News Releases

President Obama Names DMPS Educator Recipient of Math and Science Teaching Award

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Earlier this afternoon, the White House issued the press release pasted below naming the winners of this year’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The 102 winners are selected from finalists nominated by the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Department of Defense.

One of this year’s winners representing Iowa is Josie Burg, a math teacher at the Downtown School. She is a native of Decorah who has taught in Des Moines Public Schools for the past eight years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from UNI and a master’s degree from Drake University. Josie will travel to Washington, DC early next year for a recognition ceremony, including a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

Josie is the tenth DMPS teacher to receive this prestigious national award since its creation in 1983.

Previous DMPS recipients (and the school they taught at when receiving the award) were:

  • 1983: Karen Stiles, Weeks Middle School (Science)
  • 1995: Michael Link, Central Academy (Mathematics)
  • 1995: Karen Sievers, Callanan Middle School (Science)
  • 1997: Karen Voss, Merrill Middle School (Mathematics)
  • 1997: Joseph Zimmerman, Central Academy (Mathmatics)
  • 1998: Mary Dilts, Roosevelt High School (Mathematics)
  • 2006: Jennifer Johnson, Jefferson Elementary School (Mathematics)
  • 2009: Jessica Gogerty, North High School (Science)
  • 2010: Barbara Leise, Downtown School (Mathematics)

Two of Iowa’s three math finalists for next year’s award are also DMPS teachers: Jeff Marks of Roosevelt High School and Brian Reece of Central Academy.


President Obama Honors Outstanding Math and Science Teachers

WASHINGTON, DC — President Obama today named 102 mathematics and science teachers as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. This year’s awardees represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Department of Defense Education Activity. The educators will receive their awards at a Washington, DC, event in the coming year.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level. Each year the award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades. The 2012 awardees named today teach kindergarten through 6th grade.

Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also are invited to Washington, DC, for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and the Administration.

“These teachers are inspiring today’s young students to become the next generation of American scientists, mathematicians, and innovators,” President Obama said. “Through their passion and dedication, and by sharing their excitement about science, technology, engineering, and math, they are helping us build a promising future for all our children.”

Excellent math and science teachers, exemplified by these awardees, are critical to getting more students engaged in the increasingly important science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. That’s why President Obama has committed to strengthening STEM education and has called for preparing 100,000 excellent science and mathematics teachers over the next decade—a goal that inspired the creation of “100kin10,” a coalition of leading corporations, philanthropies, universities, service organizations, and others working to train and retain STEM teachers across the Nation. The President has also proposed to further strengthen the STEM teaching profession by launching a new STEM Master Teacher Corps, leveraging the expertise of some of our nation’s best and brightest teachers in science and mathematics to elevate the teaching of these subjects nationwide.

Nominations for the 2014 PAEMST are open through April 1, 2014. For more information about PAEMST, please visit www.paemst.org.

The recipients of the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are:

Alabama
Danielle Peterson, Hoover (Math)
Rita Schell, Homewood (Science)

Alaska
Rebecca Himschoot, Sitka (Science)
Amy Laufer, Anchorage (Math)

Arizona
Allison Davis, Chandler (Math)
Cindy Piano, Glendale (Science)

Arkansas
Jennifer Richardson, Greenbrier (Science)
Christi Snow, Springdale (Math)

California
Jamie Garner, Turlock (Math)
Alma Park, East Palo Alto (Science)

Colorado
Elizabeth Grabois, Denver (Science)
Joan Standefer, Boulder (Math)

Connecticut
Mary Servino, Bridgeport (Science)
Maren Sussman, Ellington (Math)

Delaware
Timothy Dalby, Wilmington (Science)
Jeanine Moore, Millsboro (Math)

Department of Defense Education Activity
Carol Fears (Math)
Marilyn Hawks (Science)

District of Columbia
Katrina Abdussalaam (Math)
Martha Estroff (Science)

Florida
Nancy Bourne, Jupiter (Math)
Barbara Wilcox, Cocoa (Science)

Georgia
Christy Garvin, Powder Springs (Science)
Jeanne Rast, Hapeville (Math)

Hawaii
Laura Fukumoto, Honolulu (Math)
Dave Morishige, Mililani (Science)

