Christine Arnold, a middle school science teacher from Sigonella Middle/High School in Italy, and Sylvia Diane Schnellhammer, a high school mathematics teacher from Ramstein High School in Germany were the DoDEA educators recognized in an awards ceremony as the nation's best seventh through twelfth grade teachers. The PAEMST program was established by Congress in 1983 and administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House. Awardees are selected from mathematics and science teachers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and DoDEA, with the competition alternating each year between kindergarten through sixth grade teachers and seventh grade through twelfth grade teachers.
Arnold has worked for DoDEA schools for four years. Prior to teaching for DoDEA, she was a science and technology resource teacher for the District of Columbia Public Schools and an elementary teacher in Fulton County, Ga., and in Munich, Germany. She serves as the National Junior Honor Society advisory, the grade-level team leader for teachers, and on the School Improvement Leadership Team.
She was awarded the European Junior Science and Humanities Symposium Mentor Award in 2007 and in 2002 she served as a teaching fellow for the Carnegie Institute of Washington, Carnegie Academy for Science Education and as a teaching fellow for the national Science Teachers Association Webwatchers Institute. Arnold received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and American Studies and an M.T. in Elementary Education, with a technology focus, from the University of Virginia.
Schnellhammer, who has been at Ramstein High School since 1992, teaches math analysis (pre-calculus) and AP calculus. She has served as the chair of the mathematics department at the school for eight years and is the recipient of the National Honor Roll's outstanding American Teachers Award and was selected for Who's Who Among American High School Teachers. Schnellhammer was also awarded Beta Sigma Phi Woman of the Year. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Midwestern State University and a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Oklahoma.
In recognition of their selection as PAEMST awardees, Arnold and Schnellhammer received a citation signed by the President; a trip to Washington D.C. to attend a week-long series of recognition events and professional development seminars; and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.
DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) located in the United States and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education.