FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — A Fayetteville Public Schools fifth grade teacher has received a prestigious award for her work in the classroom.
Cheri DeSoto teaches science and social studies at Holt Middle School. She has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching.
She says she didn’t expect to win the award on a national level.
“It’s kind of surreal. I mean, I’m still kind of, ya know, sitting here like did I really win that? I really did win that,” she said.
She has been teaching for the past 27 years and has been with the Fayetteville School District for the previous 10. While she said she was surprised to win, her students say they know she’s one of the best.
“She’s really nice, she’s fun, and I’m just glad to have her as my teacher,” student Abby Logan said.
DeSoto applied for the award during the 2017-2018 school year. The 100 recipients from across the country were just invited to Washington DC for an award ceremony and to tour the White House. She says the award is based on content taught in the classroom, but also on teaching kids to use science outside of school.
“Education is important, relating what they are doing in the classroom to the world they are living in, what they are learning here can make their world a better place,” DeSoto said.
She calls the award humbling and says she can feel the support from past and present students.
“I’ve gotten a lot of responses from past students who have congratulated me, and so that’s huge is when your kids see what you’re doing is important,” she said.