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Math and Science Teacher Award Finalists Named
Five teachers in the running for prestigious Presidential Award
November 25, 2008
AUGUSTA – Five Maine teachers have been named finalists for the 2008 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The award is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade teacher of mathematics or science may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States.
Awards are given to mathematics and science teachers from each of the 50 states and four U.S. jurisdictions. The teachers are recognized for their contributions to teaching and learning and their ability to help students make progress in mathematics and science. Nominees undergo a rigorous nomination process that includes videotaping and written self-analysis of their teaching methodology and student learning. Their videotapes, analyses, recommendations and resumes are reviewed by state and national committees.
The Maine finalists are: Lauree Gott, Veazie Community School, grade 6 science; Margaret Morton, South Bristol School, grades 5 and 6 science; Pamela Thompson, Madison Elementary School, grades 3 and 4 science; Kimberly Spencer, Yarmouth Elementary School, grades 2 and 3 mathematics; and Tricia Fletcher, Bowdoinham Community School, grade 2 mathematics. This year’s finalists are all K-6 teachers as the National Science Foundation, which administers the Presidential Award, alternates the yearly award between teachers of grades K-6 and 7-12.
In addition to honoring individual achievement, the goal of the award program is to exemplify the highest standards of mathematics and science teaching. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.
“Maine is lucky to have these talented and devoted teachers committed to the science and mathematics education of our students,” said Anita Bernhardt, Maine coordinator of the Presidential Awards program. She is also the science specialist at the Maine Department of Education and the 2003 Maine Presidential Award winner.
Recipients of the award receive a citation signed by the President of the United States, a paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend a week-long series of recognition events and professional development opportunities, gifts from program sponsors from around the country, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.
Enacted by Congress in 1983, the program authorizes the President to make up to 108 awards each year. The National Science Foundation administers the Presidential Awards on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The five finalists will be honored at an awards banquet in Augusta in January. The Maine award winner will be announced by the White House in the spring.
Principals, teachers, parents and others may nominate a teacher. Nominations for the 2009 Presidential Awards (for teachers of grades 7-12) are due by April 1, 2009; applications are due by May 1, 2009. Teachers are encouraged to nominate themselves. Nomination and application forms, and more information regarding the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, can be found at: www.paemst.org.
David Connerty-Marin | Director of Communications | Maine Department of Education | 207-624-6880
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