CONTACT:  Sarah Potter
Communications Coordinator


Vol. 46, No. 52
July 12, 2012

Six State Finalists Named for Math and Science Teaching Award

Six Missouri educators have been selected as state-level finalists for the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

The three finalists in the mathematics category are:  Ryun Deckert, an elementary specialist at River Bend Elementary School, Parkway C-2 School District; Laura Parn, a 4th grade teacher at Peine Ridge Elementary School, Wentzville R-IV School District; and Karen Yarde, a 6th grade teacher from Ft. Zumwalt West Middle School, Ft. Zumwalt R-II School District.

The three finalists in the science category are:  Lisa McPherson, a 5th grade teacher at Cold Water Elementary, Hazelwood School District; Regan Webb, a 4th grade teacher at Fairview Elementary School, Columbia 93 School District; and Nancy McClintock, an interdisciplinary environmental education specialist at the Center for Creative Learning, Rockwood R-VI School District.

PAEMST awardees have been shown to devote more time to professional development, incorporate innovative approaches into their teaching, and are more likely to use computers and other technologies in their classrooms. These characteristics exhibit quality educational experiences that will help Missouri become one of the top 10 states in education by the year 2020.

A national committee of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators review each state's finalists and recommends one mathematics teacher and one science teacher from each state or jurisdiction. The President of the United States is then authorized to name up to 108 PAEMST awardees, which will be announced at a later date.

Individuals who are selected for the 2012 PAEMST will receive a certificate signed by the President, a trip to Washington, D.C. for a series of recognition events and professional development activities, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

The PAEMST is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. Each year, the award alternates between educators teaching kindergarten through 6th grades and those teaching 7th through 12th grades.

The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. To find out more about the PAEMST Awards program, visit