A teacher has the humbling, awesome capability of touching the future for thousands of young people during his/her tenure. Over the years, I have seen the seeds that students have planted during their time with me sprout, grow, and bloom into wonderful technical careers but also into lives of beautiful self-giving. For me to be considered for something such as the PAEMST award is really a testimony to the talent, passion, and love of learning of these students with whom I'm blessed to work.

Theodore Emch Ann Arbor, MI | 7-12, Mathematics, 2019

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

Theodore "Ted" Emch is a computer science instructor at Pioneer High School, where he has taught for 12 of his 23 years as an educator. Ted's tenure also includes 10 years at Tappan Middle School as an eighth grade science teacher, and one year of teaching at Community High School. He currently teaches 10th-12th grade Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science and Mobile App Development. Computer science has been one of Ted's passions since he was a kid learning to code on a Commodore-64 computer. He designed and implemented the computer science curriculum in place at Pioneer High School and shared this material with the other comprehensive high schools in his district. This includes AP courses as well as a mobile application course. Ted's students augment their learning by competing in regional programming competitions, making trips to local technology firms, designing and wearing computer science T-shirts, and assisting younger children in the district elementary schools to learn coding. Ted has worked with numerous other entities to promote computer science education and equitable representation in computer science. This includes teaching a summer camp in Detroit as part of Dr. Barb Ericson's research project at the University of Michigan. It also includes encouraging young women to apply and work with the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) as part of their computer science experience. Ted earned a B.A. in computer science education and a M.S. in physical science education from Eastern Michigan University. He is certified in secondary computer science, secondary earth science, general science, and German language.