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San Marcos Teacher Named 2023 California Finalist for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

San Marcos Teacher Named 2023 California Finalist for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

A San Marcos teacher is one of seven outstanding math and science teachers from California who are finalists for the 2023 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

The PAEMST program is administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The PAEMST is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Government specifically for kindergarten through grade 12 science, mathematics, engineering, and computer science teaching.

For 2022-23, those who teach grades seven through 12 were eligible for the award. Presidential Award recipients are honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., and receive a $10,000 special award from the National Science Foundation.

Awards are given to teachers who teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Department of Defense schools, and four U.S. territories (as a group).

Samantha Stickley, a 7th grade science teacher at San Marcos Middle School, in San Marcos Unified School District, was honored with the award for her work as part of the OpenSciEd Level Two Facilitator Team and leading professional learning for adult learners. 

She has mentored teachers through student teaching and the induction process and also co-taught with teachers from the special education and dual language programs. Her classroom has been featured in research through Northwestern University and the University of Kansas. Stickley was also a Spotlight Teacher for the University of California, San Diego Science Project. She was selected to showcase her classroom with California Educators Together, and the last three videos made will be used for professional learning. Her submitted video and narrative focused on chemical reactions at the particle level.

"Samantha Stickley has dedicated her career to preparing and inspiring the next generation of students to thrive in school and in life,” said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. “She proves that when we believe in the brilliance of all children, amazing things happen.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) partners with the California Mathematics Council and the California Association of Science Educators to recruit and select nominees for the PAEMST program. Each applicant must display subject mastery, appropriate use of instructional methods and strategies, lifelong learning, and leadership in education outside the classroom. Each candidate is required to submit a 30-minute video lesson in support of their application.

Math Finalists

  • Kristen Donavan, Woodbridge High School, Irvine Unified School District, Irvine 
  • Cheyanne Freitas, Dixon High School, Dixon Unified School District, Dixon 
  • Richard Kick, Newbury Park High School, Conejo Valley Unified School District, Newbury Park 
  • Jonathan Southam, New Technology High School, Napa Valley Unified School District, Napa 

Science Finalists

  • Maria Hernandez-Gonzales, Lorbeer Middle School, Pomona Unified School District, Diamond Bar 
  • Amber Lancaster, Raoul Wallenberg High School, San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco
  • Samantha Stickley, San Marcos Middle School, San Marcos Unified School District, San Marcos 

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