TEA News Release 2




TEA News Releases Online

Sept. 13, 2012

 Presidential Award finalists named for Texas 


AUSTIN - Six Texas teachers have been named finalists for the prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program. The 2012 PAEMST awards recognize kindergarten through sixth grade mathematics and science teachers whose innovative methods bring teaching to life in the classroom.

The Texas finalists in elementary mathematics are Maggie Anderson of Richardson Independent School District (ISD), Stephen Garretson of Midway ISD, and Wendy Hendry of Grapevine-Colleyville ISD.

  • Maggie Anderson is a 4th grade math and science teacher at Lake Highlands Elementary School in Richardson ISD with six years teaching experience. Her principal is Kim Sullivan and her superintendent is Kay Waggoner.
  • Stephen Garretson is a 6th grade mathematics teacher at River Valley Intermediate School in Midway ISD near Waco with 20 years of teaching experience. His principal is Sarah Holland his superintendent is George Kazanas. 
  • Wendy Hendry is a kindergarten teacher at Bransford Elementary School in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD with 16 years of teaching experience. Her principal is Sarah Hodges and her superintendent is Robin Ryan.

The Texas finalists in elementary science are Kelli Halliburton of Northeast ISD, Nancy Gardner of Frisco ISD, and Kent Page from Northside ISD. 

  • Kelli Halliburton is an instructional coach for grades K-5 at Clear Spring Elementary School in San Antonio’s Northeast ISD who has 11 years of teaching experience. Her principal Adam Schwab and her superintendent is Brian Gottardy.
  • Nancy Gardner is a 5th grade teacher at Elliot Elementary in Frisco ISD who has 12 years of teaching experience. Her principal is Stacy Mills and her superintendent is Rick Reedy.
  •  Kent Page is kindergarten through 5th grade science teacher at Carnahan Elementary School in San Antonio’s Northside ISD who has 13 years of experience. His principal is Lisa Turner and his superintendent is Brian T. Woods.

“Math and science have never been more important than they are today.  As the son of a master math teacher, I know firsthand the challenges that lay before these wonderful teachers.  I wish to express to them how proud we are of them and congratulate them on a job well done.  They are shining examples of what we should expect from Texas’ education system,” said Commissioner of Education Michael L. Williams.

PAEMST is the highest recognition that 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. To achieve recognition through this program, a teacher first must be nominated for the award. A state panel of master teachers, specialists, and administrators reviews the applications and chooses the most outstanding mathematics and science teachers for the National Science Foundation to consider for state finalist status.  These state finalists will be recognized by the State Board of Education.

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. National winners receive $10,000, an all expense paid trip for two to Washington, D.C. to attend recognition events and professional development opportunities, and a citation signed by the President of the United States.

Next year, outstanding mathematics and science educators teaching in grades 7-12 with five years or more of teaching experience are eligible. For more information, please visit http://www.paemst.org.

Texas Education Agency Contacts: Irene Pickhardt and Jo Ann Bilderback (512) 463-9581