Casco Bay Teacher is Finalist for Presidential Teaching Award
Casco Bay High School in Portland, ME is an EL Education Credentialed School.
Casco Bay High School math teacher Priya Natarajan is a state finalist for the prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The award is administered by the National Science Foundation and comes with a $10,000 prize.
Natarajan was nominated by Casco Bay’s principal (and Silverberg Leadership Award winner) Derek Pierce. In his nomination letter, Pierce argues that Natarajan “does not just fulfill the rigorous criteria for this national honor, she exemplifies them.”
He also acknowledges the power of Natarajan’s own intersecting identities in shaping her students’ relationship to math and science. “Priya’s humble but persistent advocacy has elevated the status of math at our school,” Pierce added. “Priya is especially passionate and effective at inspiring young women and students of color to pursue STEM.”
For her part, Natarajan is deeply aware of how mathematical skills give students power to shape their world. “I love seeing students build confidence and empowerment in their mathematical skills. I (also) enjoy the moments when students use their numeracy skills to find solutions or marshal evidence in physics or in social studies, and they can see how those skills are essential in a democracy,”
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