Northwood Middle School Science Teacher Marcy Buchanan has been named an Illinois State Finalist in the competition for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The PAEMST are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 mathematics and science teaching. Established by Congress in 1983, the PAEMST program authorizes the President to bestow up to 108 awards each year.
The award recognizes those teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning. At the State level, coordinators convene local selection committees, which include prominent mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science educators, district level personnel, and classroom teachers. These committees select up to five finalists from each discipline (mathematics or science) for recognition at the state level.
Teachers must go through a lengthy application process that includes nominations, recommendations, a video of their class in action and other requirements. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science (including computer science) education. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Marcy and the other Illinois State Finalists were honored at the Illinois Math and Science Conference in Peoria on October 7, and recognized at a dinner at Fermilab in Batavia on November 3.