Two teachers from the Shelby County School District have been selected as two of the five elementary school mathematics finalists of the 2016 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) representing Alabama. Jennifer Northrup, a third-grade teacher at Oak Mountain Elementary School, and Natalie Landrum, a fourth-grade teacher at Helena Intermediate School, were recently notified by Interim State Superintendent Phillip Cleveland of their selection at the state level. They are now eligible for consideration to become national PAEMST awardees.
The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 mathematics and science (including computer science) teaching. Established by Congress in 1983, the PAEMST program authorizes the President to bestow up to 108 national awards each year.
Awards are given to mathematics and science teachers from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity schools, or the U.S. territories as a group. The national awardees are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following the initial selection process done at the state level.
The award recognizes those teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning. Since the program’s inception, more than 4,400 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.
Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Recipients of the national PAEMST award receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States; a paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities; and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.