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PAEMST 2023-10-16T11:38:29-06:00


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The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. Since 1983, more than 5,200 teachers have been recognized for their contributions to mathematics and science education. Up to 108 teachers are recognized each year. Presidential Awardees receive a citation signed by the President of the United States, a trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

Nominate/Apply Today!

The PAEMST Awards honor mathematics, science, engineering, technology and computer science teachers.  This year’s cycle is open to Grade K–6 educators. To NOMINATE OR APPLY, VISIT the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching website. 

The National Science Foundation is currently accepting nominations and applications for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program. PAEMST are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K–12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching.

The PAEMST program is open to outstanding STEM teachers in the 50 states; Washington, D.C.; the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; Department of Defense Education Activity schools; and the U.S. Territories as a group.

Anyone—principals, teachers, parents, students, or members of the general public—may nominate a teacher by completing the nomination form available on the PAEMST website. To submit a nomination, you will need the teacher’s name, email address, and school contact information. If you know more than one teacher deserving of this award, you may submit more than one nomination. Teachers may also apply directly at

Presidential Awardees receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States; a trip to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities; and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. They also join a network of award-winning teachers from across the country. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on the behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.The National Science Foundation (NSF) is beginning to accept nominations and applications for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Anyone—principals, teachers, parents, students, or members of the general public—may nominate a teacher starting on August 1, 2023. Applications are due midnight on February 6, 2024.

PAEMST Application Support Canvas Course

The New Mexico State Coordinators of Mathematics and Science are excited to announce the launch of a self-paced Canvas resource as interested applicants begin their applications.

PAEMST Application Support

PAEMST Office Hours

Join New Mexico’s State Coordinators for Mathematics and Science and past PAEMST awardees starting Tuesday, October 17, 2023, from 4:00–5:00pm MST for the first of many office hours on the following topics. The state coordinators will be holding weekly office hours every Tuesday from 4:00–5:00 pm starting January 9, 2023, to February 6, 2024, to support applicants on completing the PAEMST application. For additional information please reach out to David Ubinger for Mathematics at  or Lisa Sanchez for Science at

Topic and Zoom Registration:

October 17Introductions, Getting Started, General Q&A

Register Here


November 7Timeline overview, Canvas course, General Q&A

Register Here


December 5Getting started, Canvas course, General Q&A

Register Here


December 12 Mentorship, Canvas course, General Q&A

Register Here


December 19Canvas course, Mentorship, Administrative component

Register Here


January 9, 2024Video Component and Guest Speaker TBA

Register Here


January 16, 2024 – Narrative Component Dimension 1 and 2 and Guest Speaker TBA

Register Here


January 23, 2024Narrative Component Dimension 3 and 4 and Guest Speaker TBA

Register Here


January 30, 2024Narrative Component Dimension 5 and Supplemental Materials and Guest Speaker TBA

Register Here


February 6, 2024 – Dimension 1-5 Support and Submission

Register Here


We are here to support you during the next few months as you work on your remaining application components prior to the deadline of February 6, 2024. If you need assistance or encouragement with your application, or simply want the opportunity to ask questions about certain components, be sure to register for an upcoming applicant webinar, reach out to us, or contact the PAEMST helpdesk at

Being recognized as a PAEMST awardee is a tremendous honor. Awardees receive a certificate signed by the President; a trip to Washington, D.C.; a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF); and join a prestigious cadre of awardees from across the country.

To provide support, we are including some general suggestions and advice from past awardees and judges,  guidance on the written narrative, and upcoming webinars to help you finish strong!

Preparing the Presidential Award Application

Advice from past awardees and judges about preparing the application:

  • Work with colleagues and mentors with whom you can strategize, bounce off ideas and review your writing. There are past awardees who are eager to help. Contact the state coordinator or PAEMST for help.
  • Show that you are reflective. Your thinking and growth is more important than a long list of activities and accomplishments.
  • Start uploading sections of your narrative as you complete items. You can continue to edit and replace items until you hit the final Submit button.
  • Be certain to follow exactly the guidelines on length, font, spacing, etc.
  • Contact the PAEMST helpdesk with any questions, (e.g. video format, responses to questions, citations, etc.). They are very responsive., 1-800-209-6327

Video suggestions

  • Have the video demonstrate your skill at teaching. This does not mean it has to be a lecture, but the video should show your interaction with the students and how you help them learn the concepts and skills. A video with only lab activities may not show your role in the learning as well as including some discussion.
  • The class you record does not have to be perfect. Reviewers expect to see how you respond to discipline issues and disturbances in classes.
  • Try to have good sound on the video so that the reviewers can hear your discussion with students. If it is hard to pick up the speech you could supply a transcript in the supplemental materials.
  • You may need to record several classes to get a good video. Upload it early in the application process to cover for technical problems. Note the requirements about breaks.
  • Since the video is limited to 30 minutes, describe in your narrative the activities and discussions that precede and follow the video.
  • You may have one break in the video. So you could show the lesson introduction and the start of an activity, have a break, and then show the summary of the lesson. In your narrative you should describe what happened during the break.

Attributes of Great Presidential Applications (from brainstorming by reviewers)
These are ideas that often go beyond the requirements of the PAEMST application document and make the application advance from good to outstanding:

  • Write in a claims and evidence style. Make the claim that you are doing great things (instruction, assessment, etc.) and provide the evidence to support that claim.
  • Video and supplemental materials support the claims in the narrative.
  • The focus in your narrative should be on the learning of the students and not just the mechanics of instruction.
  • In your narrative, provide citations of supporting evidence in the video (e.g. time marks), supplemental materials, and other application materials.
  • Provide citations of literature that support claims in the application.

