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 Local Teacher Earns Statewide Honor

A teacher from Ocean Air Elementary School in the Del Mar Union School District was nominated this week as a finalist for the 2016 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

The teacher, Rebecca Jones, has been teaching for 15 years. She currently teaches 5th grade. She has been a Cognitive Guided Instruction math lead teacher and has led staff development throughout the district, county, and state. Jones served on the district’s math committee, and her school was selected as one of the National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Jones was one of nine outstanding math and science teachers from California nominated for the honor.

“I congratulate these remarkable teachers whose dedication and innovative teaching styles prepare our students for 21st century careers and college,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said. “These teachers are among the best of the best in their field and an inspiration to their students and colleagues.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) partnered with the California Science Teachers Association and the California Mathematics Council to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program—the highest recognition in the nation for a mathematics or science teacher.

Each applicant must demonstrate a mastery of math or science, appropriate use of instructional methods and strategies, lifelong learning, and leadership in education outside the classroom. State finalists were selected by a panel of their peers who reviewed each candidate's content knowledge, teaching effectiveness, achievement results, and professional involvement.

The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. PAEMST was enacted by Congress in 1983 and authorizes the President each year to bestow up to 108 awards. PAEMST awards primary and secondary teachers in alternate years. Awards are given to mathematics and science teachers from each of the 50 states and four U.S. jurisdictions including Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Department of Defense Schools, and the U.S. territories.

For more information, visit the CDE’s Presidential Awards for Math and Science Teaching CDE webpage or the PAEMST website.