AUGUSTA – Ken Vencile, an honors and advanced placement biology teacher at Camden Hills Regional High School, was named this week as one of 97 mathematics and science teachers nationwide to receive the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
“I have been lucky to work with dedicated and reflective science instructors, and even more fortunate to share my energy, enthusiasm and knowledge with students who are willing to take risks, be spirited, think critically and dedicate themselves to hard work,” Vencile said. Camden Hills is part of Five Towns CSD.
Vencile’s instruction fosters a passion for science, and he brings lessons alive through rich and varied methods of teaching in a rigorous environment. Outside of the classroom, Vencile has established an immersive course in tropical marine ecology in which students conduct independent primary investigations. He also collaborates with the University of Maine at Machias to offer students advanced field research experiences.
Vencile has spent seven years in his current position and taught for the previous seven years at Georges Valley High School in Thomaston.
The honor is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. Winners are selected by a national panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level.
“We know that the single most important school-based factor in student achievement is an effective teacher,” Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen said. “The fact that Ken Vencile has committed himself not only to great teaching, but to the rigorous Presidential Award process serves his students well.”