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Belgrade teacher's math and science innovation earns her finalist spot for Presidential Award

Amanda Rapstad becomes finalist in presidential award for her innovation in math and science
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Posted at 6:06 AM, Oct 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-13 09:22:34-04

Staff and students at Story Creek Elementary School in Belgrade are more than excited to celebrate their 4th grade teacher, Amanda Rapstad, as she becomes a finalist for the Presidential Award for Math and Science.

“Miss Rapstad is a really nice teacher and that we think that when we got her it was like an opportunity of a lifetime,” says one student of Miss Rapstads'.

The principal of Story Brook Elementary, Lori Degenhart, is not surprised by the success of Rapstad in becoming a finalist for such a prestigious award.

“I’ve been in education for 27 years and she is one of the top educators I have ever worked with,” says Degenhart.

Rapstad was nominated by a fellow teacher for the Presidential Award. She has been recognized for her outstanding science and engineering skills at MSU working on cleaner air.

“Air filters to clean smoke and ash out of the air. When Denton had their wildfire and that was part of an engineering project called 'Looks Like Me' where we get kids to recognize that engineers don't just build buildings,” says Rapstad.

Not only is Rapstad doing a lot of Engineering work, her kids are learning more and more about the subject.

“We give out surveys for the 'Looks Like Me' program through MSU and their knowledge of just like what engineers actually do had like, gone way up,” says Rapstad.

She believes science is a great area for students to really experience what they're learning in a hands-on way. She owes her passion for teaching to all of her past educators.

“I had amazing teachers growing up and always wanted to do that and never really wavered from it,” says Rapstad.

Rapstad will find out soon if her nomination is successful and if she is selected to travel to Washington, DC for the final Presidential Award.