For Immediate Release: April 5, 2023
|Judith Worley Terry
|Kelly Meacham Hicks
|Leah Ann Peavey
JACKSON, Miss. – Six 7-12th grade Mississippi teachers have been named 2022-23 state-level finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The PAEMST program is the nation’s highest honor for teachers of mathematics, science, technology, engineering and computer science education.
Two of these teachers will be selected for the PAEMST award. National honorees receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, recognition at a White House ceremony, and the opportunity to provide input on policies to improve science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science education.
The three mathematics finalists are:
- Judith Worley Terry of Center Hill High School in the DeSoto County School District. She has taught for 11 years.
Personal philosophy on teaching: I believe that education is the key to achieving success, and that, whether it is through academic studies or vocational training in high school, on-the-job learning, trade school, or college, the pursuit of knowledge and skills is critical for personal and professional growth.
- Karen Lindsey of Germantown Middle School in the Madison County School District. She has taught for 18 years.
Personal philosophy on teaching: I believe that all students can develop a love for learning and mathematics, especially when taught in an environment where they are encouraged, and their confidence is built.
- Kelly Meacham Hicks of Germantown High School in the Madison County School District. She has taught for 12 years.
Personal philosophy on teaching: Every student deserves an opportunity for rigorous, challenging and thoughtful learning.
The three science finalists are:
- Deborah D. Neel of Greene County High School in the Greene County School District. She has taught for 16 years.
Personal philosophy on teaching: My goal is to create a safe, fair, equitable and challenging learning environment that allows for supervised exploration because I believe that the most significant learning occurs in meaningful and realistic situations that accommodate every learning style and prepares students for their future.
- Leah Ann H. Peavey of Brookhaven Technical Center in the Brookhaven School District. She has taught for 28 years.
Personal philosophy on teaching: For our students to achieve excellence, we must expect excellence from them and exemplify excellence for them.
- Kandice Patrice Taylor of Brinkley Middle School in Jackson Public Schools. She has taught for seven years.
Personal philosophy on teaching: Expect the unexpected by teaching with an open heart and being open to receive.
Congress established the PAEMST Awards in 1983. The award recognizes teachers with deep content knowledge of the subjects they teach and the ability to motivate and enable students to be successful in those areas. Awardees reflect the expertise and dedication of the nation’s teaching corps, and they demonstrate the positive impact of excellent teachers on student achievement. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Each year PAEMST alternates between recognizing K-6 and 7-12 grade teachers. The 2023-24 PAEMST cycle will award the nation’s top teachers who teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science in grades K-6.
Find all MDE news releases at mdek12.org/news.