West Virginia’s Top Math and Science Teachers Honored

May 29, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The state’s most innovative and creative math and science teachers were honored today at the Governor’s Mansion in Charleston. The teachers were recognized for receiving the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).


PAEMST is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th grade mathematics or science teacher can receive for outstanding teaching in the United States.  Enacted by Congress in 1983, this program authorizes the President of the United States to honor up to 108 awardees each year.  The National Science Foundation (NSF) administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. 


West Virginia’s 2007 National Level Awardees were:



Holly Plunkett, University High School, Monongalia County



Mickie Richardson, Parkersburg South High School, Wood County 


Other 2007 state finalists were:



Cynthia Burke, Sherrard Junior High School, Marshall County



Joyce Duvall, Parkersburg High School, Wood County

Terri Sappington, University High School, Monongalia County


Awards are given to mathematics and science teachers from each of the 50 States and four U.S. jurisdictions (Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, Department of Defense Schools, and the U.S. territories as a group).  The teachers are recognized for their contributions to teaching and learning and their ability to help students make progress in mathematics and science.


In addition to honoring individual achievement, the goal of the award program is to exemplify the highest standards of mathematics and science teaching.  Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.  The program provides teachers with an opportunity to build lasting partnerships with colleagues across the nation.  This growing network of award-winning teachers serves as a vital resource for improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and keeping America globally competitive. 


Recipients of the National Level Award received:


  • A citation signed by the President of the United States
  • A paid trip for two to Washington, DC, to attend a weeklong series of recognition events and professional development opportunities
  • Gifts from program sponsors from around the country
  • A $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation

Also recognized during the event today were the 2006 National Level Awardees:



Cathy Walker, John Adams Middle School, Kanawha County



MaryLu Hutchins, Steenrod Elementary School, Ohio County


The PAEMST reception was sponsored by Governor Joe Manchin and First Lady Gayle Manchin, the NSF, the West Virginia Board of Education and the West Virginia Department of Education.


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