Three Washington teachers announced as STEM award finalists

By Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction | Press Release

OLYMPIA — February 17, 2021 — Three elementary science teachers in Washington have been selected as state-level finalists for the 2020 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the highest honor bestowed on science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), and computer science teachers.

“We are living through a once-in-a-century global event that will inform how we engage with science for generations,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. “Our schools are shaping the vaccine researchers and public health experts of tomorrow, and it is thrilling to see teachers like Julie, Allison, and Tina embrace this moment.”

The state-level finalists are:

  • Allison Greenberg, K–5 STEM Coordinator, Woodside Elementary School, Everett School District
  • Julie Fry, First Grade Teacher, Roosevelt Elementary, Yakima School District
  • Tina Nicpan Brown, Fifth Grade Teacher, Lincoln Elementary, Wenatchee School District

The finalists were selected by a statewide selection committee comprised of content area experts and award-winning teachers.

After being selected as state-level finalists, the PAEMST committee will determine national awardees based on content mastery, use of effective instructional methods, strategic use of assessments, reflective practice and life-long learning, and leadership in education inside and outside of the classroom.

If any of the three finalists are selected as national awardees, they will receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States as well as a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. Awardees will also receive a trip to Washington, D.C. where they will be honored and invited to attend professional development opportunities. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this has been postponed.

The national PAEMST program typically announces national award recipients within a year of selecting state-level finalists. State-level finalists are also recognized by regional and state math and science associations and invited to several annual state events for award-winning educators.

The PAEMST program was first established by Congress in 1983. The program recognizes exemplary teaching in the STEM fields. The President may recognize up to 108 educators each year. Since 1983, 91 Washington educators have received the award.

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