PLTW Florida Teacher Honored with Presidential Award

INDIANAPOLIS- (June 12, 2013) Project Lead The Way Gateway To Technology teacher Kathleen Jones received the highest honor given to teachers in the United States Monday afternoon. Jones was notified that she is one of just 97 U.S. teachers to win the 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). She was selected as one of two teachers for the award in the state of Florida.

A math teacher at Surfside Middle School in Panama City Beach, Fl., Jones is also a certified PLTW master teacher for the Gateway To Technology curriculum, a program which she has taught alongside her math classes at Surfside Middle School since 2008.

Reached by email Tuesday, Jones told PLTW she was notified of her award Monday afternoon while teaching a PLTW Core Training Institute at Florida State University Panama City. She will travel to Washington, D.C., along with the other 96 PAEMST awardees the last week of June to be honored by President Obama and receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

Though recognized for her teaching in math, Jones says she believes her teaching of PLTW’s Gateway To Technology curriculum did play a role in her winning of the PAEMST. Gateway To Technology is PLTW’s middle school curriculum, a project-based curriculum designed to challenge and engage the natural curiosity and imagination of middle school students. Gateway To Technology integrates the knowledge students learn in their math and science classes with a hands-on, project-based STEM curriculum. It introduces students to STEM subjects and provides them with a solid foundation for further STEM learning in high school and beyond.

According the PAEMST website, the “award recognizes those teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning.”

“Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.”

Congress established the PAEMST program in 1983, authorizing the President of the United States to bestow up to 108 awards each year. Awards are given to math and science teachers from each of the 50 states and four U.S. jurisdictions, including Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Department of Defense Education Activity schools, and the U.S. territories as a group (American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Since 1983, more than 4,100 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.

The PAEMST alternates each year between awarding teachers of grades K-6 and 7-12. The nomination deadline for K-6 teachers for the 2012 award closed in May. Nominations for the 2013 PAEMST award for 7-12 grade teachers opens this fall.

Please join Project Lead The Way in congratulating Kathleen Jones on this highest honor, the 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.