Two Wyoming educators – Katie McCue and Craig Williams – have received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). President Joe Biden made the winner’s announcement on Tuesday.
PAEMST is the highest recognition that K-12 mathematics, science, or computer science teachers can receive in the U.S. Nominations and awards are facilitated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation.
“It is an honor to be selected for the Presidential Award in the area of mathematics and to join the ranks of other outstanding educators in mathematics and science education,” said McCue, a second-grade math teacher at Eastside Elementary in Cody. “Being selected for this award is particularly meaningful because I believe in being a champion for education and this award reinforces that my instruction is worth recognition. It is humbling even to be nominated for this prestigious award. I would like to thank all of my colleagues that have supported and mentored me.”
“The award has connected me to a network of high-achieving educators in Wyoming, while also opening doors to influence curriculum and best practices for students,” said Williams, a fourth-grade math teacher at Buffalo Ridge Elementary in Cheyenne. “I hope to connect with teachers nationally to network about best practices in the teaching of mathematics and bring those home. The award has increased my confidence in my ability to prepare my students in STEM fields and help mentor teachers in their own growth in mathematics.”
Each year, up to six finalists in each state are chosen for the award through a rigorous peer review process. The applications are forwarded to the National Science Foundation, where the final selection for the national Presidential Awardee is made. Enacted by Congress in 1983, the program authorizes the President to award 108 math and science teachers each year in recognition of their contribution to excellent teaching and learning.
“These teachers are not only leaders in their field, but they are an inspiration to students and colleagues alike,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder. “I am truly proud of Craig and Katie for their dedication in teaching mathematics, and for their commitment to the students of Wyoming.”
The awardees come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity schools, and schools in four U.S. territories. Each awardee will receive a certificate signed by President Biden and a $10,000 award from the NSF. Awardees will also travel to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony at a future date.