(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Ten Kentucky public school teachers have been selected as finalists for the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

The PAEMST is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government for K-12 mathematics and science teaching. The award alternates each year between teachers in K-6 and those who teach grades 7-12. The 2015 awards will go to those who teach at the middle or high school level.

Kentucky’s mathematics finalists include:

  • Christine Bickett, North Bullitt High School, Bullitt County
  • Jeani Gollihue, Russell High School, Russell Independent
  • Theresa Reilly, Noe Middle School, Jefferson County
  • Michelle Ruckdeschel, Beacon Central High School (now Heritage Park High School), Daviess County
  • Brian Sullivan, Henderson County High School, Henderson County

Kentucky science finalists include:

  • Carly Baldwin, Boyd County High School, Boyd County
  • Deborah Brock, Simon Kenton High School, Kenton County
  • Kevin Crosby, Tates Creek High School, Fayette County
  • Brian McDowell, Mason County Middle School, Mason County
  • Tricia Shelton, Boone County High School, Boone County

The award recognizes those teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning. A national selection committee is reviewing the finalists’ completed applications and videos. The White House likely will announce the award winners in spring/summer 2016.

Recipients of the award receive:

  • a certificate signed by the president of the United States
  • a paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities
  • a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation
  • an opportunity to build lasting partnerships with colleagues across the nation

Established by Congress in 1983, the PAEMST program authorizes the president to give up to 108 awards each year. Awards are given to mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity schools and the U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands).

Since the program’s inception, more than 4,400 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.

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.

The growing network of award-winning teachers serves as a vital resource for improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and keeping America globally competitive.

Next year’s awards will honor mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers working in grades K-6. Nominations close on April 1, 2016. Applications must be completed by May 1, 2016.

Visit http://www.paemst.org for additional information.