St. Joe science teacher among four
state finalists for presidential award
JACKSON (Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017) – John Banks, St. Joseph Catholic School’s physics teacher, was honored Thursday as a state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
Banks, who also serves as the school’s science department chair, was recognized at the monthly meeting of the Mississippi Board of Education. Banks joined three other math and science teachers from across Mississippi as a state finalist for the Presidential Awards.
“It’s been a great journey,” Banks told the Mississippi Board of Education at its monthly meeting Thursday. “I’ve been at nine schools. I’ve had 20 principals (and) 29-hundred students. The greatest privilege has been teaching the children.”
St. Joseph Catholic School provides students in Grades 7-12 a rigorous college prep education grounded in the teachings of the Catholic church. The school is in Madison on Mississippi 463, about a mile west of the Interstate 55 Madison Exit.
St. Joseph was founded in 1870; the school is accredited by the Mississippi Department of Education and AdvancED. Niche.com named St. Joseph Catholic School the No. 1 Catholic high school in Mississippi in 2016 and again in 2017.
The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the PAEMST, is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States.
Up to 108 teachers are recognized each year.
Presidential Awardees receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States; a trip to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities; and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.
Banks, known as “Super B” to his students, won for his work last year when he taught at Kosciusko High School. Banks joined the St. Joseph staff last summer; he teaches a physics class at St. Joe and also serves as chairman of the science department.
“We are so proud of ‘Super B’ for receiving such a prestigious honor,” Principal Dena Kinsey said. “We are lucky to have someone like him on our faculty, teaching our students and providing leadership to a strong science department.”
John Banks, known as “Super B” to his students, holds certificates he received today, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, from the Mississippi Board of Education recognizing him as one of four Mississippi finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Standing with Banks is his wife, Donna. Banks joined the St. Joseph Catholic School teaching staff last summer. He teaches physics and serves as chairman of the school’s science department.