This week, President Joe Biden named 104 teachers as recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) for the 2020 awards cycle. Among the awardees are two outstanding Maine K-6 science teachers: Michele (Mickie) Flores who teaches at Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School in Deer Isle and Cindy Soule who teaches at Gerald E. Talbot Community School in Portland.
Mickie Flores is in her 36th year of teaching and currently teaches 6th and 7th graders at Deer Isle-Stonington where she alternates years of instruction between a focus on life science, physical science, and earth science. Flores was also the 2015 Hancock County Teacher of the Year through Maine’s Teacher of the Year Program
Cindy Soule is in her 20th year of teaching with all but one year in Portland. She began her career in special education and shifted to being a classroom teacher nearly fifteen years ago. She is currently a 4th grade teacher. Soule is also the 2021 Maine Teacher of the Year and 2020 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year through Maine’s Teacher of the Year Program.
The PAEMST award was established in 1983 and each year the awards criteria alternates between kindergarten through sixth grade and seventh through twelfth grade teachers. Award recipients represent schools from all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) schools, and the U.S. territories.
Nominees complete a rigorous application process that allows them to demonstrate deep content knowledge and their ability to adapt to a broad range of learners and teaching environments.
A panel of distinguished mathematicians, scientists, and educators at the state and national levels assess the applications before recommending nominees to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Teachers are selected based on their distinction in the classroom and dedication to improving STEM education.
The National Science Foundation (NSF), which manages PAEMST on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), provides each recipient $10,000. Award recipients also receive a certificate signed by the President. For more information, please visit www.paemst.org.