Natalie S. Rachel

Natalie S. Rachel of Stonewall Tell Elementary School is a state finalist for a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

A South Fulton school may be sending a science teacher on a field trip to Washington.

Stonewall Tell Elementary School first grade teacher Natalie S. Rachel recently became a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

According to a news release, the awards are the highest honors bestowed by the U.S. government on kindergarten through 12th grade math and science teachers.

The leader of her school said Rachel’s talent and dedication for science, technology, engineering, arts and math align with the school’s vision and mission

“Natalie Rachel has proven to be a wonderful addition to the Stonewall Tell family,” Principal Philip Hammonds said in a statement.

Donna Barrett-Williams, Ed.D., the Fulton County School System’s science, technology, engineering, arts and math director, is among the educators who nominated Rachel for the award.

“Her passion for elementary science teaching shines through in everything she does,” Barrett-Williams said in a statement. “Whether she is delivering a professional development program for teachers, engaging students in hands-on experiences or coordinating a STEM family night, she is working to have a positive impact on student learning in science.”

Rachel said she loves helping her students learn more about her favorite subject.

“To be recognized for teaching is amazing and overwhelming,” she said in a statement. “I’m humbled by this whole experience.”

Rachel is a nationally board-certified early childhood educator who has earned her educational specialist and T-6 certification, a level of mastery between a master’s degree and a doctorate.

She recently completed a K-5 science endorsement program through a partnership between the district and the Metropolitan Regional Education Service Agency.

The endorsement was added to her certificate through the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, Rachel said.

According to the website of the National Science Foundation, which administers the presidential awards, winners receive a certificate signed by President Donald Trump, a trip to Washington, D.C., and a $10,000 prize.

As established by Congress in 1983, the president may recognize up to 108 teachers a year.

The award winners will be named in June 2019.

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