Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)
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The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are the Nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.
Since the program's inception, more than 4,800 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. If you know great teachers, nominate them to join this prestigious network of professionals.
In 2020 Elementary teachers (kindergarten - 6th grade) may apply. The application is due May 1, 2020.
In 2021 Secondary school teachers (grades 7 - 12) may apply. The application is due May 1, 2021.
Presidential Award Website
2016 Mathematics Awardee
"The Presidential Award is a humbling honor. I have been blessed to work with colleagues who teach me, inspire me, and support me on a daily basis. I am proud to have spent my career in Des Moines, working at a school with such a diverse group of wonderful, hardworking students. This award is truly a reflection of the work of many, and represents the power of collaboration, ongoing professional development, a loving family, and a supportive school community."
Zachry Christensen has been an educator for 17 years, teaching first, second, and fourth grades at Perkins Elementary School where he now serves as an interventionist and instructional coach. Additionally, Zachry spent two years in the Curriculum Department of Des Moines Public Schools, serving as a mathematics trainer.
Zachry works to make sure mathematics is presented in a context that is meaningful and engaging to his students. His students collaborate daily to solve rich tasks and work to discover solutions and strategies based on their flexible understanding of problems and numbers. He strives to make his classroom a place where mistakes are valued, risks are rewarded, and all students feel confident in their abilities as mathematicians.
Zachry has presented professional development at the local, state, and national levels. He has served as a Cognitively Guided Instruction trainer and an item writer and reviewer for multiple national assessments. He is a member of his building and district leadership teams and Iowa’s State Mathematics Leadership Team.
Zachry earned a B.A. in elementary education from Simpson College and a M.A. in education from Viterbo University. In addition to being certified as a kindergarten through sixth grade classroom and reading teacher, he is certified to teach K-12 language arts and French.
Mathematics Past Awardees
See the biographies of Iowa's past awardees on the national PAEMST website.
|2016||K-6||Zachry Christensen||Perkins Elementary School||Des Moines|
|2015||7-12||Richard Brooks||Johnston High School||Johnston|
|2014||K-6||Ann Johnson||Sageville Elementary School||Dubuque|
|2013||7-12||Allysen Lovstuen||Decorah High School||Decorah|
|2013||7-12||Brian Reece||Central Academy||Des Moines|
|2012||K-6||Josie Burg||Downtown School||Des Moines|
|2011||7-12||Karla Digmann||George Washington Middle School||Dubuque|
|2010||K-6||Barbara Leise||Downtown School||Des Moines|
|2009||7-12||Matthew Miller||George Washington High School||Cedar Rapids|
|2008||K-6||Mary Black||Irving Elementary School||Dubuque|
|2007||7-12||Susan Royer||Kuemper Catholic School System||Carroll|
|2006||K-6||Jennifer Johnson||Jefferson Elementary School||Des Moines|
|2005||7-12||Linda Seeger||Okoboji High School||Milford|
|2004||K-6||Marcia Carlson||Crestview Elementary School||Clive|
|2003||7-12||Virginia Swenson||Ames High School||Ames|
|2002||7-12||Margaret Magner||Independence Middle School||Independence|
|2002||K-6||Christina Nugent||Fulton School||Dubuque|
|2001||7-12||Angelia Shindelar||Nodaway Valley Middle School||Fontanelle|
|2001||K-6||Denise Carlson||Gilbert Elementary School||Gilbert|
|2000||7-12||Debra Tvrdik||Fort Dodge Senior High School||Fort Dodge|
|2000||K-6||Annette Louk||Webster City Middle School||Webster City|
|1999||7-12||Jean Krusi||Ames Middle School||Ames|
|1999||K-6||Diana Schmidt||Edwards Elementary School||Ames|
|1998||7-12||Mary Dilts||Theodore Roosevelt High School||Des Moines|
|1998||K-6||Pamela Fox||Titan Hill Intermediate School||Council Bluffs|
|1997||7-12||Joseph Zimmerman||Central Academy||Des Moines|
|1997||K-6||Karen Voss||Merrill Middle School||Des Moines|
|1996||7-12||Cheryl Ross||Mason City High School||Mason City|
|1996||K-6||Christine Schultz||Abraham Lincoln High School||Council Bluffs|
|1995||7-12||Michael Link||Central Academy||Des Moines|
|1995||K-6||Jacquelin Smith||Malcolm Price Laboratory School||Cedar Falls|
|1994||7-12||Bret Hoyer||John F. Kennedy High School||Cedar Rapids|
|1994||K-6||Karen Hoiberg||Abbie Sawyer Elementary School||Ames|
|1993||7-12||Ronald Fox||Lewis Central High School||Council Bluffs|
|1993||K-6||Mary Elizabeth Jorgensen||Kate Wickham Elementary||Coralville|
|1992||7-12||Jill Moser||Stilwell Junior High School||West Des Moines|
|1992||K-6||Eleanor Thomas||Northwood Elementary School||Ames|
|1991||7-12||Curtis Tauke||Monticello Middle/High School||Monticello|
|1991||K-6||Judy Christiansen||West Ridge Elementary School||Harlan|
|1990||7-12||James Maltas||Malcolm Price Laboratory School||Cedar Falls|
|1990||K-6||Shelva Boyd||Gertrude Fellows Elementary School||Ames|
|1989||7-12||Earl Ockenga||Malcolm Price Laboratory School||Cedar Falls|
|1988||7-12||Pauline Antons||Midland Community||Wyoming|
|1987||7-12||David Griffin||Bettendorf Middle School||Bettendorf|
|1986||7-12||Christopher Olsen||George Washington Senior High School||Cedar Rapids|
|1985||7-12||Tom Meskel||Mason City High School||Mason City|
|1984||7-12||Karen Dotseth||Cedar Falls High School||Cedar Falls|
|1983||7-12||Roger Fuerstenberg||Sudlow Junior High School||Davenport|
2016 Science Awardee
"Being honored with the Presidential Award is both exciting and humbling. I am so proud of the work the professionals in my district do each day to enrich student learning, and I know that without their support I would not be the teacher I am today. I am encouraged and excited by this award to continue challenging students to take risks in their learning and engage in their passions to prepare them for the future they may choose."
