Oak Ridge High School math teacher Phyllis Hillis has received the 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
Hillis, who has taught math at the high school since 1979, was one of 97 U.S. teachers across the country who won the prestigious award.
Winners receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, and they have been honored in a three-day event in Washington, D.C., this week.
The awards are the nation’s highest honor for math and science teachers.
A notice posted on the awards website said Hillis teaches precalculus honors and advanced placement calculus. She has also taught algebra and geometry and served as a teacher mentor at College Board AP Calculus workshops in the Southeast.
Winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators, the White House said in a press release.
Before teaching at Oak Ridge, Hillis taught for three years at Copenhagen International Junior School in Denmark and for four years at West High School in Knoxville.
Hillis has given presentations at many conferences and is co-author of a calculus textbook, Calculus Calculator Labs, the awards website said. She is also a Tandy Outstanding Educator award winner.
Hillis has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and is certified in math, physics, chemistry, and biology.
Another Tennessee teacher, Smyrna science teacher Gail Schulte, also won the award.
The awards have recognized more than 4,100 teachers for their classroom and professional contributions since 1983, the awards website said.