Math and Science Teacher, Thora Henry-Letang, of Grand Bay, Dominica, who now resides on St. Thomas, has received the Presidential Award of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
The award is the highest honor bestowed on Math and Science teachers in the United States (US). The White House, on Monday, August 22, 2016, announced Henry-Letang as this year’s recipient .
Henry-Letang, who teaches at St. Thomas’ Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School, stated in a recent interview with Virgin Islands Daily News, that the honour was earned through the collective effort of every individual at her school.
“It’s really significant,” she said. “It’s the work of my students, fellow colleagues, the officials at education. It’s a collaborative community effort, not just my sole work.
The awardee, who has taught at the Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School for nearly a decade, described the recognition as “rewarding, because of the sacrifices we put in every day.” She said that she strives to be the teacher she has always wanted her teachers to be.
She teaches General Science to seventh and eighth grade students, English as a second language, and sometimes Mathematics.
Winners of the presidential award receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation, to be used at their discretion, and are invited to Washington D.C. for an awards ceremony, as well as celebratory events and visits with members of the Obama administration.
The educator has remained true to her beloved Dominica, and frequently participates in activities promoting Dominican culture, such as a Bèlè and Quadrille dances. She is also a former Secretary of Waseen Dominique in St. Thomas, a group which is dedicated to promoting Dominica’s culture.
Henry-Letang is the daughter of Robert Harold Henry and Maudleen Baron, and is the great-grand daughter of the famous “Ma Tutu”, after whom the Ma Tutu’s Park, in Grand Bay, is named.
She is currently married to Steve Letang, of Pichelin, and the couple has two children.