Dawes Intermediate’s Chasity Collier, Alabama’s Teacher of the Year in 2017, added another honor this week – a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
Collier is one of more than 140 people from across the country selected to be honored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation with presidential awards in teaching or mentoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Kindergarten through sixth grade teachers will receive the PAEMST, while mentors will get the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.
“On behalf of the White House I am honored to express the nation’s gratitude for the tireless dedication that these men and women bring to educating the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians,” Michael Kratsios, deputy assistant to the president for Technology Policy, said in a release. “Each day more and more jobs require a strong foundation in STEM education, so the work that you as teachers and mentors help ensure that all students can have access to limitless opportunities and the brightest of futures.”
Collier and other award winners received a presidential citation at a ceremony this week in Washington, D.C., and participated in discussions on STEM and STEM education priorities led by OSTP and NSF. Recipients also received $10,000 from NSF, which manages the PAEMST and PAESMEM programs on behalf of the White House.
Established in 1983, PAEMST is the highest award K-12 mathematics and science teachers can receive from the U.S. government. The award alternates years between kindergarten through sixth grade and seventh-12th grade teachers. This year, on the award’s 35th anniversary, kindergarten through sixth grade teachers are being honored.
Nominees complete a rigorous application process that requires them to demonstrate excellence in content knowledge and ability to adapt to a broad range of learners and teaching environments.
A panel of distinguished mathematicians, scientists and educators at the state and national levels judge the applications and recommend nominees to OSTP. Teachers are selected based on their distinction in the classroom and dedication to improving STEM education.
As Alabama’s Teacher of the Year in 2017, Collier has served as the state’s ambassador for public education and the teaching profession throughout the 2017-18 school year.