An elementary school teacher in South Portland is one of 213 teachers nationwide to win a national award for math and science teaching.

Laura Stevens, who teaches at Kaler Elementary School, was one of two Maine educators to receive the Presidential Award for Mathematics and Science Teaching.

“We are proud that the accomplishments and expertise of this outstanding educator are being recognized at the national level,” Superintendent Ken Kunin said in a written announcement of the award. “Teachers approach their critical jobs with energy, caring and intelligence and it is gratifying to see this noted and rewarded.”

Stevens has taught in South Portland since 1999, first at Small School and then at Kaler since 2014. She has a doctorate in personality and social psychology and earned her teaching certificate at the University of Southern Maine.

Lauree Gott of Veazie Community School is the other Maine educator to receive the award this year.

The teachers will receive their awards at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 8. Winners also receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is given to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of scientists, mathematicians and educators following an initial selection process at the state level.

“The recipients of this award are integral to ensuring our students are equipped with critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are vital to our nation’s success,” President Obama said.

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