DoDEA 2021 Teacher of the Year Named Recipient of Presidential Teaching Award

SEMBACH, GERMANY — February 10, 2022 — Mrs. Garrison TOY 2021 SouthPresident Joe Biden has named DoDEA-Europe teacher, Ms. Lachanda Garrison, as one of 117 nation-wide teachers, mentors, and mentoring organizations as recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) and Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). Ms. Garrison, a second-grade teacher at Bahrain Elementary School, was DoDEA’s 2021 Teacher of the Year.

"I am deeply humbled and excited to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) award," Ms. Garrison said. “This award is special to me because it showcased how my students’ stories, funds of knowledge, cultures, and backgrounds are powerful tools in making mathematics equitable and accessible for them. The fact that the PAEMST honored that brings me so much joy as we move towards humanizing mathematics instruction for our students".

According to the White House, the benefits of a quality STEM education fail to reach every learner in this country often due to racial, gender, economic, and geographic disparities. These awards honor the dedication, hard work, and important role that America’s teachers and mentors play in supporting learners who will be future STEM professionals, including climate scientists, mathematicians, innovators, space explorers, and engineers. 

"I am deeply appreciative of the inspiration that America’s teachers and mentors provide every day to support the next generation of STEM professionals,” President Biden said. “The dedication these individuals and organizations have demonstrated to prepare students for careers in STEM fields, during what has been a difficult time for teachers, students, and families, plays a huge role in American innovation and competitiveness.  The work that teachers and mentors do ensures that our Nation’s children are able to unlock — for themselves and all of us – a world of possibilities.”

Established in 1983, PAEMST is the highest award kindergarten through 12th grade mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers can receive from the U.S. government. Each year, the award criteria alternates years between kindergarten through sixth grade and seventh through 12th grade teachers. This year, kindergarten through sixth grade teachers will receive Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

Nominees complete a rigorous application process that allows them to demonstrate deep content knowledge and their ability to adapt to a broad range of learners and teaching environments. A panel of distinguished mathematicians, scientists and educators at the state and national levels assess the applications before recommending nominees to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Teachers are selected based on their distinction in the classroom and dedication to improving STEM education.

The National Science Foundation (NSF), which manages PAEMST and PAESMEM on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), provides each recipient $10,000.  Award recipients also receive a certificate signed by the President.

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