Dominican Thora Henry-Letang receives the US Presidential Award of Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science. Thora is actually from Grand Bay in Dominica, but she now lives on St Thomas in the USVI. The award is the highest honor bestowed on Math and Science teachers in the United States (US). On Monday, August 22, 2016, the White House announced Henry-Letang as this year’s recipient.
She teaches at St. Thomas’ Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School. In a recent interview with Virgin Islands Daily News, she said the honour was essentially earned through the collective effort of every individual at her school. She explained, “It is really significant, that it is the work of my students, my fellow colleagues and officials at education. It is a collaborative community effort, not just solely my work”.
Thora Henry-Letang has taught Mathematics & Science for almost ten years. She described the recognition as “rewarding, because of the sacrifices we put in every day.” She added that she strives to be the teacher she has always wanted her teachers to be. She teaches General Science to 7th and 8th grade students. She also teaches English as a second language.
Winners of the presidential award receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation, to be used at their discretion. They are invited to Washington D.C. for an awards ceremony and celebratory events, and also get to visit with members of the Obama administration.
Thora Henry-Letang says she 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 married to Steve Letang of Pichelin, and they have two children.
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