WASHINGTON — The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), with the National Science Foundation (NSF), announced that more than 140 individuals and organizations were honored with presidential awards for excellence in teaching or mentoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Kindergarten through sixth grade teachers receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), and mentors will receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).
Among the PAEMST winners is Lindsey Tellinghuisen, a fourth-grade teacher in the Willow Lake School District.
“Winning this award inspires me to continue to be a lifelong learner,” Tellinghuisen said, “and to find new ways to make elementary mathematics meaningful, engaging and accessible to the students I work with every day.
A 2003 Wolsey High School graduate, who earned her degree in Elementary Education from Dakota State University, Tellinghuisen has been a teacher for 10 years, the last seven of them in Willow Lake, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.
“I have to give credit to the staff I work with.” Tellinghuisen added. “My administration and co-workers have been supportive of my continuing desire to become a better teacher. I had the opportunity to be part of a three-year program that allowed me to have a math coach come into my classroom and guide me to use best teaching practices in mathematics. It changed the way I thought about elementary math and it changed how I taught, for the better.”
“On behalf of the White House I am honored to express the Nation’s gratitude for the tireless dedication that these men and women bring to educating the next generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians,” said Michael Kratsios, Deputy Assistant to the President for Technology Policy. “Each day more and more jobs require a strong foundation in STEM education, so the work that you do as teachers and mentors helps ensure that all students can have access to limitless opportunities and the brightest of futures.”
Awardees represent schools in all 50 U.S. states, Department of Defense Education Activity schools and schools in the U.S. territories American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
During a visit to the nation’s capital, award recipients each received a presidential citation at an awards ceremony and paticipated in discussions on STEM and STEM education priorities led by OSTP and NSF.
“I had many impactful teachers at Wolsey when I was in school,” Tellinghuisen said. “Surprisingly enough, I wasn’t positive I wanted to be a teacher until I started student teaching. My mentor teacher, Mrs. Henn, in Howard was incredible. After watching her, I knew I wanted to make an impact on this world as well.”
Recipients will also receive $10,000 from NSF, which manages the PAEMST and PAESMEM programs on behalf of the White House.
Tellinghuisen said that she has not determined the best use for her award money as of yet.
Willow Lake teacher Lindsey Tellinghuisen is pictured with Michael Kratsios, the Deputy Assistant to the President for Technology Policy, and Dr. France A. Cordova, the Director of the National Science Foundation. The photo was taken at an awards ceremony at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on June 26.