The Times Herald (Norristown, PA)
Octorara physics teacher earns prestigious presidential award
William McWatters, a physics teacher at Octorara JuniorSenior High School in Atglen, has been named a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The award, created in 1983, is the highest honor conferred by the U.S. government specifically to teachers of math and science. In applying for and ultimately winning the award, McWatters took the initiative to seek out experts in the national science community and receive feedback on the physics side of his teaching, in order to supplement the feedback he receives from administrators. Asked what this award means to him, McWatters describes receiving the award as “both humbling and exhilarating.” McWatters’ advocacy for his students has helped ensure the implementation of many advanced science courses at Octorara, as well as dual-enrollment courses in conjunction with the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He is also the faculty advisor for Octorara’s “Physics Fight Club” team, which competes annually in the International Young Physicists tournament. Octorara’s team is the three-time defending national champion under McWatters’ guidance and has competed in Singapore, Beijing, and Warsaw.