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Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)


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The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are the Nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.

Since 1983, more than 4,100 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. If you know great teachers, nominate them to join this prestigious network of professionals.

In 2014 Elementary teachers (kindergarten - 6th grade) may apply. The application is due May 1, 2014.

In 2013 Secondary school teachers (grades 7 - 12) may apply. The application is due May 1, 2013.

Presidential Award Website


2011 Mathematics Awardee

Photo of Karla Digmann

This award is recognition of my commitment to helping students succeed. This honor is a testament to my great teachers, mentors, colleagues, and administrators, who have modeled, encouraged, and supported great teaching for me. The Presidential Award is motivating and inspires me to promote excellence in education through quality mathematics instruction. It is exhilarating to know that my efforts have such an incredible impact on students.

Karla Digmann has been an educator for 13 years and has been teaching mathematics at George Washington Middle School for the past 10 years. She has also taught middle school and high school mathematics in both Preston and Dyersville, IA.

Karla currently teaches Geometry, Algebra, and Pre-algebra to eighth graders. In addition, she coaches the school's MathCounts team and facilitates a mathematics club. Karla shares her love and enthusiasm for mathematics using activities that engage students. She continuously searches for new strategies to reach students.

As a leader in her school and district, Karla has led teacher in-service trainings and provided mentoring opportunities. She has helped implement the middle school mathematics curriculum, develop common assessments, and incorporate technology into classrooms. Karla is a member of her school's Site Council, Renaissance Committee, and School In Need of Assistance Team. She is also a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Karla has a B.S. in mathematics and teacher education, magna cum laude, from Loras College and an M.A. in teaching middle school mathematics from the University of Northern Iowa. She is certified in secondary mathematics with a middle school endorsement.


Mathematics Past Awardees

Year Type Name School City
2011 7-12 Karla Digmann George Washington Middle School Dubuque
2010 K-6 Barbara Leise Downtown School Des Moines
2009 7-12 Matthew Miller George Washington High School Cedar Rapids
2008 K-6 Mary Black Irving Elementary School Dubuque
2007 7-12 Susan Royer Kuemper Catholic School System Carroll
2006 K-6 Jennifer Johnson Jefferson Elementary School Des Moines
2005 7-12 Linda Seeger Okoboji High School Milford
2004 K-6 Marcia Carlson Crestview Elementary School Clive
2003 7-12 Virginia Swenson Ames High School Ames
2002 7-12 Margaret Magner Independence Middle School Independence
2002 K-6 Christina Nugent Fulton School Dubuque
2001 7-12 Angelia Shindelar Nodaway Valley Middle School Fontanelle
2001 K-6 Denise Carlson Gilbert Elementary School Gilbert
2000 7-12 Debra Tvrdik Fort Dodge Senior High School Fort Dodge
2000 K-6 Annette Louk Webster City Middle School Webster City
1999 7-12 Jean Krusi Ames Middle School Ames
1999 K-6 Diana Schmidt Edwards Elementary School Ames
1998 7-12 Mary Dilts Theodore Roosevelt High School Des Moines
1998 K-6 Pamela Fox Titan Hill Intermediate School Council Bluffs
1997 7-12 Joseph Zimmerman Central Academy Des Moines
1997 K-6 Karen Voss Merrill Middle School Des Moines
1996 7-12 Cheryl Ross Mason City High School Mason City
1996 K-6 Christine Schultz Abraham Lincoln High School Council Bluffs
1995 7-12 Michael Link Central Academy Des Moines
1995 K-6 Jacquelin Smith Malcolm Price Laboratory School  Cedar Falls
1994 7-12 Bret Hoyer John F. Kennedy High School Cedar Rapids
1994 K-6 Karen Hoiberg Abbie Sawyer Elementary School Ames
1993 7-12 Ronald Fox Lewis Central High School Council Bluffs
1993 K-6 Mary Elizabeth Jorgensen Kate Wickham Elementary Coralville
1992 7-12 C. Christensen Malcolm Price Laboratory School Cedar Falls
1992 K-6 Eleanor Thomas Northwood Elementary School Ames
1991 7-12 Curtis Tauke Monticello Middle/High School Monticello
1991 K-6 Judy Christiansen West Ridge Elementary School Harlan
1990 7-12 James Maltas Malcolm Price Laboratory School   Cedar Falls
1990 K-6 Shelva Boyd Gertrude Fellows Elementary School Ames
1989 7-12 Earl Ockenga Malcolm Price Laboratory School Cedar Falls
1988 7-12 Pauline Antons Midland Community Wyoming
1987 7-12 David Griffin Bettendorf Middle School Bettendorf
1986 7-12 Christopher Olsen George Washington Senior High School Cedar Rapids
1985 7-12 Tom Meskel Mason City High School Mason City
1984 7-12 Karen Dotseth Cedar Falls High School Cedar Falls
1983 7-12 Roger Fuerstenberg Sudlow Junior High School Davenport


2011 Science Awardee

I am honored and humbled by being selected to receive this award. I have been blessed to be part of the best teaching and learning environment in Iowa, possibly in the Nation. Price Laboratory School is a place where teachers are encouraged to think outside the box and we, in turn, seek to inspire our students to do the same. Our talented team of teachers stimulate each other to creatively develop and implement ways to get kids to think more deeply, be more creative, and want to try harder.

