Teacher Radhika Plakkot gets Presidential award

Washington, DC: Radhika Plakkot, a biology teacher from Huntington High School, Maryland, was recently named by President Barack Obama as one of America’s best mathematics and science teachers for 2010.

Plakkot, who hails from Kerala, will receive the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in Washington, DC this year.

She is the only Indian American among the 103 honorees.

Plakkot, who lives with her scientist husband and children in Maryland and has received a number of honors in the past, said the presidential award was unique. 

“Definitely this is the highest honor a science teacher can get. So, it is very special. Also this is done by the National Science Founda-tion, which is a very prestigious organization,” she said.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to the best pre-college-level science and mathematics teachers.

Each year the award alternates between mathematics and science teachers teaching Kindergarten through sixth grade, and those teaching seventh through 12th grades. 

This year it goes to teachers teaching seventh through 12th grades. Winners receive a $10,000 award from the NSF. They also receive an expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC for an awards ceremony and days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and science agency leaders.

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