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Mississippi Math, Science Teachers Earn National Recognition

August 15, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi State Board of Education will recognize the 2015-16 state finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) Program on Thursday, August 18. The PAEMST Program is the nation’s highest honor for teachers of mathematics and science (including computer science).

Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.

“I congratulate these state finalists who represent Mississippi and our teaching profession admirably. These prestigious honors confirm what we already know. Mississippi has some of the best and brightest teachers in the country,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.

The PAEMST program, established in 1983 by the White House, allows each state to select up to five state finalists in mathematics and up to five state finalists in science. One of the state finalists in each content area will be selected as the Presidential Awardee for the state, which is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. The Mississippi’s four finalists are:

Angela August - a 4th grade teacher at 28th Street Elementary in the Gulfport School District

A 19-year veteran teacher, August has a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in elementary education. She is currently seeking a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. Her personal philosophy on teaching is that “every child can learn and should be provided a learning experience that is engaging and meaningful.”

“I am honored to be a state finalist and grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of this amazing experience,” August said.

Angela McKinnon – a 5th grade Math and Science teacher at Lewisburg Elementary in DeSoto County Schools

McKinnon has been teaching for over 23 years. She earned the B.S. in Education and believes her mission is to “create both enthusiasm and a strong foundation for lifelong learning.”

“I am very humbled to be given this opportunity to represent my school, students, fellow teachers, district, and state as a state-level finalist for this prestigious award,” McKinnon said.

Meredith Sanders – a 5th grade Math teacher at Kosciusko Upper Elementary in the Kosciusko School District

Sanders has been teaching for 13 years. She earned an Associate’s degree and the B.S. in Elementary Education. Sanders said it is vital to keep students actively engage in a positive atmosphere of learning. As a result, students will be able to view mathematics as an “exciting adventure” through real-word examples, technology and the use of hands-on materials.

“Being a state-level finalist is a tremendous honor that would not be possible without the dedicated educators and administrators I have been blessed to work with in my teaching career, the groups of students who continue to inspire and challenge me every year, and my family who supports my passion for teaching,” Sanders said.

Adrine Williams – a 4th and 5th grade Science teacher at Baker Elementary in Jackson Public Schools

Williams, who has taught for 9 years, earned the B.S. in Biology and a Master’s degree in Education. She said she believes that her daily interaction with academics, coupled with love and care of students, will have a sizable impact on the leading scientists of tomorrow.

“Being selected as a state-level finalist gives me a feeling of thankfulness, as I am rejoicing with continuous enthusiasm towards teaching science to ensure a quality education while making sure students feel loved and accepted,” Williams said.

Media Contact: 
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR
Director of Communications
601-359-3706 

Jean Cook, APR
Communications Specialist
601-359-3519