News & Awards
SECS alumna, Camsie Matis was named in June, 2010 by President Obama as one of 103 mathematics and science teachers to recieve the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to the best pre-college-level science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level. Each year the award alternates between mathematics and science teachers teaching Kindergarten through 6th grade, and those teaching 7th through 12th grades. This year it goes to teachers teaching 7th through 12th grades.
Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also receive an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and science agency leaders.
"Science and technology have long been at the core of America's strength and competitiveness, and the scientists and engineers who have led America on its remarkable path to success share something very precious: science and math teachers who brought these critical subjects to life," said President Obama. "Today we honor some of the best of these teachers and thank them for their dedication. They are inspirations not just to their students, but to the Nation and the world."
Camsie believes that "too often, urban students in public schools do not have access to excellent teaching and current resources." She believs passionately that outstanding teachers should be strategically placed in struggling schools. For Camsie, "the Presidential Award solidifies this belief -- that excellent teaching can and does make a difference with even the most challenged students." She notes that the success of her students is my "real award."
Camsie Matis, originally from Colorado, has taught in urban public schools for 10 years. For the last 3 years, she has taught algebra at East Side Community High School in Manhattan. Camsie's teaching career began in Oakland, CA, where she taught mathematics and science at Westlake Middle School. After 6 years in Oakland, she moved to Boston to pursue a master's degree. She was recruited from the program to help design and open a small public school in the South Bronx, NY. Camsie uses real-life problem solving and creative writing literacy techniques to inspire struggling students. She has presented these ideas at several national and regional conferences. She also spent a semester studying in Moscow, Russia. She has a master's degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education and is certified in high school mathematics.
Camsie graduated magna cum laude from DU in 1997 where she had majors in both General Engineering and Political Science. Camsie currently works in Arlington, Virginia at the National Science Foundation where she serves as Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow in the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering, Division of Computer & Network Systems Broadening Participation in Computing.