For the second consecutive year, a School District of Palm Beach County teacher has won the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Robin O’Brien, a mathematics resource teacher, is one of two teachers in Florida to receive the honor.
As this year’s mathematics winner, O’Brien will receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation, and will travel to Washington, D.C., this summer for an awards ceremony, professional development opportunities and more.
“It’s the ultimate validation for all the hard work you put in, day in and day out,” O’Brien said. “I’m honored to be considered part of such an elite group of educators.”
The award is given each year to one math and one science teacher in all 50 states. It alternates between teachers for kindergarten through sixth grade and seventh through 12th grade. Teachers complete an extensive application for the honor. After an initial review at the state level, winners are selected by a panel of scientists, mathematicians and educators.
O’Brien is in her eighth year with the school district. She previously worked at Royal Palm Beach High School and Seminole Ridge High School before taking on her current role as a district resource teacher. As a resource teacher, O’Brien helps plan the curriculum and provides professional development for secondary mathematics teachers through the district.
Before teaching, O’Brien spent nearly a decade as a logistics analyst with General Motors and DuPont.
“In the classroom, every day is different, and every class period is different,” O’Brien said. “That first week I started teaching, I knew I was where I belonged.”
ABOVE: Robin O’Brien