Karen Olsen, a science teacher at Baraboo High School, and Katie Haas, a mathematics teacher at Edgar Middle School were recently awarded the highest honor in the nation for teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
National awardees from all 50 states and territories were announced at a White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and National Science Foundation virtual event on August 3. Each educator receives a certificate signed by the President of the United States and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.
Karen Olson, Baraboo High School Science Teacher, Baraboo School District
According to the PAEMST website (2020a), Olson is a National Board Certified science teacher. She has been a teacher for 21 years, currently serving as an instructional coach. Olson is a long-time teacher mentor and was chosen to train with NASA through the Astrobiology Summer Science Experience for Teachers. She was named Wisconsin Environmental Education Energy Educator of the Year in 2014, and a 2016 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Teacher Fellow.
Katie Haas, Edgar Middle School Mathematics Teacher, Edgar School District
According to the PAEMST website (2020b), Hass is a National Board Certified Teacher in early adolescent mathematics. She has taught for eight years at the Edgar Middle School, where she has led teacher professional development on the Standards for Mathematical Practices, launched math interventions, and initiated co-teaching with special education staff. Hass serves as a mentor for new teachers and served as a panelist to discuss challenges and successes of teaching STEM in rural districts for the Wisconsin Center on Education Research.
Since 1983, the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching has recognized more than 5,000 teachers. Awards are made to elementary (K–6th grade) and secondary (7th–12th grade) teachers in alternate years.
Nominations for the PAEMST for teachers in grades 7-12 will open this fall. Anyone can nominate.
PAEMST.org. 2020a. “Karen Olson.” Accessed August 21, 2020.
PAEMST.org. 2020b. “Katie Haas.” Accessed August 21, 2020.