Jane Hunn

Jane Hunn (Photo by Daniel Splaine/National Science Foundation)

President Bush Names IWU Alumna One of Nation’s Top Educators

May 2, 2006

President George W. Bush has honored science teacher and Illinois Wesleyan University Alumna Jane Hunn (’77), from Tippecanoe Valley Middle School in Akron, Ind., with the 2005 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the Nation’s highest honor for teaching in these fields.

Hunn is the only winner from Indiana and one of 100 seventh- through 12th-grade teachers nationwide to receive the prestigious award.

President Bush commended her for embodying excellence in teaching, for devotion to the learning needs of the students, and for upholding the high standards that exemplify American education at its finest.

As an awardee, Hunn receives a $10,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the independent federal agency that administers the awards program on behalf of the White House, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for a week of celebratory events and professional development activities. 

In a letter to awardees, President Bush said, “Math and science are critical components of America’s technological and competitive strength. Through my American Competitiveness Initiative, my administration is working to advance American innovation and support the efforts of teachers by increasing investments in research and development, promoting education in math and science, and encouraging entrepreneurship and technological advances.”

Established by Congress in 1983, the annual presidential awards program identifies highly qualified mathematics and science teachers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Territories, and the U.S. Department of Defense Schools.  This year’s recipients, recommended for the award by a panel of leading mathematicians, scientists, and educators, are seventh- through  12th-grade teachers.

“These teachers exemplify what President Bush’s American Competitiveness Initiative aims to achieve by raising the bar for math and science education for all students, who are our future leaders of innovation,” said John H. Marburger, III, Director of The Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President.

“I think the networking with other teachers will be the most useful part of the award.  It has opened doors for the people I have met who are previous Presidential Awardees,” said Hunn when asked what she expected to be the most valuable part of the Presidential Award process.

The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering with an annual budget of nearly $5.58 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. NSF also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.