Fairview Elementary teacher receives presidential award

Monday, December 23, 2013 | 6:48 p.m. CST
Ragan Webb instructs her fourth-grade class in September 2012 at Fairview Elementary School. Webb is one of 102 teachers nationwide to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

COLUMBIA — A Fairview Elementary School teacher won the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Ragan Webb, a fourth-grade teacher at Fairview, is one of only two teachers in the state and 102 total to be recognized for their work in teaching mathematics and science.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching recognizes teachers who develop and implement a high-quality program that enhances student learning.

Fairview Principal Diana DeMoss said she was delighted to find out that Webb had won the award.

"Mrs. Webb is a fabulous teacher," DeMoss said. "She's not afraid to let students get dirty and be a part of the (learning) process."

DeMoss has worked with Webb for six years, and her daughter was in Webb's fourth-grade class. When DeMoss's daughter was in the class, Webb and the students used a camera to track and monitor the animals around Fairview, a hands-on way to learn about local ecology, DeMoss said. 

This is one of the ways that Webb brings science to life for students in a way they might have not experienced before, DeMoss said. 

Webb found out that she won the honor Friday, after school had already been dismissed for winter break, but Fairview Elementary faculty and parents have shared their excitement through Facebook. 

"That's my child's teacher," one of the parents commented, DeMoss said.

In January, when school is back in session, an assembly will be held to recognize Webb, so that all the students can share in the excitement, DeMoss said. 

Webb was one of three Missouri teachers nominated for the award, according to a previous Missourian article.

The 102 recipients represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Department of Defense Education Activity, according to the White House press release. More than 4,200 teachers have been recognized since the award program was established in 1983.

As of Monday, the date Webb and the other teachers will be recognized in Washington, D.C., has not yet been chosen, according to Nikki Gleich with Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

In addition to the ceremony in Washington, Webb will also receive:

  • $10,000 from the National Science Foundation;
  • an awards ceremony and reception in Washington, D.C.;
  • a certificate signed by the U.S. president;
  • the opportunity to discuss how to improve science education with members of Congress.

For more information about the award program, go to

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