Calloway County teacher Kaysin Higgins has been named a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) by President Joe Biden. Higgins is a first grade teacher at North Calloway Elementary School in her eleventh year in education.
Established in 1983, PAEMST is the highest award kindergarten through 12th grade mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers can receive from the U.S. government. Each year, the award criteria alternates years between kindergarten through sixth grade and seventh through 12th grade teachers. This year, kindergarten through sixth grade teachers will receive the awards. Award recipients over the years represent schools and organizations from all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) schools, and the U.S. territories.
Nominees complete a rigorous application process that allows them to demonstrate deep content knowledge and their ability to adapt to a broad range of learners and teaching environments. A panel of distinguished mathematicians, scientists and educators at the state and national levels assess the applications before recommending nominees to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Teachers are selected based on their distinction in the classroom and dedication to improving STEM education.
“I am deeply appreciative of the inspiration that America’s teachers and mentors provide every day to support the next generation of STEM professionals,” President Biden said. “The dedication these individuals and organizations have demonstrated to prepare students for careers in STEM fields, during what has been a difficult time for teachers, students, and families, plays a huge role in American innovation and competitiveness. The work that teachers and mentors do ensures that our Nation’s children are able to unlock — for themselves and all of us – a world of possibilities.”
“We are so proud of Mrs. Higgins and this incredible accomplishment. She is a Calloway County graduate and is a stand-out teacher. She is a leader in her school and our district. She is highly deserving of this award and I am excited to see what the future holds for this exceptional person,” said Calloway County superintendent Tres Settle.
“The Presidential Award affirms my dedication to lifelong learning and validates the difference I make in my students’ lives. Being recognized places me in the company of our nation’s most elite educators and I am forever humbled. I am honored to represent my exceptional colleagues, students, & families of North Elementary. This award further inspires me to mentor fellow educators, work together to build a legacy of lifelong learners, and continue my pursuit of excellence in teaching and leading,” said Higgins.
Higgins will be honored in an online ceremony with other recipients on February 28. She will receive a signed certificate from President Biden and is awarded $10,000 from the National Science Foundation.