Get a Mentor

Data shows that applicants who receive mentoring are much more likely to finish and create a competitive application. Mentors support by:

  • Reviewing and giving feedback on mentee’s application
  • Giving tips on creating a compelling application
  • Guidance on application requirements and restrictions
  • Instruction on Criteria for Five Dimensions of Outstanding Teaching
  • Helping to review the application prior to submission

Please submit your mentor requests by January 8, 2024 in the PAEMST applicant portal.

Upcoming PAEMST Webinars

We encourage you to keep the momentum going and register for an upcoming webinar.

PAEMST webinars will provide you with a detailed overview of the application process and the opportunity to ask questions. Webinars may focus on a specific section of the application, such as the video component, or be general in nature. To register for a webinar, or to view the full schedule, applicants can visit

Narrative Portion

Before starting your response, be sure to review each of the five dimensions in the Written Response template. You don’t need to enter your Written Response into the portal all at once. Instead, we recommend drafting and editing your answers in a separate document first, then copying and pasting your response into each text box. Remember, the total allowable character count for the response is 27,500 characters, including spaces. Additionally, special characters or images cannot be pasted into the text boxes. Please review the application packet for a full list of technical requirements for your Written Response.

  • Answer all parts of each question and don’t forget to edit. You can’t get credit for what you don’t do. Answer all parts completely and concisely and have someone else edit your work and grade it according to the four-point scoring scale.
  • Be honest and reflective. Teaching is a craft that we are constantly developing. We strive for perfection, but we aren’t perfect. Being a reflective practitioner is a characteristic of effective teaching. Remember, this process is about you sharing the amazing things you do in the classroom every day. Don’t try to be who you think the panelists want you to be. Be your authentic self.  
  • Use your supplemental materials wisely. This is your opportunity to demonstrate the awesome teaching and learning experiences that take place every day in your classroom. Supplementary materials can take several forms including pictures (with labels) of labs, hands-on activities, field experiences, and other engaging STEM activities.
  • Refer to the Guidance for the Narrative Portion. This document was created by past reviewers, state finalists and national awardees to support future applicants. It provides guiding questions to help you craft a response for each Dimension.

Guidance for Narrative Portion

Congratulations to the recent State Finalists!

The New Mexico Public Education Department announced on March 20, 2023 four educators who were selected as PAEMST 2023 state finalists for New Mexico. State finalists represent outstanding teachers New Mexico has to offer and serve as both a model and an inspiration to students and fellow teachers.

2023—Secondary Educators (Grades 7–12)

Kimberly Conell
Albuquerque Public Schools
7–12 Mathematics

Debbie Grothaus
Los Alamos Public Schools
7–12 Science

Amanda Kraft
New Mexico International School
7–12 Science

Christopher Speck
Albuquerque Public Schools
7–12 Science

2022—Elementary Educators (Grades K–6)

Heather Harrell
Espanola Public Schools
K–6 Science

2021—Secondary Educators (Grades 7–12)

Teresa Butcher
Grants-Cibola County Schools
7–12 Mathematics

Marila Mancha-Garcia
Albuquerque Public Schools
7–12 Mathematics

Tara Palomares
Albuquerque Public Schools
7–12 Mathematics

Lesha Harenberg
Albuquerque Public Schools
7–12 Science


Congratulations to the recent National Finalists!

SANTA FE — Two New Mexico elementary school teachers are recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the nation’s highest honor for teaching in science, technology, engineering and math.

Silvia Miranda of Mesa Elementary School in Clovis Municipal Schools received the K–6 mathematics award, and Hope Cahill of El Dorado Community School in Santa Fe Public Schools is the K–6 science awardee, the White House announced today.

Miranda taught fourth grade for eight years at Mesa Elementary, where she is now a reading specialist for kindergarten through second grade. She is a 2020 National Science Teaching Association Teacher Awards finalist and a 2018 Milken Educator Award recipient. In addition, she was Clovis Teacher of the Year in 2018 and a New Mexico Teacher of the Year finalist. She was a state ambassador for the New Mexico Teacher Leader Network for two years and served on the state Secretary’s Teacher Advisory.

Cahill has been teaching sixth and seventh grade science at El Dorado Community School since 2012. She developed an instructional unit around the study of the Socorro magma body that mirrors the work of field scientists. That work was featured in the summer 2021 edition of “The Earth Scientist,” a quarterly journal of the National Earth Science Teachers Association. She is also a group leader in STEM Santa Fe’s STEM Pathways for Girls, a conference for girls in fifth through eighth grades, and previously served on the planning committee.

The Presidential Awards are the nation’s highest distinction for teaching in science, technology, engineering, mathematics or computer science. Awardees are recognized for their contributions to teaching and learning, along with their ability to help students make progress in science, technology, engineering, mathematics or computer science. In addition to honoring individual achievement, the goal of the awards program is to showcase the highest standards of STEM teaching.

Each year, a national committee of prominent mathematicians, scientists, education researchers, district-level personnel and classroom teachers recommends up to 108 teachers to receive PAEMST awards. Up to two teachers — mathematics or science — are chosen from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Territories and schools operated in the United States and overseas by the Department of Defense Education Activity.

Historically, awardees receive a certificate signed by the president and a trip to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities. They also receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. In 2022, awardees will be recognized virtually later this month and at an in-person event as soon as COVID travel allows.

Since Congress established the Presidential Awards in 1983, more than 5,200 teachers have been honored.


For more information, contact:

Lisa Sanchez, Science PAEMST Coordinator

David Ubinger, Math PAEMST Coordinator

Page last updated October 16, 2023