College Place MS educator wins presidential award for excellence in math, science teaching

Amy Peterson

College Place Middle School teacher Amy Peterson was recently named a recipient of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

PAEMST awards are the nation’s highest honors for teachers of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science. Two educators are recognized per state. The other Washington state recipient was a teacher from the Olympia School District.

With the PAEMST award, teachers join a prestigious cadre of more than 5,000 teacher-alumni from across the nation. Winners receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation, a trip to Washington, D.C. to celebrate their accomplishments and a certificate signed by the president.

While in D.C., the recipients will also participate in professional development activities and network with fellow STEM educators from across the nation.

Peterson has been an Edmonds School District educator for the past 17 years and has spent the last 16 years teaching eighth grade science at College Place Middle. Her first year was at Mountlake Terrace High School teaching biology and chemistry to grades 9-12.

“The PAEMST award highlights my commitment to learning for my students and myself,” Peterson said. “Every day is an opportunity to make learning relevant for all students and provide a safe environment for them to challenge their own understanding and the ideas of others. This award is a reflection of my students and their families, colleagues, family and friends that have supported, challenged, encouraged, and inspired me to grow as an educator by finding ways for each and every student to engage in learning.”

Peterson said her work develops, designs and implements professional development around equitable science teaching strategies at the building, district, regional and national levels. She has also been involved in studying ways to evaluate the way she and others effectively teach their subjects. Through thorough observation, assessment and modification of curriculum, she’s gained the ability to adjust the content of her lessons to best accommodate students on a class-by-class basis.

According to the PAEMST announcement, Peterson anchors her units “with bewildering phenomena observed in the natural world to give her students the opportunity to learn about conditions that might at first appear singular, but are wholly relevant to life on earth.

Peterson earned a bachelor’s of science in zoology and Master of Arts in teaching from the University of Washington. She is National Board Certified in early adolescent science and certified in secondary science education.

 

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