On Friday evening, May 19th, Maine DOE honored the four state finalists for the 2016 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science (PAEMST) with a dinner held at the Maple Hill Farm Inn located in Hallowell. Shari Templeton, Maine DOE Science and Technology Specialist, and Michele Mailhot, Maine DOE Mathematics Specialist, planned the evening event honoring Barbara Ellis (Frank H. Harrison Middle School), elementary mathematics finalist, Kirsten Gould (Buxton Center Elementary School), elementary science finalist, Susan O’Brien (Weatherbee School), elementary science finalist, and Tonya Prentice (Woodstock Elementary School), elementary science finalist.
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 four state finalists. This was followed by dinner, official congratulations from Robert G. Hasson, Commissioner, Maine Department of Education, and Martha Harris, Chair, Maine State Board of Education. The keynote address was delivered by Beth BeyersSmall, the NSF Teaching Fellowship Coordinator for the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education, and several past Presidential Awardees, Marielle Edgecomb, Laurie Gott, and Laura Stevens, shared memorable moments from their experiences in D.C. during their recognition trip as awardees.
The main event of the evening was the introduction of the four state finalists. Jenny Jorgensen, Mathematics Coach, Yarmouth Schools, spoke on behalf of Barbara Ellis, Kimberly O’Donnell, principal, Buxton Elementary School, spoke on behalf of Kirsten Gould, Matthew Lindemann, Co-Teacher, George B. Weatherbee School, spoke on behalf of Susan O’Brien, and Jolene Littlehale, Principle, Woodstock Elementary School, spoke on behalf of Tonya Prentice. All four state finalists were presented with certificates from the PAEMST program by Shari Templeton (Maine DOE) and Michele Mailhot (Maine DOE).