Idaho
Tauna Johnson, Genesse (Science)
Donna Wommack, Genesse (Math)

Illinois
Lisa Feltman, Algonquin (Math)
Bryan Lake, Urbana (Science)

Indiana
Teresa Gross, Greenwood (Science)
Jay Vahle, Carmel (Math)

Iowa
JOSIE BURG, DES MOINES (Math)
Mason Kuhn, Shell Rock (Science)

Kansas
Lindsey Constance, Shawnee (Science)
Cathy Wilber, Wamego (Math)

Kentucky
Suzanne Farmer, Danville (Math)
Patricia Works, Lexington (Science)

Louisiana
Donna Lamonte, Baton Rouge (Math)
Amanda Warren, Mandeville (Science)

Maine
Karen Jagolinzer, Yarmouth (Math)
Elizabeth Heidemann, Cushing (Science)

Maryland
Timothy Emhoff, Indian Head (Science)
Kris Hanks, Glen Burnie (Math)

Massachusetts
Erin Dukeshire, Roxbury (Science)
Jessica Findlay, Douglas (Math)

Michigan
Brian Peterson, Rochester (Science)
Emily Theriault-Kimmey, Ann Arbor (Math)

Minnesota
Cathy Kindem, Apple Valley (Science)
Michael Wallus, Saint Paul (Math)

Mississippi
Catherine Tebo, Jackson (Math)

Missouri
Laura Parn, Wentzville (Math)
Ragan Webb, Columbia (Science)

Montana
Elizabeth Matthews, Gallatin Gateway (Science)
Melissa Romano, Helena (Math)

Nebraska
Alysia Augustus, Bellevue (Math)
Kimberly Humphrey, Kearney (Science)

Nevada
Ryan Doetch, Sparks (Math)
Traci Loftin, Reno (Science)

New Hampshire
Holly Doe, Pelham (Science)

New Jersey
Jennifer Basner, Berlin (Math)
Jeanette Scillieri, Leonia (Science) 

New Mexico
Anna Suggs, Las Cruces (Science)
Vivian Valencia, Espanola (Math)

New York
Helen Rogosin, New York (Science)
Joshua Rosen, Dobbs Ferry (Math)

North Carolina
Teresa Cowan, Swannanoa (Science)
Tonya Kepley, China Grove (Math)

North Dakota
Kristine Brandt, Fargo (Math)
Kathleen Lentz, Valley City (Science)

Ohio
Natalie Harr, Mantua (Science)
Elizabeth Pitzer, Arcanum (Math)

Oklahoma
Carol Huett, Moore (Science)
Patricia Reece, Bokoshe (Science)

Oregon
Kerry Morton, Bend (Math)

Pennsylvania
Susan Bauer, Macungie (Science)
Michael Soskil, Newfoundland (Math)

Puerto Rico
Maria Cerra-Castaner, Rio Pierdras (Math)

Rhode Island
Regina Kilday, Exeter (Math)
Clare Ornburn, Ashaway (Science)

South Carolina
John Dearybury III, Spartanburg (Science)
Donald Sarazen, Columbia (Math)

South Dakota
Ann Anderson, Belle Fourche (Science)
Erin Marsh, Pierre (Math)

Tennessee
Margaret Hawkins, Lebanon (Science)
Amber Hodge, Knoxville (Math)

Texas
Wendy Hendry, Colleyville (Math)
Kent Page, San Antonio (Science)

Utah
Rebecca Elder, Murray (Math)
Julie Hammari, Spanish Fork (Science)

Vermont
Carol Joy Dobson, Weybridge (Math)
Mary Ellis, Enosburg Falls (Math)

Virginia
Stephanie Chlebus, Alexandria (Math)
Elizabeth Miller, Richmond (Science)

Washington
Pamela Nolan-Beasley, Waitsburg (Science)
Nancy Pfaff, Redmond (Math)

West Virginia
Barbara Black, Hurricane (Science)
Gabrielle Rhodes, Buckhannon (Science)

Wisconsin
Mary Fernan, Milton (Math)
Kathleen Hiteman, Middleton (Science)

Wyoming
Laurie Graves, Big Horn (Science)
Kathleen Kniss, Laramie (Math)

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