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February 10, 2022

Two Mississippi teachers receive Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Mary Apel

Two Mississippi teachers earned national recognition this week as recipients of the 2020 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

The mathematics teachers are Millicent Gunter of Bayou View Elementary in the Gulfport School District and Laura Bivins of Ann Smith Elementary in the Madison County School District.

“These teachers represent the best of the best,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “I join with their schools, districts and communities in congratulating them for receiving this well-deserved national recognition.”

Established in 1983, PAEMST is the highest award kindergarten through 12th grade mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers can receive from the U.S. government. Each year, the award criteria alternates years between kindergarten through sixth grade and seventh through 12th grade teachers. This year, kindergarten through sixth grade teachers received the awards.

Award recipients over the years represent schools and organizations from all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) schools, and the U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands).

Nominees complete a rigorous application process that allows them to demonstrate deep content knowledge and their ability to adapt to a broad range of learners and teaching environments.

A panel of distinguished mathematicians, scientists and educators at the state and national levels assess the applications before recommending nominees to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Teachers are selected based on their distinction in the classroom and dedication to improving STEM education.

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