Jody Stone has taught high school chemistry at Malcolm Price Laboratory School/Northern University High School on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa for the past 34 years. She has also taught middle school science and fifth grade science, in addition to teaching graduate courses in science education.

Jody’s unique position at her school has allowed her to work extensively on curriculum development, using her science classroom as a laboratory for the creation and testing of new ideas. This has benefited teachers both in Iowa and across the Nation. Her work includes programs such as CRISTAL and BIOMES. Through extensive grant work, she has presented workshops for Iowa teachers aimed at helping them move to a more inquiry-based, student-centered teaching model. Frequent presentations at National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conferences, as well as publications in NSTA journals, have helped ensure that her creative teaching ideas are shared with teachers throughout the country.

Jody has a B.S. in science and an M.A.T. in science education from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. in science education from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She is National Board Certified in adolescent science and is certified to teach high school physical science/chemistry.


Science Past Awardees

Year Type Name School City
2011 7-12 Jody Stone Northern University High School Cedar Falls
2010 K-6 Brandon Schrauth Beaver Creek Elementary Johnston
2009 7-12 Jessica Gogerty North High School Des Moines
2008 K-6 Michelle Harris Anita Elementary School Anita
2007 7-12 Justine Heckman Abraham Lincoln High School Council Bluffs
2005 7-12 Danielle Spaete Pleasant Valley High School Pleasant Valley
2004 K-6 Kari Ringgenberg-Pingel Jefferson Elementary School Pella
2003 7-12 Kevin Brasser South O'Brien School Paullina
2002 7-12 Susan Vogel Thomas Jefferson High School Cedar Rapids
2001 7-12 Julie Townsend Parkview Middle School Ankeny
2000 7-12 Yvette McCulley Kirn Jr. High School Council Bluffs
2000 K-6 Susan Haugen Kennedy Elementary School Dubuque
1999 7-12 Lyn Countryman Malcolm Price Laboratory School Cedar Falls
1999 K-6 Karla Snodgrass Western Hills Elementary School West Des Moines
1998 7-12 James Hurley Waverly-Shell Rock High School Waverly
1998 K-6 Jeanne Burns Gunn Elementary School Council Bluffs
1997 7-12 Curtis Froyen Knoxville High School Knoxville
1997 K-6 Shelba Oberto Colfax-Mingo Elementary School Des Moines
1996 7-12 John Kounas Westwood High School Sloan
1996 K-6 Elizabeth Laughlin North Hill Elementary School Burlington
1995 7-12 Karen Sievers Callanan Middle School Des Moines
1995 K-6 Margaret Ann Sadeghpour-Kramer North Cedar Middle School  Clarence
1994 7-12 Ernest Schiller Central Lee High School Donnellson
1994 K-6 James Christensen Galva-Holstein Middle School Galva
1993 7-12 Hector Ibarra West Branch Middle School West Branch
1993 K-6 Cindy Roberts Wall Lake-View Auburn Schools Wall Lake
1992 7-12 Daniel McGrail Carlisle High School Carlisle
1992 K-6 C. Christensen Malcolm Price Laboratory Schooll Cedar Falls
1991 7-12 Theresa Knapp Holtzclaw Valley High School West Des Moines
1991 K-6 Joan Braunagel McShane Jefferson Elementary School Davenport
1990 7-12 Jan Wielert Iowa City West High School   Iowa City
1990 K-6 Suzanne Kelly Warren H. Meeker Elementary School Ames
1989 7-12 Floyd Sturtevant Ames High School Ames
1988 7-12 Morgan Masters Chariton Community Schools Chariton
1987 7-12 Sandra Walton Dubuque Senior High School Dubuque
1986 7-12 Ross Iverson Miller Junior High School Marshalltown
1985 7-12 Donald Schaefer Bettendorf High School Bettendorf
1984 7-12 Kenneth Hartman    
1983 7-12 Karen Stiles Nathan Week Transitional Des Moines


Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 20, 2014 at 9:12pm.