Neenah High School science teacher Scott Hertting has been awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The award is one of the highest honors in teaching and is bestowed on just two teachers from each state and 108 total teachers nationwide.
Hertting will receive a citation signed by President Obama and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, which administers the program. He will receive his awards at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level.
This past school year, Hertting received a Kohl Fellowship Award and he was named the Neenah High School Teacher of the Year in 2012-13. Hertting has been teaching in Neenah since 1993. He has been teaching general physics since 1998 and advanced physics since 2007, while also teaching general chemistry and physical science. Hertting created a program where advanced physics students select a topic to teach to sixth graders at Horace Mann Middle School. He also co-founded and has led the “Phox Valley Physics and Physical Science Share Group” among local teachers since 2001.
“The Presidential Award is an unbelievable honor and very humbling,” Hertting said. “To me, this award means I have an opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank my colleagues, mentors, students and family for helping me grow into the educator I have become.”
Nominees for the award must complete an extensive written and video application that demonstrates their mastery of mathematics or science content; use of appropriate instructional methods and strategies; effective use of student assessments to evaluate, monitor, and improve student learning; reflective practice and life-long learning to improve teaching and student learning and leadership in education outside the classroom. The award alternates each year between teachers in grades K-6 and 7-12.
“I have an opportunity to remind my students to find and do something they are passionate about,” Hertting said of the teaching profession. “In doing so, not only are your efforts intrinsically rewarding, but recognition for your hard work might come in a way you never imagined.”
Two winners are selected from each state as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories and Department of Defense Education Activity schools. Hertting was joined by math teacher Corey Andreasen from Sheboygan North High School as the Wisconsin honorees.