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President Obama Honors Outstanding Teachers and Mentors at White House


Minnesota sixth-grade math and science teacher has honor of introducing the President

On Jan. 6, President Barack Obama honored educators from across the country with awards for excellence in mathematics and science teaching and mentoring in his second “Educate to Innovate” campaign event for excellence in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The event was held in the White House East Room. The president also announced key new partnerships in his campaign to help reach the administration’s goal of moving American students from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math achievement over the next decade. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, also attended, as well as Cabinet officials, Members of Congress, and National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Arden L. Bement, Jr.

The president was introduced by Barbara Stoflet of Minnetonka, Minn. Stoflet is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching who has taught mathematics and science for more than 23 years. She described teachers as “the most fortunate of all who labor,” and said that the president “is writing history and reshaping the future for all of us.”

Background on the Presidential Awards

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is a program administered by NSF for the White House. Awards are made annually to outstanding pre-college-level science and math 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, going either to science and math teachers in grades K through 6 (as it is this year) or to those teaching in grades 7 through 12. For more information on the winners of this award, go to

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) is a program administered by NSF for the White House. Awards are made each year to individuals or organizations in recognition of the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science or engineering and who belong to minorities that are underrepresented in those fields. Candidates for the presidential mentoring award are nominated by colleagues, administrators and students from their home institutions. The mentoring can involve students at any grade level from elementary through graduate school. For more information on the winners of this award, go to this link.

Recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
(2008 competition)

Vickie Ahlstrom (Pleasant Grove, Utah)
Charles Bertsch (Polson, Mont.)
Mary Black (Dubuque, Iowa)
Georgia Boatman (Kennewick, Wash.)
Michele Brees (Burien, Wash.)
Stacie Broden (Waterbury, Conn.)
Sharon Brown (Severna Park, Md.)
James Brown (Stillwater, N.Y.)
Jane Callery (Ashford, Conn.)
Susan Carter (Saint Charles, Mo.)
Cary Cermak Rudolf (Roseburg, Ore.)
Melissa Collins (Memphis, Tenn.)
Kathleen Conroy (Charlotte, N.C.)
Zan Coonce (Reno, Nev.)
JoAnne Deshon (Newark, Del.)
Jeri Doane (Edmond, Okla.)
Kari Dresow (Sedalia, Ky.)
Keri Dowdy (Kimball, Minn.)
Christa Duthie Fox (Essex Junction, Vt.)
Candy Ellard (Austin, Texas)
Amy Ellis (Starkville, Miss.)
Gay Erb (Boise, Idaho)
Kathryn Eyolfson (Aurora, Colo.)
Diana Fesmire (Alamogordo, N.M.)
Erin Flynn (East Walpole, Mass.)
Karen Fredricks (Newark, Del.)
Christi Fricks (Pendleton, S.C.)
Sharon Hall (Maineville, Ohio)
Lana Hansen (Littleton, Colo.)
Angela Hansen Cook (Fargo, N.D.)
Michelle Harris (Anita, Iowa)
Sherry Helus (Wamego, Kan.)
Kathleen Hill (Kalispell, Mont.)
Rebecca Holden (Harrison, Tenn.)
Laura Hulsebus (Chugiak, Alaska)
David Ireland (Hermosa, S.D.)
Dana Islas (Tucson, Ariz.)
Haley James (Madison, Ala.)
Kristen Jarboe (Frankfort, Ky.)
Linda Kehr (Klamath Falls, Ore.)
Sandra Kelish (Stafford, Va.)
Barbara Kelley (Grapevine, Texas)
Rebecca Kitts (Pierre, S.D.)
Amy Knerr (Carmel, Ind.)
Susan Kunze (Bishop, Calif.)
Anne Magaha (Hatboro, Pa.)
Mary Meggett (Charleston, S.C.)
Teresa Minogue (Webster, N.H.)
Patricia Morgan (Norman, Okla.)
Kimberly Mueller (Cinnaminson, N.J.)
Susan Naylor (Parkersburg, W.Va.)
Karen Nesbit (Franklin, Wis.)
Cathleen Newton (West Hartford, Vt.)
Jennifer Norford (Charlotte Amalie, V.I.)
Monica Norwood (Little Rock, Ark.)
Suzanne O’Brien (Washington Township, Mich.)
Halley Page (Athens, Ga.)
Sally Pellegrin (Avon Lake, Ohio)
Carrie Persing (Chester, Va.)
Jon Phillips (Grand Blanc, Mich.)
Suzanne Pilon (Hilton, N.Y.)
Sara Rebecca Pittard (Ormond Beach, Fla.)
Susan Poage (Berkeley Heights, N.J.)
Kendra Pullen (Shreveport, La.)
Amy Radden (Casper, Wyo.)
Charles Reynes (Castro Valley, Calif.)
Debra Reynolds (Denham Springs, La.)
Kamilla Riek (Saint Louis, Mo.)
Jennifer Rising (Lake Forest, Ill.)
Natalie Robinson (Pleasant Grove, Utah)
Patia Rountree (Statesboro, Ga.)
Regina Scott (Greenwood, Ind.)
Deborah Seaver (Milford, Mass.)
Wendy Shelden (Cocoa, Fla.)
Cheryl Silcox (Anchorage, Alaska)
Jeanette Simmons (Pontotoc, Miss.)
Kimberly Spencer (Yarmouth, Maine)
Barbara Stoflet (Minnetonka, Minn.)
Melinda Storey (Birmingham, Ala.)
DeAnn Swofford (Olathe, Kan.)
Liane Tanigawa (Waipahu, Hawaii)
Pamela Thompson (Industry, Maine)
Loreen Whalen McMains (Herman, Neb.)
Nola Wilkinson (Decatur, Ill.)
Carol Wooten (Cary, N.C.)
Seanyelle Yagi (Kailua, Hawaii)

Recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring
(2007 and 2008 competitions)

Frank T. Bayliss Jr., San Francisco State University, Calif.
Laura Lynne J. Bottomley, North Carolina State University, N.C.
Goldie S. Byrd, North Carolina A&T State University, N.C.
Suzzette F. Chopin, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, Texas
Lesia L. Crumpton-Young, University of Central Florida , Fla.
Patricia A. DeLeon, University of Delaware, Del.
Nancy L. Elwess, SUNY College, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Benjamin C. Flores, University of Texas, El Paso, Texas
Ashanti Johnson, University of South Florida and Institute for Broadening Participation, Fla.
Susan M. Kauzlarich, University of California, Davis, Calif.
Philip Kutzko, University of Iowa, Iowa
Cato T. Laurencin, University of Virginia, Va.
Jerzy R. Leszczynski, Jackson State University, Miss.
Gabrielle Lyon, Project Exploration, Chicago, Ill.
Mary Anne Nelson, University of New Mexico, N.M.
Steven B. Oppenheimer, California State University, Northridge, Calif.
Stacy Phelps, The American Indian Institute for Innovation, S.D.
Kennedy J. Reed, Lawrence Livermore Natl. Lab. and the University of California, Calif.
Kenneth S. Sajwan, Savannah State University, Ga.
Vladimir Strelnitski, Maria Mitchell Association, Nantucket, Mass.
Valerie Wilson Cranston, Leadership Alliance, Providence, R.I.
Richard Zare, Stanford University, Calif.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2009, its budget is $9.5 billion, which includes $3.0 billion provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to over 1,900 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 44,400 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.


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