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Dorn Announces Finalists for National Award
Eight high school teachers are finalists for math and science teaching honor

OLYMPIA — October 23, 2013 — State Superintendent Randy Dorn announced today that eight teachers from Washington have been selected as state-level finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). This year, the National Science Foundation increased the number of finalists each state can submit per subject from three to five.

State-level finalists for mathematics:

  • George Christoph, River Ridge High School, North Thurston
  • Michael Conklin, University High School, Central Valley (Spokane)
  • Danielle Maletta, Eastside Catholic School, Sammamish
  • Tracie Shepard, Emerald Ridge High School, Puyallup

State-level finalists for science:

  • Isabel Lee Holt, International School, Bellevue
  • Vincent Santo Pietro, Shorecrest High School, Shoreline
  • Lois Sherwood, Port Townsend High School, Port Townsend
  • Gretel von Bargen, Skyline High School, Issaquah

The finalists were selected during the summer by a statewide committee comprised of content-area experts and award-winning teachers. Their nominations were recently confirmed by the national PAEMST program.

“These eight amazing teachers are not only innovating in their own classrooms,” said Dorn, “they are also inspiring innovation in their colleagues. The leadership and mentoring of teachers like these make Washington a standout in STEM education. Their efforts will benefit students for many years.”

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 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). Each year the award alternated between elementary and secondary teachers.

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 website, “Teachers are recognized for their contributions to teaching and learning and their ability to help students make progress in mathematics and science.”

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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
OSPI 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 10/23/2013

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