Friday, October 5, 2012


Six Idaho teachers have been selected as state finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the nation’s highest honor for U.S. mathematics and science teachers for grades K–12.

“These teachers are representative of the great teachers we have across the state of Idaho. These teachers were selected not only because they work hard every day but because they are willing to innovate and try new things,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said. “I am proud of these teachers and know they will represent Idaho well on the national level.”

The following teachers are state finalists for the science award:
  • Deirdre Bingaman of Donnelly Elementary School
  • Tauna Johnson of Genesee Elementary School
  • Zoe Jorgensen of A. H. Bush Elementary Magnet School, Idaho Falls

The following teachers are finalists for the mathematics award:
  • Crystal Silvers of Ramsey Magnet School of Science, Coeur d’Alene
  • Donna Wommack of Genesee Joint School District
  • Giselle Isbell of Anser Public Charter School, Garden City

The PAEMST awards program is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of The White House. PAEMST awardees have been shown to devote more time to professional development, incorporate innovative approaches into their classroom teaching, and be more likely to use computers and other technologies in their classrooms.

Each year, a national committee of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators recommends up to 108 teachers to receive PAEMST awards from each State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. territories as a group, and the schools operated in the United States and overseas by the Department of Defense Education Activity.

Teachers who are selected as PAEMST awardees receive a $10,000 award, a Presidential citation and a trip to Washington, DC, for a series of recognition events, professional development activities and an awards ceremony.

The state finalists for science and mathematics were recognized by Idaho State Department of Education’s Science/STEM Coordinator Scott Smith at an awards ceremony this week at the Idaho Science Teachers Association Conference at Borah High School in Boise.

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