The White House has named the latest recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, one of the nation’s highest honors in education, and a DMPS educator is among this year’s honorees.

Bradley Jacobson, one of this year’s PAEMST recipients, has been a high school science teacher for 15 years, and is preparing to begin his 5th years at Central Academy.

Awardees are selected from schools in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the United States territories which includes American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.  Nominations and awards are facilitated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science Foundation. Established in 1983, PAEMST is the highest award given by the U.S. Government to kindergarten through 12th grade teachers of mathematics and science, including computer science. A panel of distinguished mathematicians, scientists, and educators at the State and National levels assess the applications before recommending nominees to OSTP.  Teachers are selected based on their distinction in the classroom and dedication to improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

“The single biggest impact on my views of science/STEM teaching and learning comes from my personal experience in my high school physics class,” Jacobson said last Fall when it was announced he was a finalist for the award. “My high school physics teacher made science fun, engaging, and challenging. He showed us that you can learn physics through the eyes of a scientist…We learned physics by being scientists.”

Jacobson also credits his students for helping him become an exceptional teacher: “During high school, students are discovering who they are and what drives them. That may or may not be science, but their excitement and enthusiasm is infectious…and reignites my own enthusiasm for learning.”

Jacobson is the thirteenth 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)
  • 2012: Josie Burg, Downtown School (Mathematics)
  • 2013: Brian Reece, Central Academy (Mathematics)
  • 2016: Zachry Christensen, Perkins Elementary School (Mathematics)

Click here to read an interview with Jacobson from last September when he was announced as a PAEMST finalist.

Click here to read the official announcement from the White House.

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