A Washington High School teacher and students were honored by the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), Missouri-Illinois affiliate.

Math teacher Connie Lutz and senior Salena Pottebaum were honored Saturday, March 8, in a special ceremony held at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Lutz received the 2014 Aspirations in Computing Educator Award.

The award is presented to outstanding educators who play a pivotal role in helping to encourage young women to continue exploring their interest in computing and technology and recognizes educators for their efforts to promote gender equity in computing.

“Mrs. Lutz is the best. She is the most enthusiastic, caring teacher I have ever had or heard of,” one student wrote about Lutz.

“She could teach preschoolers calculus if she really wanted to. This is the only teacher that could get an entire class of students ranting and raving about synthetic division.

“Mrs. Lutz makes education a rollercoaster of fun by supporting all of her students and guiding them in their individual directions. I couldn’t be more honored or blessed to be taught by this wonderful woman!”

Salena Pottebaum

Pottebaum was selected as a 2014 Aspirations in Computing runner-up at the student level.

The goal of the NCWIT Student Award for Aspirations in Computing is to generate support, visibility and recognition for young women’s participation in the creation and application of technology across the country.

Pottebaum was selected for her computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history and plans for post-secondary education.

Lutz, who endorsed Pottebaum for the award, said she is an outstanding student.

“She is never content with just answers, but always reaches for understanding,” Lutz said. “She readily applies knowledge from one arena to another which enables her to appropriately apply her tech skills to solve a myriad of problems.

“Salena is a very deserving young lady who I am confident has the skill set, work ethic, caring attitude and desire to make a positive impact on society.”

Lutz received an engraved commemorative award from NCWIT, a laptop computer and $1000 to be used for professional development provided by Dell and AT&T.

Pottebaum received a framed certificate and networking opportunities from NCWIT along with a plethora of gifts from local sponsors, including Monsanto, SpryDigital and Thomson Reuters.