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Ridge View High School teacher Dr. David Degenhardt is a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).  Dr. David Degenhardt, also known as “Dr. D.”, has taught biology at Ridge View for seven years. He serves as a lead teacher in the Institute for Health Sciences magnet where he teaches Medical Interventions, Honors Biology 1, Advanced Placement Biology, and Honors Research 1. 

Dr. Degenhardt is a member of the Ridge View leadership team and regularly collaborates with faculty on cross-curricular lessons that integrate fine arts, English, and biology. He helped develop curriculum and pacing guides for the 2014 South Carolina academic standards and performance indicators for science. He was named the Department of Defense Junior Science and Humanities Symposium’s Teacher of the Year in 2018, and 2020.

For Dr. Degenhardt, the Presidential Award signifies his passion for high-quality science teaching and learning. “It represents my pursuit of excellence in the teaching profession. Not only does this award reflect my achievements, but also my students, colleagues, and family whose support and inspiration have been integral to my success. I want to continue to improve my practice and, more importantly, share those practices and learn from others. The Presidential Award provides a pathway for achieving this goal,” said Dr. Degenhardt.

Ridge View Principal Dr. Brenda Mack-Foxworth says Dr. Degenhardt generously shares his love of science with students and faculty. “In addition to being a leading voice in professional development and mentoring hundreds of student research projects, Dr. D. sponsors the green student committee which coordinates recycling and gardening projects. He goes above and beyond to create inclusionary gardening opportunities for students served by the Special Education Department.” 

Recipients of the PAEMST receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation; a certificate signed by the President; a trip to Washington, D.C. to celebrate their accomplishments; and they will participate in professional development activities and network with fellow STEM educators from across the nation while in Washington.

Dr. Degenhardt earned a B.S. in biology from Grand Valley State University and a Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of South Carolina. He is certified in secondary biology and is a National Board Certified Teacher.