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
"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 (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
|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
"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
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
|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|