Hoeven Congratulates North Dakota Teachers for Receiving National Award

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today congratulated Scott Johnson of Century High School and Cynthia Nelson of Grand Forks Central High School for receiving the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Training. The annual award is given to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the nation. Winners receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation and are invited to Washington for an awards ceremony.

Johnson has been an educator for 19 years and currently teaches science at Century High School. He serves as the department chair at Century and is also president-elect for the North Dakota Science Teachers Association. Nelson has taught math at Grand Forks Central High School for the past 30 years. She serves as the mathematics department head, supervisor for the mathematics club and treasurer for the North Dakota Council of Teachers of Mathematics Board of Directors.

“Exceptional teachers like Scott Johnson and Cynthia Nelson are essential to preparing our next generation of leaders,” said Hoeven. “Their commitment to educating students in the areas of science and mathematics will help our country remain competitive on the global scale, which is now needed more than ever. Thank you to Scott and Cynthia and to all of our state’s hardworking teachers, who are dedicating their talents to making sure our young people are equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful.”

Hoeven is working to bolster Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. He has partnered with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in introducing legislation to improve students’ access to STEM education by allowing states to award funding to create or enhance a STEM-focused specialty school or a STEM program within a school. The legislation also directs the U.S. Department of Education to identify STEM-specific needs of states and school districts and align existing STEM programs with identified needs to avoid unnecessary duplication. The legislation has been included as part of the Every Child Achieves Act, which replaces No Child Left Behind.

In March, Hoeven and Klobuchar met with STEM students at Sheyenne High School in West Fargo and Horizon Middle School in Moorhead to highlight the schools’ work to prepare students for advanced STEM curriculum.