Thursday, August 12, 2010

National Math and Science Award Finalists Announced

Three of the five educators selected as Georgia finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are Fayette County teachers.

Catherine Douthard at Cleveland Elementary is one of two teachers selected as a math finalist, and Gail Frantz and Nancy Boyle, both of Peeples Elementary, are two of three teachers selected as science finalists.

Fayette has had four teachers win the PAEMST for Georgia since 1990, all of them in K-6 mathematics. If Frantz or Boyle wins in science, they will make history for the county. Both say they are honored to have the opportunity to represent Georgia and Fayette County.

“It is an honor to be selected as a finalist for this award. Developing a love for science in my students has always been my passion, and I am grateful for the acknowledgement I have received. If chosen as the state winner, I would be proud to represent Fayette County Schools and the state of Georgia,” says Frantz.

Like Frantz, Boyle is excited about being chosen as a finalist and added, “I love to incorporate science into all areas of our curriculum. By preparing young children to think, use, and develop basic scientific vocabulary we set the stage for future scientific learning. Being scientifically literate has become more and more critical to our nation’s future work force.”

Douthard is also proud to represent Fayette in the competition and hopes to join the past mathematics recipients when the National Science Foundation announces the 2010 winners in several months. Fayette won its last K-6 mathematics award in 2001.

Each awardee receives a citation signed by the President of the United States, a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, and gifts from a broad range of donors. Awardees and their guests are honored during events that take place in Washington, DC. These events include an award ceremony, celebratory receptions, professional development programs, and discussions with policy-makers on how to improve mathematics and science education.

The PAEMST is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Enacted by Congress in 1983, this program authorizes the President to bestow up to 108 awards each year. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Awards are given to mathematics and science teachers from each of the 50 states and four U.S. jurisdictions: Washington, D.C.; Puerto Rico; Department of Defense Schools; and the U.S. territories as a group (American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). The teachers are recognized for their contributions to teaching and learning and their ability to help students make progress in mathematics and science.

In addition to honoring individual achievement, the goal of the award program is to exemplify the highest standards of mathematics and science teaching. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.

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