WASHINGTON, D.C. — Darshan Jain, an Indian American teacher, is one of 108 teachers named by President Barack Obama as a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
Jain has taught mathematics for eight years at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois, where he currently serves as the director of mathematics. He and the other winners will each receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. The educators will receive their awards at a Washington, D.C., event later this summer.
“These teachers are shaping America’s success through their passion for math and science,” Obama said of the winners.
“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,” he said.
The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding kindergarten through 12th grade science and mathematics teachers from across the country.
“The Presidential Award validates my core belief that all students can learn mathematics in authentic, rigorous and impactful ways,” Jain said.
“It is grounded in my experience that collaborative teachers can help all students achieve excellence. This award provides opportunities to have discussions around improving math education at local and national levels,” he said.
“Students’ experiences in mathematics must fundamentally change in order to support our national vision for equity, access and competitiveness,” he added.
Jain’s industry experience includes time spent as a project engineer and a machine designer. His love for teaching was inspired by his work at the Hispanic Math and Science Initiative and his students’ success in learning. As an adjunct professor for mathematics education, Jain supported novice teachers. He now leads his exceptional colleagues as the curriculum director for his district. Jain has also contributed to the education community by speaking on research-based pedagogy at local, state and national conferences.
Jain has a BA in mechanical engineering and an MS in secondary mathematics education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is pursing further graduate work.