Skip to main content

Michigan Teachers Chosen As State Finalists for Presidential Teaching Award

LANSING Six outstanding Michigan educators, who work primarily with students in grades 7-12, have been selected as state finalists for the national 2023 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the Michigan Department of Education announced today.

Michigan’s six state finalists are:

  • Bryan Battaglia, Gene L. Klida Utica Academy for International Studies, Utica Community Schools, Science
  • Diane Cerabone, Dakota High School, Chippewa Valley Schools, Mathematics
  • Steven Koponen, Warner Middle School, Farmington Public Schools, Mathematics
  • Scott Milam, Plymouth High School, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, Science
  • Leigh Roehm, Saline Middle School, Saline Area Schools, Science
  • Karen Sleno, Flushing High School, Flushing Community Schools, Mathematics

“Michigan and its students are fortunate to have so many dedicated and talented teachers throughout the state,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice. “We salute these six strong state finalists and wish them the best of luck at the national level this year.”

The PAEMST program is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

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.

For more information, please visit the PAEMST website or contact Michigan program coordinator Jennifer Robel at