Four WEAC members are finalists for Presidential Teaching Awards

Four WEAC members have been named finalists for the 2017 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 2017 awards recognize middle and high school teachers (grades 7 through 12). Wisconsin finalists include:

  • Kristin Michalski, high school physics, Project Lead the Way, and astronomy teacher at East Troy High School.
  • Kevin Reese, mathematics and Advanced Placement Calculus and Statistics teacher Clintonville High School.
  • Rick Erickson, high school science teacher at Bayfield High School.
  • Danielle Carlson, science teacher at Fennimore Middle and High School.

Sonja Hungness, a mathematics teacher at Kromrey Middle School in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District, is also a finalist.

“These teachers inspire a love of learning in their students,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “They engage our kids in the subtleties of science and the marvels of mathematics to bring these subjects into focus for today’s world and in shaping the future.”

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. Since the program’s inception, more than 4,700 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.

Applications from Wisconsin’s five 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 2018 awards, which will recognize kindergarten through sixth-grade educators, are expected to open in fall.

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