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Seldom do teachers expect monetary awards or recognition from the president for their work. Usually they're just happy to see their students succeed.
But Russell Grammer, who teaches at Jefferson Elementary in Cape Girardeau, captured someone's attention with his creativity and everyday science lessons for students. He was one of 96 teachers chosen for a Presidential Award for Science Teaching.
The presidential award came with a $10,000 prize and a trip to Walt Disney World. Grammer accepted his award from President Bush and attended congressional hearings on education issues during a visit to Washington, D.C.
The award, offered to science and math teachers, was established in 1983 by Congress and is administered by the National Science Foundation.
But it's not the official recognition that makes Grammer enthusiastic about his job. He encourages his students to be curious about their world, and national recognition hasn't changed that. Now he wants to find ways to involve the whole family in his students' lessons so their learning doesn't stop at school.
The Cape Girardeau School District is lucky to have such a talented, enthusiastic and interested teacher. Students in his classes will be well prepared to observe their world and think like young scientists.