Baltimore County Public School (BCPS) teacher receives Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
Towson University master's alumna Florence Falatko ’03, a fifth-grade mathematics teacher at Cromwell Valley Elementary Magnet School, is the winner of a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
She is one of only 104 teachers this year to receive this prestigious honor. According to program organizers, the award is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through grade 12 mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States.
As a Presidential Award winner, Falatko will receive a presidential citation, a trip to Washington, D.C., for a White House awards ceremony and to participate in discussions led by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, which coordinates the program for the White House.
On the program’s website, Falatko writes, “The Presidential Award is an endorsement of all the students and educators that have helped me to become the teacher that I am today. This award validates the importance of continuing to improve students’ access to mathematics education, and furthering their understanding of the importance of mathematics in our world. This honor gives me the confidence to continue to work with my students and colleagues to develop ‘mathematics for all.’”
Falatko has taught mathematics at Cromwell Valley for 15 years and has distinguished herself by creating an individualized mathematics program supplemented by afterschool mathematics help sessions for both students and their parents. Her project-driven lessons include using programming to develop algebraic patterns, analyzing statistics related to the World Series and NCAA Tournaments and developing blueprints for dream homes during the geometry unit. In her financial literacy lessons, students manage stock portfolios.
In addition to presenting at mathematics education conferences, Falatko is a member of the Baltimore County Mathematics Cadre and an instructor/presenter for the Maryland Council on Economic Education.
Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of New Hampshire, a master’s in teaching from Towson University, and a master’s certificate in technology instruction from Johns Hopkins University.
This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel's priorities for Towson University: TU Matters to Maryland.