Two MEA members receive presidential awards in math, science

Brian PetersonRochester elementary science teacher Brian Peterson and Emily Theriault-Kimmey, an elementary math teacher in Ann Arbor, are recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Peterson teaches fifth grade at Musson Elementary School in Rochester and is also an instructor at Oakland University. He said, “I’m pleased to see teachers getting recognition because so much of the discussion around education lately has been negative. It means a lot that it’s important enough for the country that we honor teachers.”

Theriault-Kimmey is the lead teacher at Pattengill Elementary School in Ann Arbor where she has taught for 13 of her 15 years as a teacher. She said, “Receiving this award is an incredible experience. I’m accepting it on behalf of those who have influenced me—from other teachers to students to mentors. I will continue to pass on the passion for education that they have instilled in me.”

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is considered the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science teacher can receive for 

Emily Theriault-Kimmey

outstanding teaching in the United States. Enacted by Congress in 1983, the program authorizes the President to give up to 108 awards each year. Each year the award alternates between educators teaching K-6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades.

More than 4,200 teachers have been recognized with the award since the program began. Honorees receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, in addition to a certificate signed by President Obama and a paid trip to Washington, D.C for a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities.

President Obama said of the 102 winners this year, “These teachers are inspiring today’s young students to become the next generation of American scientists, mathematicians, and innovators. Through their passion and dedication, and by sharing their excitement about science, technology, engineering and math, they are helping us build a promising future for all our children.”