Tuesday afternoon at the monthly meeting of the Jackson County School Board, Superintendent of Schools Larry Moore was all smiles as he welcome Deeanna Golden, a veteran teacher at Golson Elementary. Principal Amy Allen was also in the audience as Moore enlightened the crowd as to why she was present.
Moore said, “As all of you know, she teaches over at Golson but she received an honor back during the summer. It is noteworthy and we wanted to be sure and recognize her and publicly tell her how proud we are of her. The White House Office of Science and Technology along with the National Science Foundation recognized 140 individuals from across the country, the United States and all of its U.S. territories. During a visit to the Nation’s capital, she received a Presidential Citation at an awards ceremony there. There was a panel of distinguished mathematicians, scientists and educators at the state and national levels that reviewed applications and selected these nominees. There were only two from each state and we’re proud to say Mrs. Golden was Jackson County’s representative and one of Florida’s representatives. Mrs. Golden we are proud of you, we appreciate what you do for our children.
DeeAnna Golden said, “One question that I got asked a lot was, ‘How in the world did this happen?’ I got nominated by Linda Walker, and she was a math consultant that was hired by our county that came in and if you really listened to her, took what she said to heart, she was a wealth of knowledge. She actually nominated me for this and like you said, it was a lengthy application but worth it.”
Golden went on to say, “With all those things, I guess I got the math award for it. When we found out we had two weeks, they gave me two weeks to get F.B.I. cleared and get our flight situated and things. So, they flew me and my husband (Alan) to Washington and they treated us like royalty the whole time we were there. Now, Alan got a lot of leisure time while I did a lot of work. I was a little disappointed about that, but one of the highlights of our time there was we got to go the National Science Foundation. It’s a new building in Washington, it’s really neat and it’s done really well. What we got to do was we got to meet with science leaders and talk about the future S.T.E.M. policy that was coming up for adoption. So, we spent all day in small groups, moving around and talking to them and getting our input in there before they went to the legislature with it. At the end of the day we got to meet in a room that had just the people from Florida. So, myself, the lady that was the science representative from our state, we had some of the FLDOE people there, we had some business leaders from around Florida, some university leaders from around Florida and we got to talk about how we were going to improve S.T.E.M. across Florida. I got to have the rural say on how is this going to look like in Jackson County, I tried to represent us. The ceremony was held at the Smithsonian Portrait Museum, which I’ve been to Washington and all the tours and stuff, but I guess I’ve never been to this one, this one got skipped. We were glad we got to enjoy that, it’s a beautiful building and like I said, we were treated like royalty. I received a certificate signed by President Trump and $10,000 (this brought a round of oohs and ahs from those present). Anytime that we sat and ate except for the awards ceremony it was a working dinner or a working breakfast. They did take us to the Willard House for a working breakfast where we got to talk about networking and staying in touch. Even though we’ve only been out a couple of months we have all stayed in touch and we have different things that we are sharing with each other from all around the United States. That’s really neat, the Willard House is right across from the White House and it was very humbling to be in that building, it was really neat. Following that, we did get to go tour the White House. Some of the other groups in years past did get to see the President, we didn’t get to see the President. He was not there so we were kind of disappointed about that. It was really neat to go into the White House and get to see some of the things that you don’t normally get to see except on T.V. and stuff. Like I said, we felt very pampered and valued while we were there, because none of go into teaching for money, it’s nice to be validated.”
Golson Principal Amy Allen summed up Golden in three words, “She is awesome.”
School board member Dr. Terry Nichols jokingly asked Golden if she had a child in her room named Jimmy Neutron? Because that’s what he envisions Golden teaching. Dr. Nichols said, “I can just see you teaching a bunch of Jimmy Neutrons.”
Congratulations to Deeanna Golden on going above and beyond to teach and on her award from the publisher and staff of the Jackson County Times.