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5 teachers named finalists for prestigious award

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Five Iowa educators have been named 2020 finalists in the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The announcement of finalists were delayed to this year because of the pandemic.

They are:


  • Angie Bonthuis, kindergarten, Gilbert Community School District
  • Janet Riordan, kindergarten, Southeast Polk Community School District
  • Angela Schneden, first grade, Ankeny Community School District


  • Sarah Borzo, former 6th Grade Science Teacher, Waukee Community School District (now Education and Outreach Coordinator for Metro Waste Authority)
  • Debra Huftalin, 3rd grade teacher, Osage Community Schools

Teachers are selected based on their distinction in the classroom and dedication to improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

The PAEMST program, administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, recognizes outstanding teachers for their contributions to the teaching and learning of mathematics and science.

PAEMST is the highest recognition that a kindergarten-through-12th grade mathematics or science (including computer science) teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Since 1983, more than 5,000 teachers nationwide have been recognized for this honor.

Winners will be announced later this year.

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Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on October 17, 2021 at 8:34pm.