State Finalists Selected for National Mathematics and Science Award


Eight Missouri teachers were selected as state finalists for the 2013 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

State finalists in mathematics are:

  • Ruth Knop, high school mathematics teacher, Parkway West High School, Parkway C-2 School District, Chesterfield
  • Melissa Livengood, high school mathematics teacher, Grain Valley High School, Grain Valley R-V School District
  • Karen Smith, high school mathematics teacher, Truman High School, Independence 30 School District
  • Lane Walker, high school mathematics teacher, Francis Howell High School, Francis Howell R-III School District, St. Charles

State finalists in science are:

  • Kathleen Dwyer, high school science teacher, Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School, Maplewood-Richmond Heights School District, Maplewood
  • Autumn Palmer, high school science teacher, Carthage High School, Carthage R-IX School District
  • Carol Robertson, high school science teacher, Fulton Senior High School, Fulton 58 School District
  • Christy Straatmann, middle school science teacher, Valley Park Middle School, Valley Park School District

"Congratulations to these teachers who were chosen as state finalists for excellence in math and science education," said Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro. "Using innovative approaches along with technology for teaching math and science greatly enhances student learning in the classroom. Strategies such as these will help our state become one of the top 10 states in education by the year 2020."

The PAEMST is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators following the initial selection process done at the state level. Each year, the award alternates between educators teaching kindergarten through 6th grades and those teaching 7th through 12th grades.

The 2013 mathematics and science PAEMST awardees from each state and the dates for the recognition ceremonies will be announced at a later date.

Teachers who are selected as PAEMST awardees receive a certificate signed by President Barack Obama, a trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to use at their discretion.

The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. For more information, visit