Eastside second-grade teacher Katie McCue was honored as a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. Her colleagues decorated the entrance of the teachers lounge to recognize her.

Katie McCue has added another accolade to her award shelf. The second-grade teacher at Eastside School has been honored as one of the top math instructors in the state, and is now in the running for a national award.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is one of the highest honors a teacher can receive in the United States. It rewards teachers for their content knowledge and ability to motivate students in math and science.

To be selected as a Wyoming finalist – the final national selections are still a ways off – McCue had to first be nominated, then complete a series of tasks including making a recording of herself teaching, something she was able to accomplish before the shutdown.

“Public recognition for me is super hard,” McCue said. “I was super excited to be selected and very humbled.”

McCue, now in her 12th year with the district, gave credit for the award to her team of second grade teachers and to former instructional facilitator Ted Wambeke for helping her along the way.

As a Wyoming finalist, McCue will get to work with other teachers, administrators and the state Department of Education as part of a leadership cohort.

“This isn’t an award that’s just like, ‘I’ve done this and got the award and now I’m done,’” said Eastside principal Nick Gallagher at a March school board meeting. “This is at least a one-year commitment on her part to continue doing this work.”

McCue, for her part, is looking forward to building her knowledge and giving Cody a voice in Wyoming education.

“I’m hoping for two things, basically,” she said. “One, to be a representative from Cody on this state-level team, but also to be a resource for people in our community about what’s going on in education and be a champion for our field and our profession.”

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