Hamblen Co. teacher selected as finalist for math and science presidential award

A Hamblen County Schools teacher is one of three finalists across the state for a Presidential Award.
Presidential Award Finalist
Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 5:30 PM EDT
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MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Hamblen County Schools teacher is one of three finalists across the state for a Presidential Award. It’s called “The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching,” and it’s the most prestigious honor a K-12 math teacher can earn.

Samantha Carroll is one of the three finalists, and the only one from East Tennessee. She’s a math teacher at Union Heights Elementary in Morristown.

A fellow teacher at another Hamblen County School nominated her for the award in the fall. She had to video herself teaching and respond to essay prompts to earn the nomination.

When Carroll was a child one of her teachers told her she would one day become a math teacher. But Carroll didn’t imagine seven years into her career she would have become a finalist.

“I hope that I can instill a love for math early on so that way when they do get to middle and high school they still have that love for math,” Carroll said.

She’s seen her 52 fourth grade students’ collaborative skills grow throughout the year. “They’ve really learned to work cooperatively with groups and learning how to problem solve. And work with students who they normally wouldn’t work with,” she said.

A couple of her students said math is their favorite subject because of her. “She really pushes me hard,” fourth grader Try Livesay said.

Math challenges fourth grader Riley Blevins who recognizes the importance of skills like multiplying two-digit by two-digit numbers. “It makes me feel happy that I’ll know this and like be able to carry it in real life things,” Blevins said.

The award winners will be announced by June.

If Carroll wins she earns $10,000, an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. and a signed certificate from U.S. President Joe Biden.

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