Ashley Flatebo has been an instructional coach in the Mason City School District for the past school year. She has also taught fifth grade science and social studies at Lincoln Intermediate, as well as sixth grade science and reading, and eighth grade science at John Adams Middle School during her 13 year career in the Mason City Community School District.
Her belief in providing students with experiences to enrich their learning has led her to coach FIRST LEGO League, as well as to judge, plan, and host VEX Robotics tournaments--taking advantage of multiple STEM grants to support these activities and benefit her students. She has also planned a community STEAM Festival at Lincoln Intermediate for three years where local businesses show students how their STEM learning applies outside of the classroom.
Ashley was accepted to the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy in 2012 and the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy in 2014. She has presented at many different conferences for STEM and the Iowa Core over the past six years.
Ashley earned a B.A. in elementary and middle level education from the University of Northern Iowa with a basic science minor. She holds a reading endorsement from Buena Vista University, and a M.A. in education from Morningside College. She is certified to teach kindergarten through eighth grade.
Science Past Awardees
See the biographies of Iowa's past awardees on the national PAEMST website.
|2016||K-6||Ashley Flatebo||Lincoln Intermediate||Mason City|
|2015||7-12||Lynnetta Bleeker||Parkview Middle School||Ankeny|
|2014||K-6||Joshua Steenhoek||Jefferson Intermediate School||Pella|
|2013||7-12||No award given in this area.|
|2012||K-6||Mason Kuhn||Shell Rock Elementary||Shell Rock|
|2011||7-12||Jody Stone||Northern University High School||Cedar Falls|
|2010||K-6||Brandon Schrauth||Beaver Creek Elementary||Johnston|
|2009||7-12||Jessica Gogerty||North High School||Des Moines|
|2008||K-6||Michelle Harris||Anita Elementary School||Anita|
|2007||7-12||Justine Heckman||Abraham Lincoln High School||Council Bluffs|
|2005||7-12||Danielle Spaete||Pleasant Valley High School||Pleasant Valley|
|2004||K-6||Kari Ringgenberg-Pingel||Jefferson Elementary School||Pella|
|2003||7-12||Kevin Brasser||South O'Brien School||Paullina|
|2002||7-12||Susan Vogel||Thomas Jefferson High School||Cedar Rapids|
|2001||7-12||Julie Townsend||Parkview Middle School||Ankeny|
|2000||7-12||Yvette McCulley||Kirn Jr. High School||Council Bluffs|
|2000||K-6||Susan Haugen||Kennedy Elementary School||Dubuque|
|1999||7-12||Lyn Countryman||Malcolm Price Laboratory School||Cedar Falls|
|1999||K-6||Karla Snodgrass||Western Hills Elementary School||West Des Moines|
|1998||7-12||James Hurley||Waverly-Shell Rock High School||Waverly|
|1998||K-6||Jeanne Burns||Gunn Elementary School||Council Bluffs|
|1997||7-12||Curtis Froyen||Knoxville High School||Knoxville|
|1997||K-6||Shelba Oberto||Colfax-Mingo Elementary School||Des Moines|
|1996||7-12||John Kounas||Westwood High School||Sloan|
|1996||K-6||Elizabeth Laughlin||North Hill Elementary School||Burlington|
|1995||7-12||Karen Sievers||Callanan Middle School||Des Moines|
|1995||K-6||Margaret Ann Sadeghpour-Kramer||North Cedar Middle School||Clarence|
|1994||7-12||Ernest Schiller||Central Lee High School||Donnellson|
|1994||K-6||James Christensen||Galva-Holstein Middle School||Galva|
|1993||7-12||Hector Ibarra||West Branch Middle School||West Branch|
|1993||K-6||Cindy Roberts||Wall Lake-View Auburn Schools||Wall Lake|
|1992||7-12||Daniel McGrail||Carlisle High School||Carlisle|
|1992||K-6||C. Christensen||Malcolm Price Laboratory Schooll||Cedar Falls|
|1991||7-12||Theresa Knapp Holtzclaw||Valley High School||West Des Moines|
|1991||K-6||Joan Braunagel McShane||Jefferson Elementary School||Davenport|
|1990||7-12||Jan Wielert||Iowa City West High School||Iowa City|
|1990||K-6||Suzanne Kelly||Warren H. Meeker Elementary School||Ames|
|1989||7-12||Floyd Sturtevant||Ames High School||Ames|
|1988||7-12||Morgan Masters||Chariton Community Schools||Chariton|
|1987||7-12||Sandra Walton||Dubuque Senior High School||Dubuque|
|1986||7-12||Ross Iverson||Miller Junior High School||Marshalltown|
|1985||7-12||Donald Schaefer||Bettendorf High School||Bettendorf|
|1984||7-12||Kenneth Hartman||Ames Junior High School||Ames|
|1983||7-12||Karen Stiles||Nathan Week Transitional||Des Moines|