CHEYENNE – Two Wyoming educators – Aimee Kay and Jennifer Kelley – have received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). President Donald J. Trump made the announcement of the 2019 winners on Monday.
PAEMST is the highest recognition that K-12 mathematics, science, or computer science teachers can receive in the U.S. Nominations and awards are facilitated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science Foundation.
“The PAEMST award is an honor that has already connected me with a network of exceptional teachers around our state who are willing to share ideas and collaborate, inspiring my continued growth,” said Kay, a 7-8 grade science teacher at Thermopolis Middle School. “I look forward to connecting with STEM teachers nationally as well. It has validated my efforts as I prepare the next generation of scientists and problem solvers to make the world a better place. Through it, I have also gained more confidence in my methods and a rejuvenated sense of purpose and passion.”
“This award inspires and encourages me to continue on my amazing journey as an educator,” said Kelly, who teaches Algebra, AP Calculus AB, and AP Calculus BC at Jackson Hole High School and a concurrent enrollment class through Central Wyoming College. “ It recognizes my desire to provide the best opportunities for all students to advance their knowledge and excitement in mathematics. It recognizes my desire to provide the best opportunities for all students to advance their knowledge and excitement in mathematics. Being able to help young adults figure out how to self-advocate and become lifelong learners is very rewarding. I am fortunate to work with incredible students and colleagues who continue to motivate me to strive for excellence.”
Each year, up to six finalists in each state are chosen for the award through a rigorous peer review process. The applications are forwarded to the National Science Foundation, where the final selection for the national Presidential Awardee is made. Enacted by Congress in 1983, the program authorizes the President to award 108 math and science teachers each year in recognition of their contribution to excellent teaching and learning.
“Aimee and Jennifer set the gold standard when it comes to teaching math and science to students,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “It is befitting that they are being recognized for this prestigious honor.”
The awardees come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools, and schools in four U.S. territories.Each awardee will receive a certificate signed by President Trump and a $10,000 award from NSF. Awardees will also travel to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony at a future date.
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Linda Finnerty, Communications Director