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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

2013 Mathematics Awardees

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.

Allysen Lovstuen

Allysen Lovstuen has been teaching mathematics at Decorah High School for the past 15 years. She currently teaches Algebra II to 9th through 12th graders and Advanced Placement Calculus AB to juniors and seniors, which includes co-teaching a joint AP Calculus AB/Physics course.

Allysen works to increase student thought and mathematical discourse in her classroom and shares her enthusiasm for mathematics by engaging students in activities, encouraging discussion, and appreciating diversity of thought. Students in her classes work together to solve problems, prove mathematical patterns, and build understanding of the content, while having the chance to individually practice needed skills.

Allysen has presented at a variety of conferences regarding mathematical pedagogy and technology. She has worked with undergraduate education students as a cooperating teacher for classroom experiences and by facilitating sessions on classroom technology. Allysen initiated FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge participation in her district and has been a member of the Iowa Outstanding Educators Advisory Council, Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics (currently serving as the Vice President - Secondary), district leadership team, and building leadership team.

Allysen has a B.A., magna cum laude, in mathematics and a M.A. in mathematics from the University of Northern Iowa. She is certified in 5-12 mathematics and pre-K-12 talented and gifted.

Brian Reece

Brian Reece has taught mathematics for 19 years, the past nine at Central Academy, a public high school listed in the top one percent of educational programs by the College Board. He has taught in three other Iowa districts (Johnston, Melcher-Dallas and Lake Mills), as well as Des Moines Area Community College.

Brian currently teaches Advanced Placement Computer Science A, AP Calculus BC, Precalculus, Geometry, and Radically Accelerated Geometry and Algebra II to students in grades 7 through 12. He challenges his students to think freely about mathematics, referring to them as “mathematicians,” and he coaches and acts as proctor for students in a number of local, regional, and national competitions.

Brian has led professional development training for the Des Moines Public School District and is a member of the district geometry lead team. He has attended National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conferences, including one where he was presented an Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished Mathematics Teaching. He also participated in the Holl Mathematical Discovery for Teachers Workshop where, for one week, eight teachers worked on solving two advanced mathematical problems.

Brian has a B.A. in mathematics from Central College and a Master’s of School Mathematics from Iowa State University.

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 July 23, 2016 at 1:00pm.