Waukee Second Grade Teacher State Finalist for the Presidential Award
Natalie Franke, a second-grade teacher at Brookview Elementary, was named state finalist for a prestigious award. The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching are the nation’s highest honors for kindergarten through 12th grade. Franke was nominated as a part of the math portion of this award.
The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching recognizes teachers for their contributions in the classroom since it began in 1983. The award recipients receive $10,000, a certificate signed by the President, and are able to develop their professional skills. Awards are distributed on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Franke has been teaching over the course of the last 22 years. Her teaching styles direct towards a positive learning environment for her students. Franke has her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and she was an Elementary Education major from the University of Northern Iowa. Franke has an extensive educational background; she has taught as a second, third, and fourth-grade teacher, and was an Assistant Principal.
Franke believes that it is crucial to change the perspective of mathematics in a learning environment. There is a misconception about mathematics and she states that as educators, they can change that belief while the students are still of a young age. Franke values the relationships that she is able to build with her students because it benefits both the student and the teacher in a learning environment like that.
A major program, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), is involving more and more students every day. This program was implemented on behalf of the Obama Administration to prioritize the learning of these major subjects. STEM is actively pursuing educators to teach the value of math, science, technology, and engineering.
Franke was recognized at the Outstanding Iowa Teachers Recognition Luncheon on February 26, hosted by the Iowa Department of Education.