Natchitoches Central High School Science teacher Paula Callender recently received The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). She’s been an educator for 20 years.
The PAEMST is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th grade science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Up to 108 teachers are recognized each year.
Awardees also join an active network of outstanding educators from throughout the nation. Since 1983, more than 5,000 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. Awardees reflect the expertise and dedication of the Nation’s teaching corps, and they demonstrate the positive impact of excellent teachers on student achievement.
Throughout her career, Callender has focused her STEM education teaching on the application of science concepts and how these concepts impact society both culturally and economically.
She is quoted as saying, “In 2010, I spent time at St. Jude Hospital with our daughter. That experience defines this award to me. There, I saw STEM modeled by people from different cultural and economic backgrounds. Winning PAEMST draws attention to the importance of this type of collaboration in science. Rural, minority students must be given opportunities to engage in speaking, listening, and writing, skills vital to STEM. Only then will doors open for equal participation in convergent science discussions.”