MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction named six educators as finalists for the 2019 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 2019 awards recognize those who teach grades seven through 12. Wisconsin finalists are:
- Stephanie Ballard, high school science teacher, Campbellsport Middle-High School
- Katie Haas, middle school mathematics teacher, Edgar Middle School
- Karen Olson, high school science teacher, Baraboo High School
- Jennifer Koziar, middle school mathematics teacher, Edgewood Campus School, Madison
- Constance Rauterkus, high school science teacher, Oconto Falls High School
- Maighread McHugh, middle school STEM and mathematics teacher, La Crosse Design Institute
“Wisconsin's finalists for these awards help students every day to engage and excel,” State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford-Taylor said. “This requires not only expertise in their content area, but also an understanding of best instructional practices based on education research. To reach this level as an educator takes true dedication and commitment."
Anyone may nominate a teacher for the award. States establish selection committees who select the finalists based on criteria required by the national PAEMST program. Established by Congress in 1983, the awards recognize teachers for high-quality instructional programs informed by content knowledge to enhance student learning. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in STEM education; STEM is 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.
Awardees receive professional development opportunities, $10,000 from the National Science Foundation, and a trip to be recognized in Washington, D.C. Nominations for the 2020 awards, which will recognize educators in grades kindergarten through six, are expected to open in late November.
More information about the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching can be found online at https://www.paemst.org.