MADISON — Four Wisconsin educators have been named finalists for the 2018 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), considered the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government for mathematics and science teachers.
The 2018 awards recognize those who teach grades kindergarten through six. Wisconsin finalists are
- Michelle Butturini, fifth- and sixth-grade mathematics teacher, Reedsville Elementary/Middle School;
- Michelle Howe, science and agriscience teacher at Lodi Middle School;
- Alicia Korth, first-grade teacher, Lincoln Elementary School, New London School District; and
- Rebecca Saeman, mathematics and reading intervention teacher, Sauk Trail Elementary School, Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District.
“These teachers demonstrate their care and love of students and the teaching profession,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “Their passion helps to inspire our future inventors, doctors, and software developers who will certainly impact our ever-changing world. I wish our finalists well in the next stage of the Presidential Teaching Awards process.”
Established by Congress in 1983, the PAEMST program recognizes teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of STEM education, the abbreviation for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, which includes computer science.
Applications from Wisconsin’s finalists will be judged at the national level by a committee organized by the National Science Foundation, which administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The five Dimensions of Outstanding Teaching drive the evaluation process.
- Mastery of mathematics or science content appropriate for the grade level taught.
- Use of instructional methods and strategies that are appropriate for students in the class and that support student learning.
- Effective use of student assessments to evaluate, monitor, and improve student learning.
- Reflective practice and life-long learning to improve teaching and student learning.
- Leadership in education outside the classroom.
The panel may select one teacher of mathematics and one of science to receive a Presidential Teaching Award from each state and four U.S. jurisdictions, with up to 108 awards given each year. In addition to recognition and professional development opportunities, award recipients receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation. Nominations for the 2019 awards, which will recognize high school and middle school educators (grades seven through 12), are expected to open in fall.