Souhegan teacher honored for science education
AMHERST – Jenny Deenik, of Hollis, a teacher at Souhegan High School, was recently honored in Washington, D.C., as a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. These awards are the highest honor bestowed by the government on K-12 mathematics and science teachers.
Deenik received a three-day trip to Washington, during which she had the opportunity to reflect on her role as a teacher, participate in conversations about the changing landscape of science education and connect with colleagues from across the country.
As a science teacher in New Hampshire, Deenik said, she has "the luxury my colleagues from around the country lack. I do not have the pressure and constraint of high-stakes testing."
While New Hampshire students do take a variety of standardized tests for a variety of purposes – from SATs to Smarter Balanced to the MAP test – the assessment landscape in New Hampshire, unlike many other states, is changing to reflect a more balanced approach to accountability.
A highlight of the trip was a visit to the White House, where Deenik was congratulated on her award by President Barack Obama. Other highlights included professional development sessions and a day at the National Science Foundation to learn more about the agency’s science and engineering research and education endeavors.
Awardees heard from Nobel Laureate William Phillips from the University of Maryland; OSTP’s chief data scientist, Dhanurjay Patil; and teacher workforce expert Richard Ingersoll.