Scott Johnson ’96 received the distinguished Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
The award is one of the nation’s highest honors for teachers of science, math and computer science. This year’s 108 recipients teach seventh through 12th grade and come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity schools.
More than 4,300 teachers have been recognized with this award since 1983.
Johnson received a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation and traveled to Washington, D.C., for the awards ceremony. While there, he met President Obama who thanked the honored teachers and shared his thoughts about education. The group also met with key leaders in science, math and education.
Johnson graduated from Concordia with a degree in science education and went on to earn his master’s degree in education from the University of North Dakota. He has taught high school science for 19 years; 16 of those at Century High School in Bismarck, N.D., where he teaches chemistry, and anatomy and physiology.
“Without a doubt, the part I love most about teaching is seeing how passionate and inquisitive students can be,” he says. “Nothing keeps me going more than seeing how engaged students get when they start making the connections between what they are learning in my classes and how that can be used for so many other things.”
Johnson is grateful for the liberal arts education he received at Concordia, saying it helped him to build the skills and experience needed to receive national recognition.
“I can honestly say that I owe everything to Concordia for giving me the challenges, background and experiences to set me on this path,” he says. “I look back on the science departments and am in awe of the positive influences they had, but it doesn’t end there. So many from all of the departments played a role in shaping who I am.”