Maine DOE recently honored two state finalists for the 2014 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science (PAEMST) with a dinner held at the Maple Hill Farm Inn in Hallowell. Shari Templeton, Maine DOE Science and Technology Specialist, and Michele Mailhot, Maine DOE Mathematics Specialist, planned the evening event honoring Lauree Gott, elementary science finalist (Veazie Community School) and Laura Stevens, Ph.D., elementary mathematics finalist (Dora L. Small School).
The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.
The evening began with a social networking event where past awardees had an opportunity to meet the two state finalists. This was followed by dinner, official congratulations from Tom Desjardin, Acting Commissioner, Maine Department of Education, and Peter Geiger, Chair, Maine State Board of Education. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Tom Keller, Maine STEM Council Executive Director, and several past Presidential Awardees shared memorable moments from their experiences as awardees.
The main event of the evening was the introduction of the two state finalists. Scott Nichols, principal of the Veazie Community School spoke on behalf of Lauree Gott while Bonnie Hicks, principal of the Skillin Elementary School spoke on behalf of Laura Stevens. Both state finalists were presented with certificates from the PAEMST program by Shari Templeton (Maine DOE) and Michele Mailhot (Maine DOE).