This award draws attention to the incredible diversity of amazing things happening in science and mathematics classrooms across the country. I am always inspired when I hear about the hard work and dedication of PAEMST awardees to bring quality and engaging opportunities to their students. They are providing meaningful, important, and powerful training to build a future for their students, and all of us. I am humbled to think that someone feels I belong in this category of exceptional educators.

Alyson Saunders Dexter, ME | 7-12, Science, 2017

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

Alyson Saunders has taught science at Dexter Regional High School for a total of 10 years. She currently teaches 10th-grade Biology, 12th-grade Advanced Biology, and 9-12th-grade STEM. In addition, Alyson has taught chemistry, astronomy, and ecology. In June of 2012, Alyson worked for The Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance as an informal STEM educator. In that capacity, she leveraged out-of-school opportunities to connect youth with potential STEM pathways. Since her return to the classroom, she has used those skills to help students engage with things such as teen science cafes, and the Maine State Science Fair. By working with local government and nonprofits, Alyson connects learning to the community through projects involving stormwater management and ecosystem sampling. She has also partnered with The Jackson Laboratory on their Teaching the Genome Generation project, to bring modern biotechnology skills and genomics education to her small rural school. Alyson is on the school's leadership team, is a department head, and has facilitated multiple high school and elementary school STEM-related activity nights. Alyson earned a B.S., summa cum laude, in biology from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point and a B.S., summa cum laude, in secondary science education from the University of Maine Orono. She is certified in secondary life science.