May 27, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dr. Clifford Stanley, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, told a gathering of award-winning teachers Thursday that they “are the strength of our nation.”

Dr. Stanley was the featured speaker at the second annual National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) All American Teacher of the Year awards, which honored 23 outstanding Advanced Placement* teachers.

In his keynote address, Dr. Stanley commended the teachers for their dedication and said: “Everyone has a teacher they remember who touched their life — YOU are those teachers.”

As the senior policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense on recruitment, career development, pay and benefits for more than 1.4 million active duty military personnel, 1.3 million Guard and Reserve personnel and 680,000 DoD civilians, Dr. Stanley oversees the overall state of military readiness. Before assuming his current position, Dr. Stanley was President of Scholarship America, the nation’s largest private sector scholarship organization, and also served on the senior leadership team at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a retired U.S. Marine Corps, serving 33 years in uniform, retiring as a Major General. As an educator and a veteran, he has taken a special interest in programs that support military families, such as NMSI’s Initiative for Military Families.

Thursday’s awards recognized outstanding math, science, and English teachers in the AP Training and Incentive Program for remarkable contributions to their students and to the teaching profession. The honorees included teachers who have produced outstanding results by finding innovative ways to inspire students – from building a pneumatic, bolt-action T-shirt cannon for use at pep rallies; using exercise, chanting and creative movement as a way to learn statistics or taking students on an out-of-town field trip to hear an author speak about homelessness, which is a book the students read as a result of the school’s focus to learn about social issues.

“These outstanding teachers recognize the importance of championing excellence in math and science,” said Tom Luce, CEO of NMSI. “We are proud to bestow these awards to each one of them as they represent the caliber of teachers that are needed to help achieve these efforts and prepare our students for the future.”

The awards were given to one teacher each in Advanced Placement math, science and English from seven states that participate in APTIP, along with two new awards this year: a teacher from a school participating in the Initiative for Military Families, which provides APTIP for students in schools that support military families, and a teacher from NMSI’s virtual AP program, Learning Power, in South Dakota.

Following are the 2011 All American Teacher of the Year Award winners:

English: Susan Caraway, Clay Chalkville High School, Pinson, AL
Math: Matthew Massey, Buckhorn High School, New Market, AL
Science: Shani Forbes, Huffman High School, Birmingham, AL

English: Marsha Hudson, Rogers High School, Rogers, AR
Math: Brian Leonard, Lake Hamilton High School, Pearcy, AR
Science: Jason Walker, Russellville High School, Russellville, AR

English: Samuel Scheer, Windsor High School, Windsor, CT
Math: Kathleen Pointek, Windsor High School, Windsor, CT
Science: Joseph Mancino, Windsor High School, Windsor, CT

English: Amiee Cantrell-Webb, Johnson Central High School, Paintsville, KY
Math: Brian Sullivan, Henderson County High School, Henderson, KY
Science: Carlos Verdecchia, Bryan Station High School, Lexington, KY

English: Jennifer Clapp, Malden High School, Malden, MA
Math: Joseph Nystrom, South High Community, Worcester, MA
Science: Maureen Melanson, Methuen High School, Methuen, MA

English: Shirley Cooper, Lincoln High School, Dallas, TX
Math: Kathleen Murrell, J. Frank Dobie High School, Houston, TX
Science: Kyle Voge, W. Charles Akins High School, Austin, TX

English: Ann Drew Gibbons, Franklin County High School, Rocky Mount, VA
Math: Benjamin Bazak, Patrick Henry High School, Roanoke, VA
Science: Jeffrey Steele, Liberty High School, Bedford, VA

South Dakota – Excellence in Online Teaching
Science: Jensi Kellogg-Andrus, Learning Power Online Program, South Dakota

Initiative for Military Families
English: Ashley Ashcraft, Harker Heights High School, Killeen, Texas (Fort Hood)

Teachers were able to nominate themselves or be nominated for the All American Teacher of the Year Awards by program content directors, board members from each state AP organization, school leaders, or colleagues. To be eligible, the candidates had to be a current AP math, science, or English classroom teacher in a public high school participating in the NMSI APTIP, the Initiative for Military Families, or in the virtual program; demonstrate positive results in APTIP; and demonstrate a commitment to teaching as a career and be an inspiring model of excellence to others. Nominations were reviewed by a NMSI judging committee of educators.

About NMSI:
NMSI was launched in 2007 by top leaders in business, education, and science to reverse the United States’ troubling decline in math and science education. NMSI is focused on improving the American public school system by replicating programs nationally that have documented success: the AP Training and Incentive Program (APTIP) to expand the number high school students mastering college-level Advanced Placement* courses, and UTeach, a program to recruit and prepare college students to become qualified math, science and computer science teachers. Founding sponsors for NMSI include Exxon Mobil Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

The APTIP approach currently is being implemented in 10 states: Arkansas, Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia. The UTeach program is being implemented by 22 universities across the United States and enrollment has tripled in the last three years.

About the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program (APTIP):
APTIP increases dramatically the performance of high school students in rigorous college-level courses in math, science, and English. The comprehensive APTIP approach increases teacher effectiveness and student achievement through content training, teacher and student support, vertical alignment of teachers, open enrollment, and incentives. Schools participating in the program for the last two years in six states showed a 97.7 percent increase in AP exams passed in math, science, and English, which is seven times the national average.

Contact: Rena Pederson, Communications Director, 214 665-2523, or

For more information, visit

*AP and Advanced Placement Program are registered trademarks of the College Board.

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