Genoa teacher named finalist Presidential Award

Genoa teacher named finalist for Presidential Award
Posted on 10/24/2018
This is the image for the news article titled Genoa teacher named finalist for Presidential AwardBy: Jade Wise
Pasadena ISD Communications

Kirsta Paulus Jenne, a third grade math teacher at Genoa Elementary, was recently named one of six Texas finalists for the 2018 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) by TEA Commissioner of Education Mike Morath.

PAEMST is the highest recognition a mathematics or science teacher may receive for exemplary teaching in the United States. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on the behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. 

The award recognizes kindergarten through sixth grade mathematics and science teachers whose innovative methods bring teaching to life in the classroom.

“Kirsta is a passionate and prepared teacher who cares deeply for her students and holds them to high standards,” said Principal Tiffany Bennett. “It’s such an honor to have a teacher from our campus nominated for such a prestigious award. It gives our campus great pride.”

In order to achieve recognition through this program, a teacher first must apply to enter the competition or be nominated for the award. A state panel consisting of master teachers, content specialists, and administrators reviews the applications and selects the most outstanding mathematics and science teachers for the National Science Foundation to consider for national awardee status. 

“I was very excited and surprised when I found out,” said Jenne. “It’s awesome and validating to see that what you are doing is working and powerful.”

Jenne said that the support she has received both from the campus level and district administrators greatly contributed to her personal success.

“I feel that our curriculum in the district is so strong and the focused trainings that we go to every nine weeks really allows every teacher to better understand what they are teaching. It really helps me as a teacher,” said Jenne. 

PAEMST winners are typically announced and honored the year following the receipt of the application. If selected as a winner, Jenne will receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States, a trip to Washington D.C. to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

Kirsta Jenne and Principal Tiffany Bennett
(L to R): Genoa Principal Tiffany Bennett and Presidential Award Nominee Kirsta Jenne pause for a photo in Jenne's classroom.

Jenne works with students in her classroom
Presidential Award Nominee Kirsta Jenne works on a math lesson with students in her classroom.