker, a science teacher at Parkview Middle School.

Brooks was nominated by former math teacher and co-worker Vickie Borich. Once nominated, he had to answer a variety of questions related to curriculum and pedagogy, film a lesson, and write about the structure and purpose of the lesson.

“Being honored with the Presidential Award is both humbling and motivating,” said Brooks. “This achievement is a reflection of the quality educators I have been privileged to learn from and work beside throughout my career. This award motivates me to strengthen the strategies we, as educators, use to develop mathematical thinkers and persistent problem solvers.”

Read the full White House press release here: President Obama Honors Outstanding Mathematics and Science Teachers.

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Brooks and family at the PAEMST ceremony in Washington, D.C.