"The Presidential Award celebrates the dedication and exceptional abilities of teachers who inspire students and narrow the national innovation gap. It illuminates what is good about teaching and challenges us all to continue the pursuit of excellence in the classroom. It is truly an honor to have received this prestigious award."
(KS, 2015) and her students documenting CO2 levels in the school parking lotPhoto Credit: D. Scribner, Eisenhower High School
"I take every opportunity I can to talk about female scientists. It is so important for girls to see women who have been successful in the field, to show them that they too can be scientists. I try to connect my students with local women, to show them what successful women in science look like on a local level."
(HI, 2013) taking a closer look at a specimen with her students.Photo Credit: E. Flynn, Sacred Hearts Academy
"My mission as an educator is to teach students that in fact one person CAN make a difference. To this end, I actively use the environment and community around and beyond the school as a context for student learning and empowerment."
Gretel Von Bargen
(WA, 2015) and students on an ecology field project in Costa RicaPhoto Credit: C. Creager
"I am humbled to be honored for work that I love. The witness and encouragement of my family and colleagues inspire me to continually improve. The energy, perseverance, and faith of my students provide an enjoyable and dynamic learning environment. What a blessing it is to have a profession that is more than a job, but also a vocation!"
(IN, 2015) instructing two studentsPhoto Credit: H. Ross, Guerin High School
"As a teacher, we are in a boat, but we do not necessarily have the sail. Others (administrators, government officials, etc) seem to have the power of navigation. This award gives us a sail- a way to advocate for change in our area."
(CT, 2013) and student with a robotics projectPhoto Credit: Jackie Palermo, We-Ha.com
"This recognition serves as a progress report that validates the work I have done in the classroom and motivates me to continue improving my craft as a teacher."
(WI, 2015) explaining vector analysis to two studentsPhoto Credit: G. Hunter, Monona Grove High School
"Share… share … share…. I share all my activities with teachers who have similar classes and collaborate on how to improve... I share favorite lessons at [state teaching conferences] and challenge teachers to engage and wrestle with their understanding of concepts [which] improves our teaching."
(NJ, 2013) and students displaying their workPhoto Credit: K. Carter, North Hunterdon HS
"For a science lesson to succeed, the students need to be truly engaged and see the relevance of the lesson – to feel the need to understand why. [They] have been scientists ever since they asked the first 'why?' questions when they were little – the key is reminding them to keep asking."
(WY, 2015) discussing sugar cube building structures with two studentsPhoto Credit: L. Urasky, Saratoga High School
"With both children and adults, teaching and learning is akin to a fluid dance between willing and trusting participants. Each experience helps me and my fellow learners grow and develop our collection of next-step strategies"
(NY, 2015) and her student de-bug a programPhoto Credit: L. Uribe, The School at Columbia University
"Receiving the PAEMST has opened many doors for me, and I think assisted in my winning many other awards afterwards."
(AZ, 2013) with microbiology students performing bacterial assaysPhoto Credit: M. Chesin, PV Schools
"Receiving PAEMST validated all the work I've done. I've realized that it is important and significant. That my school, district, state and now the nation recognizes my work has been exciting and gratifying."
(MA, 2011) with students in classPhoto Credit: N. Volain
"I'm the students' guide on the side while they explore, create, and take ownership of their educational journey. [They] learn through ongoing problem-based learning. I want to have the classroom where students run to everyday and never want to leave."
(NJ, 2011) with students planning stations for a "Halloween Hack" eventPhoto Credit: R. McLelland- Crawley, Community Middle School
"It is an extremely meaningful and necessary award. Having a chance to collaborate with the top science educators in other states as well as those during the [recognition event] was worth more than the award or money. Having a voice in the national conversation has changed my teaching incredibly."
Russell "Ben" Walker
(AK, 2013) demonstrating a physics lesson to his studentsPhoto Credit: R. Walker, Romig Middle School
"As a PAEMST [awardee], I...confidently face any challenges. I must continue to influence U.S. science education as best I can. Lastly, I must remain humble. There are many great science teachers. I am honored to be considered a member of such a group."
(NJ, 2015) with students executing protocols for the NASA/GLOBE El Nino CampaignPhoto Credit: M. Hill, Medford Middle School