Jill Grace is pictured, second from the left. Photo courtesy of Grace's Twitter page.
A California State University, Long Beach lecturer was named a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching on Tuesday by the state Department of Education.
Jill Grace—who has been teaching for 16 years—is a lecturer for the Science Education Department at CSULB and a science teacher at Palos Verdes Intermediate School.
Grace has been on the Board of Directors for the California Science Teachers Association since 2013 and has been involved in the transition and implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards as a member of the NGSS Implementation Plan Strategic Leadership Team.
Fellow Southland educator Katharine Clemmer was named a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching.
Clemmer is a teacher at El Segundo High School and previously worked at Loyola Marymount University. She has been a teacher for 22 years.
Five teachers were named as finalists in each category.
"These remarkable teachers are dedicated, passionate, knowledgeable and use innovative teaching methods that help prepare our students to thrive in a world in which technology changes at a breathtaking pace,'' said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. "They are helping to turn our students into problem-solvers who can be the innovators and inventors of tomorrow.''
The nominees were recruited and selected by the state Department of Education, California Science Teachers Association and California Mathematics Council for what is considered the highest recognition in the nation for a math or science teacher.
State finalists were selected by a review panel of their peers who reviewed each candidate's content knowledge, effectiveness, achievement results and professional involvement.