A Vail School District teacher has been named winner of a Presidential Award for Excellence in mathematics and Science Teaching.

Michael Frank, who has a Ph.D. in biology and teaches biology courses at Empire High School, was honored at a gathering of science teachers this summer in Washington, D.C.

Frank was honored for his work by the National Science Foundation and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is one of 100 teachers nationally to be so honored.

Frank has been teaching for 11 years, after working as a science researcher.

"I started out wanting to go into science as a researcher," he says. "I came to realise that wasn't wuite what I imagined. I wanted to get into full-time teaching. I saw there was a real need for good science teachers at the public school level."

Frank says he is motivated daily by seeing students who gain an understanding of a science concept and further by those who say they have been inspired to go into science as a career.

"There are a lot of rewards," he says, "just seeing that light bulb going on or their eyes light up when they make a connection, when they understand something that's a complex topic."