Michiana Teacher receives Presidential award

A Michiana teacher received an award from President Obama on Monday. The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science goes to 213 outstanding K-12th grade math and science teachers all over the nation.  

Martin Briggs is a fourth grade math teacher at Critchfield Elementary in La Porte. 

He's been teaching at this grammar school for over ten years, but this year he will be visiting the White House on September 8th. 

One of his students explained that Briggs helped him change his opinion on math, 180 degrees. 

“I didn’t really like math, but it was my best subject. And so this year I like math a lot more,” said Charlie Tonageo. 

Briggs says that once a student realizes they're good at something, they enjoy doing it much more. 

“That’s one thing that I think is important, that they do love things and I think they love it when they’re good at it," he said. "When they do well they love it. And so that’s what I want to hear.

In order to receive and award teachers have to get nominated. The next step is to go to the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science website and apply online. 

Nominees then go through a state level process, in which they are then looked at by a board of professionals. 

Briggs says he is grateful for the recognition, but doesn't take for granted all of those who helped him get there. He urges to put a spotlight on other teachers who have also put in a lot of work.  

“It’s an honor. It's great. It’s a privilege," he says. "There’s so many teachers that work hard. There’s a lot of great teaching going on in Michiana and a lot of people I’m learning from too.”

Recipients of this award not only get the recognition and invite to the White House. They are also awarded with $10,000 from the National Science Foundation to use at their discretion. 

“The White House is doing this for us. They’re recognizing the achievements in education, “ says Briggs. 

President Obama and his Administration have taken these steps in order to strengthen education in science, technology, engineering and math.

The President has said these teachers are preparing students all over the country for our nation's success. 

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