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TEA News Releases Online Sept. 11, 2017

Ten Texas teachers named finalists for 2017 presidential awards in math and science

AUSTIN - Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced today that 10 Texas teachers have been named finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The 2017 awards recognize seventh through twelfth grade mathematics and science teachers whose innovative methods bring teaching to life in the classroom.

PAEMST is the highest recognition a mathematics or science teacher may receive for exemplary teaching in the United States. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on the behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The 2017 Texas finalists in secondary mathematics are listed below:

  • Nichole Bennett – Grade 8 mathematics and Algebra I teacher at Bowie Middle School in the Amarillo Independent School District
  • Megan Gabriel – Pre-AP and dual credit Precalculus teacher at Denton High School in the Denton Independent School District
  • Lauren M. Hawkins – Pre-AP Algebra II and AP Statistics teacher at Richardson High School in the Richardson Independent School District 
  • Mark Rogers – Grades 11 and 12 International Baccalaureate mathematics teacher at Meridian World School in Round Rock
  • Jean Hand Streepey – Grade 7 mathematics teacher at Highland Park Middle School in the Highland Park Independent School District in Dallas

The 2017 Texas finalists in secondary science are listed below:

  • Kay Fincher – AP Physics I and AP Physics II teacher at Amarillo High School in the Amarillo Independent School District
  • Laura Frost – Biology and Anatomy teacher at Western Hills High School in the Fort Worth Independent School District
  • Lollie Garay – Middle School Integrated Science/Robotics and Engineering teacher at Redd School in Houston
  • Terry Snow – Grades 7 and 8 Pre-AP science teacher at Aledo Middle School in the Aledo Independent School District
  • Kara Swindell – Grade 8 Pre-AP science and Pre-AP Biology teacher at Margaret Talkington School for Young Women Leaders in the Lubbock Independent School District

To achieve recognition through this program, a teacher first must apply or be nominated for the award. A state panel of master teachers, content specialists, and administrators review the applications and select the most outstanding mathematics and science teachers for the National Science Foundation to consider for national awardee status. After the initial selection process at the state or territorial level, a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators may select one mathematics and one science teacher from each state and U.S. jurisdiction for the national award.

PAEMST winners receive $10,000, a citation signed by the President of the United States, and a paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend recognition events and professional development opportunities. In addition, all the 2017 finalists for Texas will be recognized by the State Board of Education.

The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. For additional information about the PAEMST program, visit www.paemst.org.

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