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NEWS RELEASES 2000-01 :: JUNE 8, 2001


Loretta Langdon, a sixth - eighth grades mathematics and science teacher at Princeton High School in the Johnston County Schools, was named the 2001-02 North Carolina Christa McAuliffe Fellow in state-level judging held Wednesday at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Deputy Superintendent Brad Sneeden presented Langdon with the prestigious award.

Next school year, Langdon will receive $24,000 to implement her program proposal, Scientists in Schools, by working closely with visiting scientists and science specialists. A special emphasis will be placed on creating a greater interest among minorities and girls in the various fields of science.

Langdon said receipt of the award was a tremendous honor for herself and the school. "I've always admired Christa McAuliffe and think it's a real honor to be chosen to carry out a project in her name. I'm hoping my project will change my students attitudes toward science and open windows of opportunity for them in the field of science."

A teacher at Princeton High School since 1989, Langdon has conducted middle school curriculum orientation for new hires, participated on a pacing guide writing team for Middle School Science, and served as a consultant for the International Center for Leadership in Education, Inc.

A smaller grant of $4,000 was provided to Jayson Duncan, a fourth - sixth grades teacher at Pine Hall Elementary in the Stokes County Schools, to help expand his Pine Hall Space Shuttle Project. The program allows fifth grade students to participate in a number of aerospace learning activities, including a simulated space shuttle flight.

Other state finalists were:

  • Carolyn Moser, Leesville Road Middle School, Wake County Schools
  • Cindy Moss, Independence High School, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
  • Paula Sharpe, Central Elementary School, Iredell-Statesville Schools
  • Carolyn Boswell, Dillard Primary School, Rockingham County Schools
  • Penny Knight, Monroe High School, Union County Schools

The Christa McAuliffe Fellowship program is administered by the Council of Chief State School Officers and state education departments in memory of the first teacher in space. McAuliffe and other members of the space shuttle Challenger crew were tragically killed in the 1986 shuttle accident. The Fellowship program provides funds to experienced and outstanding public and non-public school teachers for special projects, partnerships, sabbaticals or other programs.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.