Mill Middle teacher honored
Huff, who teaches sixth-grade science, was the only science winner from New York. He received a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, the federal agency that administers the awards program, and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., for a week of celebratory events and professional development activities.
He said that he plans to use the money to provide state-of-the-art learning tools and opportunities for his students as well as for personal, professional development.
The award is presented to one math and one science teacher from each state. The mathematics award for New York was given to Heather Shaw of Spencerport.
"The word I've been using to describe it is surreal," Huff said when asked about his excursion to the nation's capitol. "We were basically guests of the president for the entire week."
While in Washington, Huff and his fellow award winners met with representatives from federal agencies that oversee and support education. They also had dinner at the Department of State and met with President George W. Bush in the East Room of the White House.
"He talked about how our country needs to remain competitive in the 21st century," Huff said. "He then thanked us for all that we do."
While Huff was an individual honoree in Washington, he noted that he is just a representative of the school system of which he is a part.
"I'm humbled and honored to represent my colleagues at the Williamsville schools and their efforts with the students," he said. "I truly enjoy what I do, and I have a sense of gratitude being able to share knowledge with my students."