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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 the program's inception, more than 4,400 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 2018 Elementary teachers (kindergarten - 6th grade) may apply. The application is due May 1, 2018.

In 2017 Secondary school teachers (grades 7 - 12) may apply. The application is due May 1, 2017.

Presidential Award Website

2014 Mathematics Awardee

Ann Johnson
Ann Johnson

Ann Johnson

"The Presidential Award symbolizes the passion, dedication, and collaboration of the teaching profession. To receive this honor emphasizes the important role teachers play in developing today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders. Being recognized with this award illustrates the importance of teachers being lifelong learners in education. I have been lucky enough to work with many teachers, administrators, parents, and students who inspire and motivate me to continue learning."

Ann Johnson has been an elementary teacher for the last 16 years, teaching both first and second grade in Lake Forest, IL, and Dubuque, IA. She has taught second grade at Sageville Elementary School for the past four years. Ann has experience looping from first to second grade, co-teaching mathematics, and mentoring new teachers.

Ann's students learn mathematics skills through hands-on activities, collaborating with other students and making connections to previous learning and the world around them. In Ann's classroom, students can work toward a common learning target on differentiated paths.

Ann has provided multiple professional development sessions in the area of mathematics both at the building and the district level. Ann serves as a teacher leader in two capacities: as a Cognitive Guided Instruction Initiative Leader for the district, as well as a Math Content Leader for her building. Both of these leadership roles consist of Ann hosting teachers in her classroom during mathematics instruction as well as visiting other schools in the district to model and assist with planning lessons. Ann has been a member of the Iowa Outstanding Educators Advisory Council, Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and Sageville’s Building Leadership Team.

Ann has a B.A. from the University of Iowa in elementary education and a M.A. in literacy from Northeastern Illinois University.

2015 Mathematics Awardee

Richard Brooks

Richard (Ricky) Brooks

"Being honored with The Presidential Award is both humbling and motivating. This achievement is a reflection of the quality educators I have been privileged to learn from and work beside throughout my career. This award motivates me to strengthen the strategies we, as educators, use to develop mathematical thinkers and persistent problem solvers."

Richard (Ricky) Brooks has been teaching mathematics for 24 years. For the past 22 years, Ricky has been employed at Johnston High School. He has taught all the mathematics courses offered at Johnston throughout his career there, and is currently teaching Advanced Placement AB and BC Calculus.

Ricky enjoys helping to make sense of mathematics for his students. He challenges students to see the big picture and make connections through the use of activities and technology that tie the mathematics to the world around them. He expects students to ask “What if?” questions and encourages risk taking and teamwork in problem solving.

Ricky has supervised and mentored several student teachers over his career. He has presented at mathematics conferences, led in-service trainings, and served on several curriculum committees. Ricky was a member of the Building Leadership Team and is the leader of the Math Department’s Professional Learning Community. In addition, Ricky served on the One-to-One Committee that researched digital learning and ultimately recommended that each student be equipped with an iPad. He is also a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Ricky earned a B.A. in mathematics and mathematics education from Wartburg College and a Master’s of School Mathematics from Iowa State University. He is certified in 5–12 mathematics.

Mathematics Past Awardees

Year Type Name School City
2015 7-12 Richard Brooks Johnston High School Johnston
2014 K-6 Ann Johnson Sageville Elementary School Dubuque
2013 7-12 Allysen Lovstuen Decorah High School Decorah
2013 7-12 Brian Reece Central Academy Des Moines
2012 K-6 Josie Burg Downtown School Des Moines
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 Jill Moser Stilwell Junior High School West Des Moines
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

2014 Science Awardee

Joshua Steenhoek

Joshua Steenhoek

"I’m incredibly humbled to be selected as a recipient of the Presidential Award. This award represents the combined efforts of my colleagues, mentors, and administrators who have collaborated with me to analyze and implement effective teaching practices. This opportunity will allow me to continue to expand my professional network so that I can continue to develop my understanding of teaching and learning."

Joshua Steenhoek has taught fifth grade at Jefferson Intermediate School for the last 12 years. He has also taught elementary special education for three years in Clinton, IA.

Joshua currently teaches science and mathematics to fifth graders. He shares his love and enthusiasm for science and mathematics by using activities that engage students as scientists and mathematicians. He continuously searches for new strategies to support student learning.

For the last six years, Joshua has collaborated with the University of Iowa to provide in-service trainings with the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH). As a leader in his district, he has also supported the implementation of the SWH, transitioning the curriculum and teaching practices to align with the Next Generation Science Standards, and development of common assessments.

Joshua has a B.A. in elementary education from Central College. He is certified in elementary special education with a multi-categorical endorsement.

2015 Science Awardee

Lynetta Bleeker

Lynnetta (Lynne) Bleeker

"The PAEMST Award is a tremendous honor and responsibility. My role as a STEM ambassador will provide me with the opportunity to communicate with a broader audience on the many wonderful things going on in science education in the United States and the advances in STEM to address world challenges. I am grateful for my students, administrators, teaching partners, family, and friends who support me in the amazing art and science that is teaching. I look forward to new challenges and opportunities ahead!"

Lynnetta (Lynne) Bleeker has taught Life Science and Honors Life Science for seven years at Parkview Middle School. She currently teaches seventh grade. Prior to that, she taught science at Einstein Middle School for seven years. She has served as a science education specialist for 24 years, training thousands of teachers in science content and pedagogy.

Lynne’s passion to provide real-world experiences to her students and other teachers led her to partner with organizations such as the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, Weyerhaeuser, DuPont/Pioneer, Iowa State University, and the City of Ankeny. She instructs teachers in cutting edge topics such as biorenewables and engineering design. Lynne has mentored new teachers, led professional learning communities, coached a First Tech Challenge Robotics Team, and designed and taught afterschool STEM courses. Her many awards and grants include National Association of Biology Teachers’ 1995 Middle School Teacher of the Year, and multiple Ankeny Foundation grants.

Lynne earned a B.S., cum laude, in biology and French from Iowa State University. She also earned a  M.Ed. in mathematics and science leadership, and a teaching certificate from University of Washington where she was a Ford Fellow. Ongoing professional development has allowed her to maintain teaching certification of 4–12 science and K–12 French in Washington and 5–12 science and French in Iowa.

Science Past Awardees

Year Type Name School City
2015 7-12 Lynnetta Bleeker Parkview Middle School Ankeny
2014 K-6 Joshua Steenhoek Jefferson Intermediate School Pella
2013 7-12 No award given in this area.    
2012 K-6 Mason Kuhn Shell Rock Elementary Shell Rock
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 Ames Junior High School Ames
1983 7-12 Karen Stiles Nathan Week Transitional Des Moines


Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on October 24, 2016 at 10:39pm.