The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematic and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science (including computer science). Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.
Since 1983, more than 5,200 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.
For more information or to nominate yourself or a fellow teacher, please visit the PAEMST website.
2023 Idaho PAEMST Winners
Naomi Finnegan teaches both high school math and science at Grangeville High School. Naomi is a master at engaging her students in the Standards for Mathematical Practice with rigorous content. She has a M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Western Governors University and a B.S in Mathematics and Physical Science Education from University of Western Montana. Naomi worked with Region 2’s Regional Math Center to bring lesson study to her school, which modeled using lesson observations and reflections to improve math and science instruction. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Idaho Council Teachers of Mathematics. Naomi says, “I love learning about effective and engaging practices for student learning and then implementing them into my classroom.”
Suzanne Fore teaches Advanced Mathematics and Student Leadership courses at Centennial High School in West Ada School District. Suzanne uses unit projects that help students apply advanced mathematical concepts to real-world scenarios. She has an M.S from National University in Instructional Leadership along with both an MA in Curriculum and Instruction and a BA in Mathematics from University of San Diego. Suzanne’s career has combined her passion for mathematics with making a difference through a variety of leadership roles. She says, “Besides having sound knowledge of mathematics, it is necessary for me as a teacher to be engaging, a good motivator, a caring person who can meet students exactly where they are.”
Dr. Duane Peck
Dr. Duane Peck teaches eighth grade mathematics at Sage Valley Middle School in Vallivue School District. Duane believes students learn from social interactions, and group discussions are powerful tools for helping students learn from each other. He has a Ph. D in Education and an Ed. S in Educational Leadership from University of Idaho and a M.A. in Educational Administration from Idaho State University. His B. A in Science Secondary Education is from Utah State University. Duane’s career in education includes extensive experience providing professional development for mathematics teachers around the state and in his district. His teaching models the best practices he has taught others about. Duane says, “Together we will continue to help students approach the learning of mathematics with confidence and a growth mindset. Now, more than ever, our students need to know they are capable of understanding and applying mathematics in their lives now and in the future.”
Natalie Woods teaches advanced mathematics classes at Thunder Ridge High School in Bonneville Joint School District. Her passion as a teacher is to inspire and empower students through mathematics. Natalie has an M.A. from Concordia University in Mathematics Curriculum and Instruction and a B.A. in Physics and Mathematics Education from Arizona State University. Natalie has contributed to mathematics education in Idaho by serving on the Board of Directors for the Idaho Council Teachers of Mathematics, serving as a mentor teacher and reviewing curricular materials and assessments. Natalie says, “Idaho mathematics educators are committed to empowering students of all ability levels. I am honored to be a PAEMST finalist and to help showcase how we are designing and achieving student success!”
Amber McVey teaches middle and high school Earth Science and Astronomy at West Ada School District’s Virtual School House. She is a master at online learning, STEM integration and community partnerships. Amber has a B.A. in Elementary Education, English Literature and English Education and an M.A. in Reading Education, Educational Leadership and Teaching English to Students of Other Languages from Boise State University. Amber’s leadership experiences demonstrate her generous nature and deep desire to share and advance science, math and technology programs with students and other teachers. Amber says, “the success of my students are indicators of my passion and effectiveness for teaching to the utmost of my ability.”
Kameron Yeggy teaches Astronomy at Timberline High School in Boise School District. He is dedicated to sharing his passions for scientific processes and philosophies with his students and community. Kameron has a B.S. in Geology and Physics Secondary Education from Idaho State University and a M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho. Kameron’s leadership in his school has contributed to increased enrollment in advanced science classes and increased engagement in STEM subjects throughout the school. He also serves as a mentor to students through programs such as NASA’s Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars program, Sources of Strength youth mental health program, and Wolf Connection student/community leadership. Kameron says, “This award encourages me to continue serving as an advocate for the student experience in modern education. I believe wholeheartedly in the potential of all my students, so I will use my nomination as a PAEMST finalist as an opportunity to further amplify their voices as agents of change.”
2022 Idaho PAEMST Winners
Josh Langenbach received the PAEMST award in elementary mathematics while teaching 6th grade at Lowell Elementary School in Boise. He works to make sure that the needs of all learners are met. Josh earned a M.A. in curriculum and instruction from Boise State University as well as a graduate certificate for the Mathematics Consulting Teacher Endorsement. His B.S in Kinesioloy is from Sonoma State University. Josh participated in the Researching Order of Teacher project and the Math Leadership Network through Boise State University. His principal said that “Mr. Langenbach uses excellent instructional practices and strategies that support student learning. He is committed to his students, and creates rich math and science experiences and authentic learning tasks to enrich his students’ conceptual understanding and proficiency in these content areas.”
Dr. Kellie Taylor
Dr. Kellie Taylor received the PAEMST award in elementary mathematics while teaching 2nd and 3rd grade students and worked with 3rd through 6th grade students in an after-school robotics program at Hawthorne Elementary School in Boise. She artfully brings math and science to life in her classroom. Dr. Taylor was an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow and earned both her Ed. D. and an M.S in Educational Technology from Boise State University. Her B.A is in Elementary Education, also from Boise State. Dr. Taylor has won numerous awards and grants such as the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association Excellence Award and K-6 Industry’s Excellent Educators Dedicated to STEM Award. She is a champion for STEM education both inside and outside of the classroom. Her principal says that “Kellie’s love for STEM is contagious! She pours such creativity and through into the planning process.”
Shanna Marshall received the PAEMST award in elementary science while teaching 4th grade at Sorensen Magnet School of the Arts and Humanities in Coeur d’ Alene. She has served in many leadership roles at her school including the Science Lead Teacher, Arts Leadership Team and Building Technology Leader. She has mentored multiple student teachers and is a leader both in the classroom and in the community for science education. She was a founding board member for “Growing the STEM” a nonprofit that organizes and supports math and science programs for students in CDA public schools. Shanna earned a Masters of Instruction from Drexel University and a B.S in Behavioral Science from Charter Oak State College. Her principal says, “As a veteran teacher, Shanna has a clear understanding of our curriculum, State standards, and age appropriate content. Her lessons always utilize different modalities for clear and meaningful hands-on learning and modeling and utilize the latest technologies, manipulatives, terminology, and differentiated instructional opportunities for diverse learners.”
Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion, and are invited to Washington, DC, for an awards ceremony, as well educational and celebratory events, and visits with members of the Administration. Idaho’s awardees are shown below:
2018: Vonda Franklin, Washington Elementary School, Boise School District, K-6 Mathematics
2019: Jerod Morehouse, Timberline High School, Boise School District, 7-12 Mathematics
2020: Leigh Wilson, Potlatch Elementary School, Potlach School District, K-6 Mathematics
2017: Sean Boston, Capital High School, Boise School District, 7-12 Science
Erin Tiderman-Gross, Rocky Mountain High School, West Ada School District, 7-12 Science
2018: Deirdre Abrams, Donnelly Elementary School, McCall-Donnelly School District, K-6 Science
2020: Courtney Greene, Bryan Elementary, Coeur D'Alene School District, K-6 Science
For previous Idaho PAEMST winners, please visit the PAEMST Awardees webpage.