A 19-year member of the Saucon Valley High School faculty has been awarded one of the highest teaching honors in the United States.
Elizabeth “Lisa” Allen–who teaches math at Saucon Valley and also as a part-time Lehigh-Carbon Community College (LCCC) professor–was one of 213 U.S. math and science teachers named by President Barack Obama as the 2016 recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Monday.
She is one of only two Pennsylvania high school teachers to receive the award this year, along with Jaunine Fouché, a science teacher at the Milton Hershey School.
“The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country,” a White House news release explained. “The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators following an initial selection process at the state level.”
Allen will receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation and will attend an awards ceremony Sept. 8 in Washington, D.C., as well educational and celebratory events and visits with members of the Administration, the news release indicated.
“The recipients of this award are integral to ensuring our students are equipped with critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are vital to our Nation’s success,” President Obama said in a statement. “As the United States continues to lead the way in the innovation that is shaping our future, these excellent teachers are preparing students from all corners of the country with the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills that help keep us on the cutting-edge.”
Allen currently teaches AP calculus at Saucon Valley and also tutors calculus students after school. According to her biography posted on the Presidential Awards for Excellence website, she also organizes an annual mathematics tour of New York City and its Museum of Mathematics.
“Receiving the Presidential Award for teaching mathematics is an extraordinary pinnacle moment in my career,” she said in a statement. “My family, friends, teachers, mentors and administrators have supported my passion for teaching and learning mathematics and have played an integral role in my success. This award substantiates my resolve and motivates me to continue establishing the best mathematical practices, which inspire my students to stretch the limits of their capabilities for greater mathematical understanding.”
Allen earned a B.S. in mathematics summa cum laude with a certificate to teach secondary education from Cedar Crest College in Allentown. She received her M.Ed. in mathematics education from DeSales University in Center Valley, and she is currently enrolled in a graduate study program of teaching, learning and technology at Lehigh University in Bethlehem.
She is a past recipient of the Star Teacher Award for Teaching with Technology, and she has presented at conferences for the National Science Foundation, Lehigh University’s Technology Summit and the 2016 Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
According to her biography, in her classroom Allen’s students “participate in lessons that are dynamic, interactive, technology-based and problem-focused, utilizing a team approach for collaborative learning.”
Saucon Source extends its congratulations to Lisa Allen on her award!