CSU Graduates Receive Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Contact: Clara Potes-Fellow (562) 951-4806

(June 1, 2006) — Two Californian State University graduates, Margaret Cagle, a graduate from CSU Northridge, and Caleb Cheung, a graduate from CSU East Bay, were awarded the 2005 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

The honored teachers met with President George W. Bush last month during a week of recognition events in Washington D.C. Each teacher received $10,000 from the National Science Foundation.

President Bush commended them “for embodying excellence in teaching, for devotion to the learning needs of students, and for upholding the high standards that exemplify American education at its finest.”

“This is an extraordinary accomplishment, and we are very proud of these CSU graduates,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed.

Margaret Cagle, who teaches Algebra I, Geometry and French at Lawrence Gifted/Highly Gifted Magnet in Los Angeles, earned a Master of Arts in Mathematics Education with distinction from CSU Northridge in 2004. She also earned her teaching credential in secondary mathematics from CSUN.

“I love walking around my class and seeing my students engrossed in the work, grappling, reasoning, discussing, and summarizing their findings,” said Cagle, who is an officer of a local math education organization and in 2003 received the Excellence in Teaching Mathematics award.

Caleb Cheung, a science teacher, is the science department chair at Frick Middle School in Oakland where he teaches 7th grade life science.

“I help students understand science by relating it to their lives and demystifying a lot of the terminology with common words. I also acknowledge the need to take risks and try to provide a safe and supportive environment for everyone,” said Cheung.

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching were established in 1983 by an act of Congress and are administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation.

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 405,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees, about 84,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See www.calstate.edu

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Last Updated: June 1, 2006

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