Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are highest national honor for STEM educators
NEW ORLEANS — Thomas Wright, a middle school mathematics teacher at Hynes Charter School-Lakeview in New Orleans, has been selected as a Louisiana State Finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
Dr. Wright, a teacher in the Orleans Parish Public School system for over 10 years, is now one of three Louisiana math teachers eligible to receive a PAEMST award, the nation’s highest honor for U.S. K–12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teachers. The awards program is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
State Finalists represent the most outstanding teachers Louisiana has to offer and serve as both a model and an inspiration to students and fellow teachers.
“Teaching is not a job, but a vocation; it’s a commitment to lifelong learning whereby every class of students is challenged in an engaging manner. Nothing is more rewarding than to have students hesitate with math at the beginning of a school year, and by years’ end, have met challenges head-on and discovered within themselves a greater appreciation and enjoyment of Algebra,” says Wright.
As a State/Jurisdiction Finalist, he will be recognized by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards at an awards ceremony to be held this summer at the Governor’s Mansion. “Dr. Wright is an amazing teacher who is beloved by his students,” says Anne Kramer, Principal at Hynes Charter School-Lakeview. “He makes math fun and his students are fully engaged and thriving. This award is well-deserved.”
Dr. Wright is a devoted math teacher who also serves as Adjunct Professor of Mathematics and Mathematics Education at the University of New Orleans (UNO) graduate school. He is a 2014 District Teacher of the Year and Hynes Teacher of the Year, as well as a 2013 Orleans Saints NFL Football Team Middle School Teacher of the Year. He holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics Curriculum & Instruction with a minor in Quantitative and Qualitative Research and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of New Orleans (UNO), as well as a M.A. from Xavier University of Louisiana in Educational Administration. He also holds two undergraduate degrees from Louisiana Tech University.
Each year, a national committee of prominent mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science education researchers, district-level personnel, and classroom teachers recommends up to 108 teachers to receive PAEMST awards. Up to two teachers—mathematics or science—from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Territories as a group (comprising American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), and schools operated in the United States and overseas by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) receive the award. Teachers who are selected as PAEMST awardees receive a trip to Washington, D.C., where they attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities. They also receive a $10,000 award from NSF, a Presidential certificate, and join an elite cohort of award-winning teachers who can influence state/jurisdiction and national STEM teaching.
For more information on PAEMST, go to: https://www.paemst.org/home/view.
For more information on Hynes Charter Schools, go to: https://www.hynesschool.com.