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STAT Legislative Update
from your STAT President, Matthew Wells
STAT has been working over the summer analyzing the implications to science teachers of the last legislative session, and responding to various requests for input by lawmakers. As we speak, we are working diligently with TEA and SBOE on the following:
1. Clarifying wording on graduation requirements as they relate to science course sequences
2. Providing input into the planned "streamlining" of the Science TEKS that is on the TEA's agenda
3. Lobbying for an "adoption proclamation" to support any TEKS changes made by the state
Members of our Legislative Committee and staff will be meeting with decision-makers in Austin over the coming weeks and months, testifying to various planning committees, and writing position statements as needed. If you have concerns, questions or even cautionary tales regarding any legislative issue, PLEASE SEND THEM IN - we use input from our members to shape our message!
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Ten Texas teachers named finalists for 2015 presidential award in math and science
AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Michael Williams announced today that 10 teachers from across Texas have been named finalists for the 2015 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
The 2015 PAEMST recognizes seventh through twelfth grade mathematics and science teachers whose innovative methods bring teaching to life in the classroom. It is the highest recognition a mathematics or science teacher may receive for exemplary teaching in the United States. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on the behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
“These 10 finalists represent the very best of Texas public education,” said Commissioner Williams. “The work of these educators helps to spotlight on a national level the outstanding work taking place in math and science classrooms across our state every school day.”
The 2015 Texas finalists in secondary mathematics are:
- Jonathan Claydon (Spring Branch ISD) – Precalculus and Calculus AB teacher at Northbrook Senior High School
- Darla Emerson (Lovejoy ISD) – Statistics teacher at Lovejoy High School
- Rebecca Cordell Grant (Plano ISD) – Math 8-Honors teacher at Haggard Middle School
- Patty C. Hill (Austin ISD) – Algebra I and Algebra II teacher at Kealing Middle School
- Penny Smeltzer (Round Rock ISD) – AP Statistics teacher at Westwood High School
The Texas finalists in secondary science are listed below:
- Carol B. Brown – AP/Pre-AP Chemistry teacher at St. Mary’s Hall in San Antonio
- Sheri Cole (Clear Creek ISD) – Seventh grade science teacher at Seabrook Intermediate School
- Cara Johnson (Allen ISD) – Anatomy & Physiology teacher at Allen High School
- Mark Misage (Eanes ISD) – AP Physics teacher at Westlake High School
- Ferleshare S. Starks (Houston ISD) – Biology teacher at Phillis Wheatley High School
To achieve recognition through this program, a teacher first must be nominated for the award. A state panel of master teachers, specialists, and administrators reviewed the applications and chose the most outstanding mathematics and science teachers for the National Science Foundation to consider for national awardee status.
After the initial selection process at the state or territorial level, a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators may select up to two teachers from each state and U.S. jurisdiction for the national award.
PAEMST winners receive $10,000, a citation signed by the President of the United States, and a paid trip for two to Washington, D.C. to attend recognition events and professional development opportunities. In addition, all of the 2015 finalists for Texas will also be recognized by the State Board of Education.
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