Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science & Mathematics Teaching (PAESMT)

This prestigious national awards program is intended to increase status and rewards for demonstrated professionalism, including leadership, in the areas of mathematics and science teaching so that individuals of high quality will be encouraged to enter and remain in the field of teaching.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) administers the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching (PAESMT) for the White House, which began the program in 1983 to improve teaching in mathematics and the sciences.  Elementary-level teachers have been included in the program since 1990. Each year, the program honors outstanding mathematics and science teachers throughout the United States and its territories in recognition of:

  • high-quality classroom performance;
  • the effects teachers have on students; and
  • the teacher's personal and professional goals.

During its first decade, the PAESMT program has received significant favorable national attention and recognition while expanding its scope to embrace elementary-school teachers as well as middle/secondary-school teachers of mathematics and science.

After a rigorous state-level screening and selection process, the state finalists are again screened at the national level before 216 Presidential Awardees are Named to represent the states, territories, and jurisdictions covered by the PAESMT program.

2012 State Finalists – Presidential Award Recipients

Area Name School District
Elementary Mathematics Nicolle Greene E.G. Robertson Elementary School Warwick
  Regina Kilday Metcalf Elementary School Exeter-West Greenwich
  Joy Souza Blackstone Valley Prep Elementary Cumberland
Secondary Mathematics Clare Ornburn Ashaway Elementary School Chariho Regional School District
  Susan Moore William Underwood Elementary School Newport

2011 State Finalists – Presidential Award Recipients

Area Name School District
Secondary Mathematics Maureen Kennedy Scituate Middle School Scituate
  Brian Nelson* Broad Rock Middle School South Kingstown
Secondary Science Carolyn Higgins Winman Jr. High School Warwick
  David Mather** Warwick Veterans High School Warwick
  Barbara Walton-Faria Thompson Middle School Newport

*Presidential Awardee – Excellence in the area of Science
**Rhode Island Awardee – Excellence in the area of Mathematics

1999 State Finalists – Presidential Award Recipients

Area Name School District
Elementary Mathematics Mariann C. Hayward Peace Dale Elementary School South Kingstown
Secondary Mathematics Catherine M. Boutin John F. Deering Middle School West Warwick
  Lynn Rakatansky Riverside Junior High School East Providence
  Eric V. Simonian Toll Gate High School Warwick
Elementary Science Elizabeth D. Angelotti Clayville Elementary School Scituate
  Brenda M. Engstrom Robertson Elementary School Warwick
  Marilyn I. Rernick Norwood Avenue School Cranston
Secondary Science Tracy Bailey-Gates East Greenwich High School East Greenwich
  Christine C. Johnson Cumberland High School Cumberland
  Anna M. Saccoccio Nathaniel Greene Middle School Providence