Six Kentucky educators have been selected as state finalists and are now eligible to receive a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) award, the nation’s highest honor for U.S. K–12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teachers.

Each year, a national committee of prominent mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science education researchers, district level personnel and classroom teachers recommends up to 108 teachers to receive PAEMST awards. The award is given up to two teachers in either mathematics or science from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories, along with schools operated by the Department of Defense Education in the United States and overseas.

Teachers who are selected as PAEMST awardees receive a trip to Washington, D.C., where they attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities. They also receive a $10,000 award from NSF, a presidential certificate, and join an elite cohort of award-winning teachers who can influence state/jurisdiction and national STEM teaching.

State selection committees consisting of prominent advisers in mathematics or science education, district-level personnel and classroom teachers reviewed Kentucky applications. These applications were evaluated using the review criteria and scoring information provided by the National Science Foundation. The finalists include:

State Finalists in Mathematics

  • James Gary, Bondurant Middle School (Franklin County)
  • Benjamin Molberger, Atherton High School (Jefferson County)
  • Casey Newcombe, Western Middle School for the Arts (Jefferson County)

State Finalists in Science

  • Miranda Messer, Central High School (Jefferson County)
  • Laurel Regnier, Lafayette High School (Fayette County)
  • Donald Williams, Atherton High School (Jefferson County)

The awards program is administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.