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Four NC teachers receive national math/science award

The following is a press release from NC Public Schools

Four North Carolina teachers are in Washington, D.C., this week to join teachers from across the nation to receive Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) – the highest honor bestowed by the federal government specifically for K-12 mathematics and science teaching.

The individuals announced today are awardees for 2017 and 2018.

The 2017 recipients are:

  • Wendy Bartlett, Regan High School, Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools (Mathematics)
  • Laura Lawrence, Asheville School, Asheville (Science)

The 2018 recipients are:

  • Elizabeth Gillikin, Smyrna Elementary School, Carteret County Public Schools (Mathematics)
  • Kathryn Matthews, Valle Crucis Elementary School, Watagua County Schools (Science)

Awards are given to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teachers from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity schools, or the U.S. territories as a group (American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands).

The award recognizes those teachers have both deep content knowledge of the subjects they teach and the ability to motivate and enable students to be successful in those areas. Since the program’s inception in 1983, more than 4,800 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.

Awardees reflect the expertise and dedication of the nation’s teaching corps, and they demonstrate the positive impact of excellent teachers on student achievement. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson said the state’s four honorees exemplify the highest quality classroom instruction that all students in North Carolina deserve.

“Congratulations to these outstanding teachers for their well-deserved recognition,” Johnson said.  “North Carolina is fortunate to have all of our remarkable math and science teachers working hard every day for students.”

Recipients of the award receive the following:

  • A certificate signed by the President of the United States.
  • A paid trip to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities.
  • A $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.
  • An opportunity to build lasting partnerships with colleagues across the nation.

A panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators select the winners following an initial selection process at the state level. Nomination years alternate between teachers in the kindergarten through 6th grade level, and those teaching 7th through 12th grades.

This year’s recipients represent two nomination years, one of teachers in kindergarten through 6th grade classrooms, and the other in 7th through 12th grade classrooms.

Additional information regarding this year’s Presidential awardees, including information about the annual nomination and application process, is available online. Questions regarding North Carolina’s program should be directed to state coordinator Joseph Reaper.

The nomination process for K-6 teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for the 2020 Presidential Awards is now open. Anyone can nominate a great teacher at


EdNC staff reporting relies on staff, interns, and columnists.