MONROE – South Sevier High School’s Deborah “Debbie” Stringham Morgan was selected as a recipient of one of the highest honors bestowed by the United States government – the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
The award is specifically for exemplary teachers of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science from across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools, and schools in the United States territories of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.
Morgan traveled to Washington, D.C., where she was recognized and presented with a citation signed by President Trump at an awards ceremony held at the Department of Interior Sidney Yates Auditorium, Oct. 17.
The PAEMST program, administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, recognizes outstanding teachers for their contributions to the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science.
“The Presidential Award means the culmination of years of mentoring and collaboration from education professionals I admire and look up to,” said Morgan. “It means educators who taught me with passion and instilled in me a desire to emulate that passion. It is the prodding of administrators and the example of my teaching colleagues.
“It also means a loving, supportive family. It means the curiosity of my brilliant students that drive me to learn more, do more and be more in my profession,” Morgan said. “It means the world to me.”
Morgan is the daughter of Brent and Cathy Stringham, Richfield, and has taught SSHS students for the past five years and currently teaches ninth through 12th grade earth science, physics, chemistry and investigation science. She spent one previous year as a regional technology trainer for Central Utah Educational Services, in addition to 12 years of teaching middle level science at North Sevier Middle School and Centerville Junior High.
As a rural teacher and district technology coach, Morgan also trains and supports teachers to use online classroom management systems, as well as being the advisor to a science, technology, engineering and mathematics club.
In an effort to inspire young students to ask questions and grow curiosity, Morgan initiated the SSHS’ Physics is Phun Day, during which elementary students spend time exploring physical science concepts taught by high school students.
Morgan serves as a facilitator for the Utah Teacher Fellows, a fellowship sponsored by Hope Street Group that seeks to build bridges between teachers and policy makers. In addition, Morgan has presented sessions at several conferences on science teacher professional learning, travel experiences, grant funding and classroom technology, as well as having published related articles with Teacher Prep Tech and Sevenzo.
Morgan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Utah State University and a Masters of Science degree in geosciences from Mississippi State University. She is certified in earth science, physical science and middle level science education.
Morgan was also given a $10,000 prize, which she said she wants to use to pay off her student loans.