NASA Astronaut Christina Koch receives highest NC honor

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Gov. Cooper honored NASA astronaut and North Carolina native Christina Koch while highlighting the state’s strong public schools.

At a recent event, North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper, recognized NASA astronaut and North Carolina native Christina Koch for her extraordinary accomplishments. The April 24 event in Raleigh also focused on promoting North Carolina’s STEM education programs and robust public schools.

During the ceremony, Gov. Cooper awarded Astronaut Koch with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest honorary title in the state. Cooper was given a Loblolly Pine sapling from the Artemis I mission, which he plans to plant on the Executive Mansion grounds. He also received a state flag that flown in space on multiple missions.

Photo courtesy of Christina Hammock Koch via Instagram.

A native of Jacksonville, North Carolina, Christina Koch shared her journey from North Carolina’s public schools to space, emphasizing the strong educational foundation she received.

Various dignitaries were in attendance, including Congresswoman Deborah Ross, elected officials, educators, and scientists. A third-grade class from The Exploris School, a public charter school in downtown Raleigh, also took part in the occasion.

The event was a way to honor the achievements of a local hero and to highlight the state’s commitment to promoting strong and effective education, particularly within the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Gov. Cooper’s recognition of Astronaut Koch’s accomplishments serves as a testament to the state’s dedication to fostering educational opportunities and growth in these essential areas.

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