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TEA News Releases Online Aug. 12, 2014
Eight Texas teachers named finalists for 2014 presidential award in math and science

AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Michael Williams announced today that eight teachers from across Texas have been named finalists for the 2014 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

PAEMST recognizes kindergarten through sixth grade mathematics and science teachers whose innovative methods bring teaching to life in the classroom. It 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.

“Math and science are critically important subjects, and these teachers clearly bring expertise and an excitement to their students each school day,” said Commissioner Williams. “I congratulate these finalists for this accomplishment and for spotlighting on a national level the outstanding work taking place in our classrooms.”

The 2014 Texas finalists in elementary mathematics are listed below:

Anne Born (Richardson ISD) – Kindergarten mathematics teacher at Lake Highlands Elementary School
Jennifer Cundieff (Georgetown ISD)  – Fifth-grade mathematics teacher at Raye McCoy Elementary School
Erika Hassay (Round Rock ISD) – First-grade mathematics teacher at Live Oak Elementary School
Suzanne Nguyen (Katy ISD) – Third-grade mathematics teacher at Roosevelt Alexander Elementary School

The Texas finalists in elementary science are listed below:

Lisa Baum (Fort Bend ISD) – Third-grade science teacher at Colony Meadows Elementary School
Nancy Gardner (Frisco ISD) – Fifth-grade science teacher at Elliott Elementary School
Nicole Grygar (Midway ISD) – K-4 Science Lab teacher at Woodway Elementary School
Celena Miller (Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD) – Science Lab teacher at Cesar Chavez Elementary School

To achieve recognition through this program, a teacher first must be nominated for the award. A state panel of master teachers, specialists, and administrators reviewed the applications and chose 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.

National award winners will be announced during the summer of 2015. 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. All of the 2014 finalists for Texas will be recognized by the State Board of Education.