Mesa teacher wins Presidential Award for excellence in math, science

Jul 6, 2018, 8:25 AM
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PHOENIX — A teacher at Mesa High School has been awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Erik Von Burg, a specialist in the Gifted and Talented department for Mesa Public Schools, received the honor on June 27. For the reward, he will receive a certificate signed by President Donald Trump, a $10,000 award and trip to Washington, D.C.

“The Presidential Award validates my work in education and affirms the need for thinking-based authentic investigations as a cornerstone for curriculum,” Von Burg said in a release.

Von Burg will join other awardees in Washington, where they will be recognized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and National Science Foundation.

“Erik is a phenomenal educator and true innovator,” Andi Fourlis, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, said in a release.

“From his time in the classroom to his leadership of our Gifted and Talented program, his focus is always on how to inspire students to think and make sense of their ever-changing world.”

The award was established in 1983, and is the highest accolade K-12 math and science teachers can receive from the government.

According to the district, all educators wishing to become a nominee for the award go through a rigorous application process, which is then followed by a review by a panel of state and national mathematicians, scientists and educators.

Von Burg attended Mesa schools, later returning to the district to start his career in education.

Before he became a specialist for the district, he taught sixth grade and gifted and talented at both Johnson and MacArthur elementary schools.

He also taught an introduction to engineering class at Carson Junior High School.

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Mesa teacher wins Presidential Award for excellence in math, science