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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 4,300 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 2016 Elementary teachers (kindergarten - 6th grade) may apply. The application is due May 1, 2016.

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

Presidential Award Website

2012 Mathematics Awardee

The Presidential Award recognizes educators with the highest level of commitment to effective teaching practices in the areas of mathematics and science. Personally, this award is a culmination of efforts put forth by the State of Iowa, Des Moines Public Schools, and the Downtown School community resulting in my ability and passion to provide meaningful and individualized learning opportunities. I am honored to accept this award and do so on behalf of my colleagues, families, and students.

Josie Burg has been an elementary teacher in Iowa for 9 years. For the past 6 years, she has taught 7-, 8-, and 9-year-olds at the Downtown School in the Des Moines Public School District. Previously, she taught at Jackson Elementary in Des Moines and St. Patrick’s Catholic School in the Perry Community School District.

One of Josie’s favorite parts of teaching is thinking about her students as mathematicians and helping to guide them in developing their own strategies while engaged in solving problems. She feels it is her role to provide her students with meaningful instruction that, in turn, allows them to have a solid foundation in mathematics.

In addition to her responsibilities in the classroom, Josie has served as a mathematics instructor for Heartland Area Education Agency and her classroom has been opened to educators and administrators from across the State of Iowa to observe her teaching practices.

Josie has been a cooperating teacher for undergraduate students in the discipline of mathematics for several years and is a member of the Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Josie has a B.A. in elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa and an M.S. in advanced studies in elementary education from Drake University. She is certified to teach kindergarten through sixth grade elementary curriculum.

Mathematics Past Awardees

Year Type Name School City
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

2012 Science Awardee

Mason Kuhn 2012 Science Awardee for the Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching AwardI feel incredibly honored to be selected as a recipient of the PAEMST award. Being an award winner allows me access to an amazing group of thinkers. Collaboration and dialogue are the drivers of progress, and being able to converse with the current and past winners will be a wonderful asset as I continue to grow as an educator. The PAEMST experience has broadened my horizons in ways I never thought possible.

Mason Kuhn has taught fourth grade at Shell Rock Elementary for the last 5 years. He spent the previous 2 years teaching third grade at Washington Elementary in Charles City, IA. Before that, he spent 1 year teaching fourth grade mathematics and science at King Chavez Academies in San Diego, CA, and 5 years teaching fifth grade science at Eckert Intermediate School in Houston, TX. In addition to teaching, he has directed the Science Writing Heuristic Professional Learning Community in the Waverly-Shell Rock School District.

For the last 5 years, Mason has organized and led the Shell Rock Elementary Science Club, an afterschool gathering of students who use inquiry to conduct science experiments. The annual culminating event has been the Shell Rock Science Fair, where students display project boards, receive awards, and have their picture taken for the local paper.
Mason has been the lead or contributing author of six articles published in peer-reviewed journals, most recently in the summer 2013 issue of "Science and Children."

Mason has a B.S. in elementary education from Coe College, an M.S. in science education from Walden University, and an M.S. in special education from the University of North Dakota.  He is pursuing an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction at the University of Northern Iowa. He is certified in elementary education (kindergarten through sixth grade).

Science Past Awardees

Year Type Name School City
2013 7-12 No Award 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 April 30, 2016 at 1:57pm.