Four Washington STEM Teachers Nominated for National Award

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching is STEM Teaching’s Highest Honor

OLYMPIA — May 18, 2022 — Four Washington math and science teachers have been selected as finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST) Award, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) announced today.

“I’m inspired by the way these educators create exciting learning opportunities that connect to the real-world,” said Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “These outstanding educators turn complex concepts into tangible lessons that students can apply to their own lives and the myriad challenges that face our world.”

The state-level finalists are:


  • Spencer Olmsted, a 4th and 5th Grade Highly Capable Math teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School in Olympia School District


  • Veronique Paquette, a 2nd Grade Science teacher at Kenroy Elementary in Eastmont School District
  • Shameem Sherwin, a 5th Grade STEM and Social Studies teacher at Evergreen Elementary in the Sedro-Woolley School District
  • Kaia Tomokiyo, a Kindergarten Science teacher at Sartori Elementary in Renton School District

The finalists were selected by a statewide selection committee comprised of content area experts and award-winning teachers.

After being selected as state-level finalists, the national PAEMST committee will determine national awardees based on content mastery, use of effective instructional methods, effective use of assessments, reflective practice and life-long learning, and leadership in education inside and outside of the classroom.

If any of the finalists are selected as national awardees, they will travel to Washington D.C. to attend a series of recognition events and professional learning experiences, and receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States as well as a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

National awardees are typically announced in the fall. State-level finalists are recognized by regional and state math and science associations and invited to several state events for award-winning educators.

The PAEMST program was first established by Congress in 1983. The program recognizes exemplary teaching in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The President may recognize up to 108 educators each year. Since 1983, 81 Washington educators have received the award.

2022 PAEMST Profiles:

For more information:



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The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Led by Supt. Chris Reykdal, OSPI is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state.