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Bridgeport Math Teacher Heads To White House To Receive National Honor

Bridgeport educator Elizabeth Capasso has received national recognition from the White House for her excellence in teaching math.
Bridgeport educator Elizabeth Capasso has received national recognition from the White House for her excellence in teaching math. Photo Credit: Contributed

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- One of Bridgeport’s own, Elizabeth Capasso, a mathematics teacher at the Jettie S. Tisdale School, is heading to the White House on Wednesday, Sept. 8, to be honored by President Barack Obama.

Capasso is a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for seventh- to 12th-graders.

“We are so proud of President Obama’s recognition of Elizabeth Capasso as a true example of mathematics teaching for the entire nation,” said Mayor Joe Ganim. “This national award is an amazing achievement for Ms. Capasso and also for our community. We are lucky to have her educating our kids at the Tisdale School, and we all recognize how critical math education is for our youth if we want them to succeed as adults. We have many talented teachers in Bridgeport, and it is a very special achievement to have one of our educators recognized by the White House.”

She has been teaching in Bridgeport for nearly eight years, and will join the other winners to receive their awards at a ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C.

“She is dedicated to her students and passionate about equipping our next generation of leaders with strong skills in mathematics," said Bridgeport Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz. "Educators in Bridgeport work very hard to enrich the minds and lives of the 21,000 students in our district. This recognition by the White House of Elizabeth’s hard work is a well deserved accomplishment.”

The Award is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Capasso was one of 213 mathematics and science teachers selected from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories schools this year.

“The recipients of this award are integral to ensuring our students are equipped with critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are vital to our nation’s success," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "As the United States continues to lead the way in the innovation that is shaping our future, these excellent teachers are preparing students from all corners of the country with the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills that help keep us on the cutting-edge.”

The winners of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process at the state level. Each nomination year of the award alternates between teachers in the kindergarten through 6th grade level, and those teaching 7th through 12th grades.

Presidential Awardees receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States, a trip to Washington to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

Since 1983, more than 4,600 teachers have received this award for their contributions in the classroom.

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