Dept of Education Logo
Dept of Education Logo
Home | About Us | Accountability/Assessment | Certification | Data Collection & Reports | Innovations | Legislation/Hearings/Rules | NH Schools | Employment Opportunities | Contact Us | Search | Calendar
Department of Education - an official New Hampshire Government website
Smaller text size Reset text size Larger text size
skip navigation
students artwork

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) Recipients Announced

On August 22, 2016, President Obama named 213 mathematics and science teachers as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. These awardees represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity schools. The cohort of awardees named represent two nomination years, one of teachers in kindergarten through 6th grade classrooms (2014) and the other in 7th through 12th grade classrooms (2015). The 2014 recipients are Rebecca Cummings, a science teacher at Pelham Elementary School and Ann Gaffney, a mathematics teacher at Londonderry Middle School. The 2015 recipients are Robin Ellwood, a science teacher at Rye Junior High School and Patrick Kaplo a science teacher at Windham High School.

"The recipients of this award are integral to ensuring our students are equipped with critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are vital to our Nation's success," President Obama said. "As the United States continues to lead the way in the innovation that is shaping our future, these excellent teachers are preparing students from all corners of the country with the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills that help keep us on the cutting-edge."
“New Hampshire needs engaging, high-quality teachers like Rebecca Cummings, Ann Gaffney, Robin Ellwood, and Patrick Kaplo to help our students succeed and thrive. It is exciting to have these teachers nationally recognized through the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, said Virginia M. Barry, Ph.D., Commissioner of Education. “These awards and recognitions build community awareness about our state’s finest schools and districts and showcase the extraordinary talent in our state. There are thousands of excellent educators deserving of our recognition and gratitude.”

Winners of this Presidential honor 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 and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and the Administration. Awardees also join an active network of outstanding educators from throughout the nation. Since 1983, more than 4,300 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.

The educators receiving these awards are recognized for significantly improving their students’ understanding of mathematics and science, for exemplary teaching, and for demonstrating educational goals that help them maintain positions of professional leadership. The Presidential Awards program was established in 1983 to identify outstanding teachers who can serve as role models for their colleagues. The goal of the program is to encourage highly capable individuals to enter and remain in the teaching field.

Nominations for this award at the state level come from the teachers’ colleagues, administrators, students, parents of students, and other community members. To be eligible, a teacher must spend half of his or her time or more in a public or private school, and have a minimum of five years teaching experience.

Teaching is both an art and science, the most difficult, most rewarding, and most important of careers. The New Hampshire Department Education administers and presents awards to recognize excellence in education with the goal of building a network that will enable others to use their expertise. For more information about other awards administered through the Department of Education, visit or contact Lori Kincaid, Public Information Officer at

For information concerning the application process for the PAEMST, please go to or contact Donna Dubey, NH PAEMST State Coordinator at

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711