East Kentwood Teacher Named Among Nation’s Best in Science and Math

East Kentwood High School math teacher Luke Wilcox that 99 percent of his students passed the Advanced Placement Exam with a score of 3 or higher in his latest AP Statistics class, it is the day-to-day process of teaching and inspiring young minds that motivates him

East Kentwood High School math teacher Luke Wilcox is one of only 108 math and science teachers in the U.S. selected to receive the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The nation’s highest honor for such teachers, the PAEMST recognizes those who “serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.” More than 4,300 teachers have been honored since 1983.

Luke Wilcox
Luke Wilcox

The winners are chosen by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators following an initial selection process at the state level. One math and one science teacher is selected from each state, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories and Department of Defense Education Activity schools. This year’s honorees teach in grades seven through 12.

Each awardee receives a citation signed by President Obama and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, which administers the program on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Wilcox and his fellow honorees are invited to attend an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

“These teachers are shaping America’s success through their passion for math and science,” Obama said in a prepared statement. “Their leadership and commitment empower our children to think critically and creatively about science, technology, engineering, and math. The work these teachers are doing in our classrooms today will help ensure that America stays on the cutting edge tomorrow.”

Wilcox, a math teacher at East Kentwood since 2001, was the Math Department chairman from 2009 through this year. He served as a mentor in the 2012-13 and 2014-15 school years, was a library tutor and participated in Teen Institute planning and other extra duties including the Math Club.

Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ MLive.com. As a reporter for The Press from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine, Religion News Service and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio.

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