Hardin Valley Middle teacher finalist for national award

Beth KinnaneDeep West, Our Town Leaders, Our Town Teens

A Hardin Valley Middle School teacher is among six Tennessee educators named as finalists for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST). This is the highest honor in the Untied States for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics and/or computer science teachers according to the Tennessee Department of Education.


“I would like to congratulate Hardin Valley Middle School’s Bethany Saunders for this achievement for Knox County Schools,” said Lt. Gov. Randy McNally. “Our schools are increasingly some of the best in the nation, and I am grateful we are recognizing those teachers who are inspiring our children to achieve – especially in the areas of math and science.”

Bethany Saunders

Administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the PAEMST program recognizes awardees for their contributions to teaching and learning, along with their ability to help students make progress in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science. In addition to honoring individual achievement, the goal of the awards program is to showcase the highest standards of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teaching.

“These finalists represent the most outstanding STEM teachers Tennessee has to offer, and this recognition of their work and passion is a true inspiration to students and fellow teachers,” said Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “We applaud and celebrate their hard work, their many sacrifices on behalf of their students and their commitment to STEM education.”

Each of the state finalists will now move on to the national selection committee, who will identify up to two teachers — one in mathematics and one in science — from each state.

Teachers who are selected as PAEMST awardees receive a trip to Washington, D.C., where they attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities. They also receive a $10,000 award from NSF, a Presidential certificate and join an elite cohort of award-winning teachers who can influence state and national STEM teaching.

To learn more about the PAEMST go here.

Information provided be the Tennessee Department of Education.

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