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Woodside Teacher to Meet with Obama, Get $10K for STEM Lab

In addition to personally meeting the president, Hanks will be given a $10,000 award to use as she sees fit.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo
A Glen Burnie elementary school teacher will soon be honored by President Barack Obama for her efforts in furthering math education.

Woodside Elementary School STEM teacher Kris Hanks will be among 102 educators from across the country to be given the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

In addition to personally meeting the president, Hanks will be given a $10,000 award to use as she sees fit.

Hanks, an 11-year veteran of Woodside, teaches a unique STEM program where young children engage in lab activities—which range from robotics to computer programming and geocaching.

Hanks said she was thrilled to receive the award.

“The students meet me with such enthusiasm every day, so it is important to me that they be recognized as a part of this. They’re my inspiration and the reason we’ve been able to be successful," she said.

The school's principal Anthony Alston had high praises for Hanks.

"Her knowledge of STEM curricula is only surpassed by her positive interactions with students and staff.  She has a way of pushing everyone around her to be their best.  Because of this ability, all of our students excelled and became better scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and overall learners," he said.

The National Science Foundation organizes the award on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. These awards are given each year to up to two teachers representing math or science in each state and three U.S. jurisdiction, according to a school system press release.

The other Maryland recipient for this year’s award is Timothy Emhoff of Indian Head Elementary School in Charles County.

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