News Release

March 25, 2024

Three Nebraska Teachers Chosen as State Finalists for Presidential Teaching Award

Three Nebraska teachers have been selected as state finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the nation’s highest honor for K–12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teachers.

This year applicants from K – 6 mathematics, science, technology, engineering and/or computer science classrooms could apply. The awards program is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The NE State Selection Committee advanced three state finalists for eligibility for the national award.

Megan Mullen from Paxton Consolidated Schools, Miranda Orellana from Riley Elementary, Lincoln Public Schools, and Thomas McChristian from Bennet Elementary in Palmyra District OR-1 will represent Nebraska.

State Finalists represent the most outstanding teachers Nebraska has to offer and serve as both a model and an inspiration to students and fellow teachers.

Each year, a national committee of prominent mathematicians, scientists, 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, and schools operated by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) receive the national award. Teachers who are selected as PAEMST national 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.

David Jespersen
Public Information Officer, Nebraska Department of Education