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News Release 99-034

President Clinton Names Outstanding Mathematics and Science Teachers

May 3, 1999

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

President Clinton has named 208 teachers to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the nation's highest honor for mathematics and science teaching in elementary and secondary schools.

"In winning this award, these teachers have achieved the equivalent of a winning three-point shot in the final seconds of the NBA championship playoffs," said Rita Colwell, Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), which administers the award. "Excellence in math and science teaching shapes our children's intellectual development, strengthens our educational system, and advances the national goal to vastly improve the education of our children. We owe it to the students to cherish and honor their best teachers."

Teachers nominated for this award go through a rigorous review process ending with White House approval from the President and the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Dr. Neal Lane. Awardees are selected on the basis of the excellence of their teaching, leadership abilities, continuing education activities and dedication as teachers.

The award winners will be given a presidential citation, and their schools will receive a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of $7,500 to be used under the direction of the awardee over a five-year period. Awardees will also be honored during an event in Washington, D.C., June 6-12, 1999.

Established in 1983 by the White House and administered by NSF, this annual award is given to up to 216 elementary and secondary school teachers representing the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories and the U.S. Department of Defense school system.


Editors: A searchable list of the awardees is available on the web at:

See also :

  • Statement by Rita Colwell, Director, National Science Foundation
  • Fact Sheet on PAEMST
  • Key Findings of the PAEMST Survey

Media Contacts
K. Lee Herring, NSF, (703) 292-8070, email:

Program Contacts
Janice M. Earle, NSF, (703) 292-5097, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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