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Dorn Announces Finalists for National Award
Six elementary educators selected for math and science teaching honor

OLYMPIA — SEPTEMBER 29, 2016 — State Superintendent Randy Dorn today announced that six teachers from Washington have been selected as state-level finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

The state-level finalists are:


  • Jana Dean, Jefferson Middle School (Olympia School District)
  • Tricia Hukee, Daffodil Valley Elementary (Sumner)


  • Kimberly Astle, Fishers Landing Elementary (Vancouver)
  • Julie Fry, Roosevelt Elementary (Yakima)
  • Veronique Paquette, Kenroy Elementary (Eastmont)
  • Kitten Vaa, Brighton School (Private school, Mountlake Terrace)

The finalists were selected this past summer by a statewide selection committee comprised of content area experts and award-winning teachers.

“If we want to nurture tomorrow’s innovators, we have to begin by lighting that spark of curiosity in our youngest students,” Dorn said. “Beginning in kindergarten, our kids need to learn how to use logic, numbers, observation, experimentation to figure things out. They need to know that they have the power to solve real-world problems.

“Teachers like Jana, Tricia, Kimberly, Julie, Veronique, and Kitten are kindling that curiosity every day in their classrooms. We’re so lucky to have them teaching here in Washington and helping to create that next generation of innovators.”

The national PAEMST program typically announces national award recipients in the spring. State-level finalists are recognized by regional and state math and science associations and invited to several annual state events for award winning educators.

About the award

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest honor for a K-12 mathematics or science teacher. Awards are given annually to teachers from each of the 50 states four U.S. jurisdictions (Washington, D.C.; Puerto Rico; Department of Defense Schools; and the U.S. territories as a group: American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). To be considered for the PAEMST, teachers must be nominated and complete a comprehensive application. A state selection committee reviews completed applications and may forward up to five nominations from each discipline to the national program for consideration. According to the PAEMST Web site, “Teachers are recognized for their contributions to teaching and learning and their ability to help students make progress in mathematics and science.”

For more information


About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Nathan Olson
Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015 |

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 9/29/2016

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