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Michigan Teachers Chosen As State Finalists for Presidential Teaching Award

LANSING – Three Michigan educators have been selected as state finalists for the 2020 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the Michigan Department of Education announced today.

  • Amanda Barbour, Discovery Elementary, Kentwood Public Schools, K-6 Science
  • Stephanie Phillips, Emma Murphy Elementary, Lapeer Community Schools, K-6 Mathematics
  • Bridget Zahradnik, Parkview Elementary, Novi Community Schools, K-6 Science


The PAEMST program is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The selections are usually made in June but, due to the pandemic, the process was pushed back until now.


“Michigan and its students are fortunate to have so many dedicated and talented teachers,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice. “We salute our three great educators and wish them the best of luck at the national level this year.”


Each year, a national committee of prominent mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science education researchers, district level personnel, and classroom teachers recommends up to 108 teachers to receive PAEMST awards.


Up to two teachers—mathematics or science—from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Territories as a group (comprising American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), and schools operated in the United States and overseas by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) receive the award.


Teachers who are selected as PAEMST awardees receive a trip to Washington, D.C., where they attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities. They also receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation and a presidential certificate, and join an elite cohort of award-winning teachers who support and promote state/jurisdiction and national science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teaching.


Nominations for the 2021 PAEMST program are currently open at The 2021 program year is open to educators who primarily teach STEM subjects to students in grades 7-12.


For more information, please visit the website or contact Michigan program coordinator Josh Roesner at


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