Each year a national committee of educators, mathematicians, and scientist recommend up to 108 teachers to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) award in mathematics, science and computer science from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. territories, and schools operated in the United States and overseas by the Department of Defense Education Activity. Teachers who are selected as national PAEMST awardees each receive a $10,000 award, a presidential citation and a trip to Washington, DC, for a series of recognition events, professional development activities and an awards ceremony. This year, Arkansas had 51 teachers nominated. There are 7 finalists; Missy Stubblefield from Charleston High School in Charleston, Kyla Gentry of Ahlf Junior High School in Searcy, Mary Parson from Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Tiffany Taylor from Rogers Heritage High School in Rogers, Corey Boby from Benton High School in Benton, Travis Fink from Har-Ber High School in Springdale, and John Williams from Bryant High School in Bryant.

The National Science Foundation, on behalf of The White House, oversees the program that recognizes outstanding teachers who have demonstrated a commitment to professional development, innovative teaching techniques and technology use in their classrooms. Anyone, principals, teachers, parents, students, or members of the general public, may nominate exceptional mathematics or science (including computer science) teachers teaching in grades 7-12 for this award year. To be eligible each teacher must; teach mathematics or science (including computer science) as part of their contracted teaching responsibilities at the 7-12 grade level in a public (including charter), or private school, hold at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, be a full-time employee of the school or school district as determined by state and district policies with responsibilities for teaching students no less than 50% of the school’s allotted instructional time, have at least five years of full-time employment as a K-12 teacher during which mathematics or science (including computer science) has been a part of the applicant’s teaching duties prior to the 2016-2017 academic school year, teach in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity schools, or the U.S. territories as a group (American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands), be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and not have received the PAEMST award at the national level in any prior competition or category.

The Arkansas Science Teachers Association and Arkansas Council of Teachers of Mathematics will honor Arkansas’ 7 teachers at luncheons during the Arkansas Curriculum Conference November 2nd and 3rd 2017, at the Little Rock Marriott and Statehouse Convention Center at Little Rock.

Mrs. Stubblefield has a Bachelor in Science and Secondary Education and has taught for 27 years, 1 year at Ozark, 9 years at Lavaca, and has taught at Charleston since 2000. She is married to Joe Stubblefield of Charleston and they have 2 children, Emily and Braxton. Missy teaches 7th and 8th grade Science, enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with her family. Congratulations to Missy on this well deserved recognition.