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Urban Teachers Receive Presidential Math and Science Awards

  • Richard Brian OgawaRichard Brian Ogawa is the STEM Coordinator at Kanoelani Elementary School in Hawaii and teaches a STEM enrichment class for grades four through six. He is also responsible for developing project-based curriculum, providing teacher training and support and developing school-community partnerships. Angelica Niño 

    Angelica Niño is a third-grade master bilingual teacher at Lorenzo De Zavala Elementary School in San Antonio and her responsibilities include working with students having the greatest needs, tutoring those in other grade levels and mentoring other teachers. Niño is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and presents professional development training for mathematics and technology in her school and district. 

    Tolulola OdukoyaTolulola Odukoya taught science at Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School in Washington, D.C., for two years and implemented the school’s first STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fair, family STEM day, energy fair, recycling and robotics club. She currently serves as an instructional coach and has written science curriculum for the District of Columbia Public Schools. Odukoya also serves as an education consultant to summer camps and has participated in many panel discussions, including discussions on the state of STEM education for the National Institutes of Health.

    These three educators are recent recipients of the 2019 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the highest honor given by the United States government to K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teachers. The awards were established by Congress in 1983 and teachers are selected based on their performance in the classroom and dedication to improving STEM education.

    Also receiving a PAEMST were urban teachers in Reno, Hawaii, Anchorage, Albuquerque, Atlanta, St. Paul, Boston, Denver, Washington, D.C., San Antonio, Tampa, Louisville, Omaha, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Portland, Ore., Stockton, Calif., and Florida’s School District of Palm Beach County.

    Two teachers in Reno, Albuquerque, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and the School District of Palm Beach County were honored, while three teachers from Hawaii and Anchorage were honored.

    Since the program's inception, more than 4,800 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.

    The awards are administered by PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and up to 108 teachers are recognized each year.

    Recipients of the award receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation and are honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. In order to be eligible for the award, teachers must have served as a full-time K-12 educator for at least five years.