Melanie Dolifka, second grade teacher, quizzes her classroom about English grammar rules Aug. 23 at Falcon Elementary School in Falcon School District 49. Dolifka found out yesterday she’s one of two state-level mathematics finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, considered the highest national honors for teachers of mathematics and science. “This prestigious award recognizes your outstanding contributions as a teacher of mathematics in Colorado,” said Mary Pittman, Colorado Department of Education mathematics content specialist, in her letter to Dolifka. Teachers chosen for the award receive $10,000 and participate in various recognition ceremonies. Awardees serve as a model and inspiration for others educators, as well as leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. Results are expected from the White House in early 2013. Since 1983, more than 4,100 teachers have been recognized.