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Four educators are Wisconsin finalists for Presidential Teaching Awards

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Tom McCarthy, DPI Communications Director, (608) 266-3559

MADISON — Four Wisconsin educators are finalists for the 2016 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, one of the nation’s highest honors for mathematics and science teachers.

The 2016 awards will recognize teachers at the elementary level (K-6). Wisconsin’s finalists for the Presidential Teaching Awards are

  • Susan Hammer, mathematics finalist, first grade teacher, Sauk Trails Elementary School, Middleton Cross Plains Area School District;
  • Rebecca Saeman, mathematics finalist, interventionist (K-4), Sauk Trails Elementary School, Middleton Cross Plains Area School District;
  • Jay Garvey Shah, science finalist, fifth grade teacher, Creekside Elementary School, Sun Prairie Area School District; and
  • Leigh Kohlmann, science finalist, sixth grade teacher, Rock River Intermediate School, Waupun Area School District.

“Wisconsin’s finalists for Presidential Teaching Award inspire their students to learn complex math and science concepts,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “They nurture mathematical thinking and problem-solving and let their students be scientists through hands-on learning. We wish them well in the next steps of the Presidential Teaching Awards program, which brings needed recognition to the work of our teachers and their dedication to students and the teaching profession.”

Nominations for the award can be made by principals, teachers, parents, students, or members of the general public. Nominees must complete an extensive written and video application that demonstrates their mastery of mathematics or science content; use of appropriate instructional methods and strategies; effective use of student assessments to evaluate, monitor, and improve student learning; reflective practice and life-long learning to improve teaching and student learning; and leadership in education outside the classroom.

Applications for Wisconsin’s four finalists will be judged at the national level by a committee organized by the National Science Foundation. The panel may select one teacher of mathematics and one of science to receive Presidential Awards from each state and four U.S. jurisdictions. In addition to recognition and professional development events in Washington, D.C., winners receive $10,000 and a citation signed by the president.

The National Science Foundation administers the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Since 1983, more than 4,700 teachers have been recognized for their contributions to mathematics and science education. Nominations for 2017 awards that will be made at the seventh- through 12th-grade level are due April 1.

NOTE: More information about the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is available online.


Official Release