A math teacher from Portland’s Casco Bay High School has won a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Portland teacher Priya Natarajan has won a presidential award for excellence in math teaching. Photo courtesy of Portland Public Schools

Priya Natarajan went to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to receive her $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

Natarajan won the state of Maine’s mathematics category. A national selection committee composed of mathematics and science educators, researchers, and past award winners selected her as Maine’s top math teacher. She was notified this week, according to a statement issued Wednesday by Portland Public Schools.

“Priya Natarajan may be the most comprehensively excellent teacher, and human, with whom I have worked,” Casco Bay High School Principal Derek Pierce said. “She does not just fulfill the rigorous criteria for this national honor, she exemplifies them.”

Pierce described Natarajan as humble, but persistent. Pierce said her passion for teaching inspires young women and students of color to pursue studies in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Natarajan was a math teacher and department head at Deering High School for 12 years before joining Casco Bay High School five years ago. Prior to that, she was a founding teacher at Boston Arts Academy. She has a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and a master’s degree from Harvard.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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