Celebrating our ChemEd X PAEMST Finalists

blue background w/ confetti & text: Celebrating our PAEMST Finalists

It may come as no surprise that three of our very own lead contributors have been named as  Finalists for the 2021 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) at the secondary level in their states. The PAEMST award, which recognizes teachers who exemplify deep content knowledge of their subject matter as well as motivates and facilitates student success in their subject areas. The award is the highest honor a teacher can receive from the United States government specifically for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching. 

Each state has a selection committee composed of mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science education researchers, district-level personnel, and classroom teachers. The winners at the state level are then sent on for national review by the National Science Foundation. A national committee then reviews the state finalists’ applications using the review criteria and recommends up to two finalists per state. Each year the President may recognize up to 108 exemplary educators from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity schools, or the U.S. territories as a group (American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands).

Here, at ChemEdX we would like to recognize these amazing awardees for their expertise and dedication to K-12 Science education. They impact not just their own students but the larger chemistry community at large. 

Ariel Serkin

You may recognize Ariel from her  #nerdytshirtfriday posts on Twitter and wearing #nerdychic attire. She is full of enthusiasm and Norfolk County Agricultural chemistry students in Walpole, Massachusetts are lucky to have her.  Ariel is a PAEMST state finalist in 2019 as well as this year! She won the  AACT Chemistry Teacher of the Year Award in 2020. She is also the STEMteachersMassBay founder and president. She is a strong advocate for providing students the opportunities to work collaboratively through engagement in a Modeling(TM) curriculum. 

Katy Dornbos

Katy, best recognized by her vibrant personality, is a chemistry, advanced chemistry, and physics teacher. She is constantly finding new and creative ways to keep her students stay engaged. She has encouraged the development of relationships between her students and the community through chemistry Olympics, chemistry tournaments, chemistry service projects as well as interviews with professionals in the field. Katy has been involved in KICKS (a grant-funded program in Nebraska), a program showcasing the"best of the best" in a content area, where the teachers (participants) go through a crash course in their content area focused on *what* they teach and *how* they teach it. Katy is very collaborative and can often be found sharing her best practices on Twitter. Her advice to those applying is to reach outside of the usual circle for support as friends and colleagues love to help, encourage and support you, and that applying in itself is something to celebrate as she became a better teacher just going through the process. 

Kristen Drury

Kristen is a college board consultant, advanced placement chemistry exam reader, and lesson plan developer, as well as a professional learning developer and facilitator for the pre-AP chemistry. Kristen is also an adjunct professor at her alma mater, Stony Brook University. Kristen has received numerous awards including the Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award,  AACT Chemistry Teacher of the Year Award, POGIL Early Achievement Award, and a 40 Under 40 Award through Stony Brook University.

Congratulations to ALL of the PAEMST Finalists across the country!

You can find more information about nominating a teacher or applying for the PAEMST HERE.