Reykdal Announces Finalists for STEM Teaching Award
Five educators are finalists for math and science teaching honor
OLYMPIA — October 1, 2019 — Five Washington teachers have been selected as state-level finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the highest honor bestowed on science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science teachers.
“We know math and science is critical to helping today’s students grow into tomorrow’s innovators,” said Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “The way these five educators balance competing priorities in the classroom is remarkable. Teaching in math and science classrooms is no small feat — these educators include teaching sequential standards, weaving in dynamic hands-on learning, maintaining high safety standards, connecting the classroom to the community, and incorporating the most contemporary research.”
The state-level finalists are:
• Carol McKay (NBCT*), a pre-calculus and algebra teacher at Capital High School in Olympia School District
• Christopher Piasecki (NBCT*), an eighth-grade math and algebra teacher at Fairhaven Middle School in Bellingham Public Schools
• Andrea Ames, a biology and chemistry teacher at Meridian High School in Meridian School District
• Dr. Erin Lark, an environmental and life science teacher at Vancouver iTech Preparatory School in Vancouver Public Schools
• Amy Peterson (NBCT*), an eighth-grade science teacher at College Place Middle School in Edmonds School District
* NBCT: National Board Certified Teacher
The finalists were selected over the summer by a statewide selection committee comprised of content area experts and award-winning teachers.
After being selected as state-level finalists, the 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 five 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.
The national PAEMST program typically announces national award recipients in the spring. State-level finalists are recognized by regional and state math and science associations and invited to several annual 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, 89 Washington educators have received the award.