July 2, 2015 – White House announced the latest recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The 108 winners are selected from finalists nominated throughout the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Department of Defense.

Brian Reece Presidential Math and Science Teacher Award Winner

Presidential Award Recipient, Brian Reece.

One of this year’s winners, representing Iowa, is math teacher Brian Reece. He is in his seventh year of teaching at Central Academy in Des Moines, where he also helps coach the school’s nationally honored mathematics team. Brian was a 1990 Graduate form Clarke Community Schools and went on to graduate from Central College in Pella.

The process for nomination and application for this honor was a lengthy one. After being nominated by the parent of a student in 2013, Mr. Reece was required to provide essay answers for a 15 page questionnaire; letters of recommendation from a parent of a student, a student, as well as administrators from the school; and recorded a video from one of his lessons showing his interaction with students and his teaching style.

“It was a pretty arduous process, all-in-all,” Mr. Reece stated, “But the application questionnaire and the video provided a great opportunity for reflection.”

When asked how his time at Clarke Community Schools affected his career and ultimately this award, Mr. Reece commented,

“Clarke provided a lot of mentors in the math and sciences. If it weren’t for teachers like Mr. (Frank) Riley we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

Mr. Reece will travel to Washington, DC later this summer for a recognition ceremony, including a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.  We will make sure to follow up with him to get details about the ceremony and his trip.

ClarkeCountyLife.com would like to send a note of thanks out to Dianne Riley for bringing Mr. Reece’s story to our attention. It’s wonderful to hear about the great successes that start right in the heart of Clarke County.

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