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Wentzville educator selected as finalist for Presidential Teaching Award

Posted on Monday, August 6, 2018 at 4:11 pm

Terri Politte, Assistant Principal at Boone Trail Elementary in the Wentzville School District, has been selected as a Finalist for the 2018 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The award is the highest recognition that a K-12 mathematics or science teacher can receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Politte’s selection as a finalist is based on her classroom work as a sixth grade math teacher at Duello Elementary (also in the Wentzville School District) prior to her being named assistant principal at Boone Trail in June.

The awards are given to mathematics and science teachers from each of the 50 states and four U.S. jurisdictions. It recognizes those teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that enhances student learning. Politte is only one of two math teachers in Missouri selected to represent the state as finalists for the PAEMST. “I am very humbled and honored to be considered for this prestigious award,” said Politte. “The success I have found in education is due to the selflessness of mentors, leaders, and teammates that have invested their time and energy in helping me grow professionally. I feel so fortunate to work in the Wentzville School District, where I am continuously supported as a learner and leader.”

Politte is the seventh WSD educator in six years to receive this prestigious recognition for excellence in teaching. Two WSD educators, Laura Parn and Kathryn Schack, were named recipients of the Presidential Award in 2012 and 2014, respectively.

“Terri Politte is an exceptional mathematics teacher and leader, one genuinely deserving of this distinction,” said Duello Elementary Principal, and former PAEMST recipient, Laura Parn. “She is a leader in both her knowledge of the mathematics content, and her instructional strategies to deliver the content to students through engaging and meaningful lessons. Her commitment to improving her work is not limited strictly to the mathematics content. She is aware that in order to educate a developing mathematician, the needs of the child must be met holistically. This model and her constant reflection on how she might continue to improve her practices have allowed her to build positive rapport with her students and families. Terri not only belongs in the same company, but will also bring great credit to, the community of previous PAEMST winners and will further the goal of highlighting and promoting academic excellence for students through innovative mathematics instruction.”

The White House will announce the winners next year. Those selected for this presidential honor will receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also are invited to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony, educational events, and visits with members of Congress and the Administration. The PAEMST award was established by Congress in 1983, and the program authorizes the President of the United States to bestow up to 108 awards each year. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.