State Board of Education News

Six Texas teachers named finalists for 2019 presidential awards in math and science

2017 and 2018 national awardees highlighted 

Six Texas teachers are finalists for the 2019 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The 2019 awards recognize mathematics and science teachers in grades 7-12 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 2019 Texas finalists in grades 7–12 mathematics are

•    Amy Edmondson—Grade 7 mathematics teacher and cheer coach at Willow Wood Junior High School in the Tomball Independent School District (ISD),
•    Bridget Matamoros—Grades 11–12 Advanced Placement (AP) Statistics teacher at John H. Guyer High School in the Denton ISD, and
•    Brent Voorhees—Precalculus teacher at Skyline High School in the Dallas ISD. 

The 2019 Texas finalists in grades 7–12 science are 

•    Kay Fincher—AP Physics teacher at Amarillo High School in the Amarillo ISD,
•    Terry Snow—Grade 8 science teacher at Aledo Middle School in the Aledo ISD, and
•    Markaela van Putten—dual credit Biology and Human Anatomy and Physiology teacher at Tomball High School in the Tomball ISD.

The teachers were recognized at the State Board of Education meeting on Jan. 31. The board also recognized the Texas teachers who were national PAEMST awardees in 2017 and 2018.

The 2017 PAEMST awardees are 

•    Wanda “Jean” Streepey – Grade 7 accelerated mathematics teacher at Highland Park Middle School in Highland Park ISD,
•    Dolores “Lollie” Garay – lead science teacher at the Redd School in Houston at the time of the award.

The 2018 PAEMST awardees are

•    Angelica Niño – a third-grade bilingual math teacher at Lorenzo De Zavala Elementary School in San Antonio ISD at the time of the award,
•    Brenda Williams – a fourth and fifth-grade Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)  teacher at Argyle Intermediate School in Argyle ISD. 

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

PAEMST awardees receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, a certificate signed by the President of the United States, and a trip to Washington, D.C., to attend recognition events and professional development opportunities. 

For additional information about the PAEMST program, visit Nominations are now being accepted for the 2020 PAEMST award.