Dean Earns Recognition for Mathematics and Science Teaching

Monticello Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Wendy Dean has been named a 2022 state-level finalist 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 and science (including computer science).

Two Mississippi teachers will be selected for the 2021-22 PAEMST award cycle. 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. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.

Dean teaches all fourth-grade subjects at MES. She has taught for 26 years. Her personal philosophy on teaching is, “Every child is a unique individual with the capacity to’s my job to push them to be their personal best social, emotional, and academic self!”

Other state-level finalists are Jana Chao of Clinton Public School District, LeShae Collums of the Pontotoc City School District, Jennifer Hite of the Pearl Public School District, and Dr. Marti Ladner of the Pass Christian School District.

The PAEMST program, established in 1983 by the White House, allows each state to select up to three state finalists in mathematics and up to three state finalists in science. One of the state finalists in each content area may be selected as the Presidential Awardee for the state, which is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States.

Each year PAEMST alternates between recognizing K-6 and 7-12 grade teachers. The 2022-23 PAEMST cycle will award the nation’s top teachers who teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science in grades 7-12.   

The Mississippi State Board of Education will recognize Mississippi’s 2022 PAEMST finalists later this year. National winners are announced approximately a year after state-level finalists are identified.