Three teachers chosen for math, science academy

MEEKER — ExxonMobil Corporation and the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy announced today that a group of third-, fourth- and fifth-grade teachers from the Meeker area will enhance their math and science teaching skills by participating in the National Academy in July.
Golfer Phil Mickelson and his wife Amy, and ExxonMobil, in conjunction with the National Science Teachers Association and Math Solutions, bring teachers from across the country together for a week-long professional development program designed to hone teaching skills, enhance curricula and discover innovative new ways to inspire students in math and science.
The teachers chosen from the Meeker area include: Heather Burke, Meeker Elementary; Kathy de Vergie, Meeker Elementary and Kirstie Strate, Meeker Elementary.
“Since the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy was launched in 2004, we have received an overwhelmingly positive response from the education community,” said Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil Corporation. “We are pleased to make this educational opportunity available to teachers from Meeker so they can encourage future careers in math and science.”
Today’s fastest growing careers, from medicine to energy, demand a solid foundation in math and science. However, the number of young people prepared to enter these fields is decreasing.
According to a congressional task force study, the United States will have a shortage of more than 500,000 engineers, scientists and other technically trained workers by the year 2010. The study states that it is essential for the United States to start educating youth in the math and science fields in early grades in order to engage and retain students’ interest in these disciplines through college and careers.
The academy is designed to equip teachers with tools to engage students in math and science studies and prepare today’s minds to be tomorrow’s leaders.
Each year, the Academy offers advanced training in science and mathematics instruction for 600 elementary school teachers who teach grades three through five, chosen from communities around the country where Mickelson plays in PGA tournaments or where ExxonMobil maintains significant operations.
The National Academy will take place Sunday, July 20 through Friday, July 25 in Jersey City, N.J.