Albert Lea teacher 1 of 6 finalists for Presidential Award for Excellence

Published 4:31 pm Monday, May 13, 2024

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The Minnesota Department of Education announced Albert Lea teacher Mark Nechanicky was named as a finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Mark Nechanicky

Nechanicky teaches fourth grade at Lakeview Elementary School.

The award is the nation’s highest honor for U.S. K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics and/or computer science teachers. The award is administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

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Three finalists were selected in math and three in science.

According to a press release, the finalists represent the most outstanding teachers Minnesota has to offer, and they serve as both a model and an inspiration to fellow teachers. The 2024 Minnesota finalists will be recognized informally during STEM day at the Minnesota State Fair, and formally during the Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference and the Minnesota Science Teachers Association conference.

Teachers who are selected as awardees receive a trip to Washington, D.C., where they attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities. They also receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, a presidential certificate and join an elite cohort of award-winning teachers who can influence STEM teaching in Minnesota and nationwide.

For more information about the award, visit