JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Five K-6 Mississippi teachers have been named 2022 state-level finalists 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. Mississippi’s 2022 PAEMST state-level finalists are:

  • Jana Chao, a fifth-grade computer science teacher at Eastside Elementary in the Clinton Public School District
  • LeShae Collums, a third-grade math teacher at D.T. Cox Elementary in the Pontotoc City School District
  • Wendy Dean, a fourth-grade teacher of all subjects at Monticello Elementary School in the Lawrence County School District
  • Jennifer Hite, a fifth-grade math and science teacher at Pearl Upper Elementary School in the Pearl Public School District
  • Dr. Marti Ladner, a fifth-grade science teacher at Pass Christian Elementary School in the Pass Christian School District

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.