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SD Department of Education
Oct. 2019  

  South Dakota’s newest PAEMST honorees announced

Four outstanding educators are South Dakota’s newest recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Congratulations!

These awardees represent two years of nominations. Award years alternate between recognizing teachers of grades K-6 and teachers of grades 7-12.

2017 Honorees: Teachers of grades 7-12

Louise “LuAnn” Lindskov, Timber Lake High School: “The Presidential Award is an incredible and humbling honor. This distinction is a testament to the inspiring patrons, educators, parents, and students from my community who have blessed me with their support on my journey. As their teacher, I know that the decisions I make each day about teaching and learning greatly affect my students. Receiving this prestigious award challenges me to continue my work and fuels my passion for young people as well as science and mathematics education.”

This biography of LuAnn is courtesy of the PAEMST website:
Louise “LuAnn” Lindskov has been a science and mathematics educator for more than 34 years, spending the last 17 years teaching at Timber Lake High School. Her current teaching assignment includes 9-12th-grade pre-calculus/trigonometry, physics, chemistry, Honors Physical Science, Honors Geometry, and conceptual physics. Previously, she taught at Isabel High School for 17 years.

LuAnn creates a classroom that promotes active learning. She engages students in opportunities to discover science, often in small collaborative groups, and to practice skills and apply mathematics in authentic situations. LuAnn guides her students toward areas of scientific research about which they are passionate. She uses grant awards to equip her school’s science laboratory with modern digital tools and to promote robotics.

As a member of numerous regional, state, and local organizations and initiatives, LuAnn is a leader in promoting the profession. She used her distinction as 2014 South Dakota Teacher of the Year to bring attention to the shortage of highly qualified teachers, especially in rural areas and worked with state government to implement solutions. LuAnn holds a B.S. in mathematics and natural sciences and secondary education from the University of Mary and an M.S. in education from Walden University. She is National Board Certified in adolescent and young adult science.

Leah Oxner, West Middle School (Rapid City): “This award is a tribute to the amazing educators who have been a part of my life. Both my parents worked tirelessly as educators. In doing so, they fostered a love of teaching in me. I am extremely proud and blessed to come from a family of educators. My success in education would not be possible without amazing colleagues, a supportive family, and the wonderful students whom I have been honored to teach. This award inspires me to continue to find ways to make teaching fun and interesting.”

This biography of Leah is courtesy of the PAEMST website:
Leah Oxner has been an educator for 17 years and has spent the last 13 years teaching seventh and eighth-grade at West Middle School. She currently teaches eighth-grade Integrated Mathematics 1 and mathematics lab. Prior to that, she taught at South Middle School in Rapid City. Leah’s students use an inquiry style of learning in which questioning, making mistakes, and reflecting are part of the learning process. She encourages students to be active participants in their education with her “those who do, are those who learn” philosophy.

Leah has opened her classroom to many visitors: college students, fellow teachers, administrators, coaches, and mathematics specialists have observed her teaching. She has also mentored many teachers through new teacher training, technology classes, professional development presentations, and ongoing support. Leah has served on numerous committees during her career. She is currently on the South Dakota Mathematics and Science Leadership Team and the committee to implement a STEAM curriculum in her school. Leah’s awards include two Teacher of Distinction awards from her school district. Leah earned a B.S., cum laude, in secondary education from Northern State University and an M.S. in education from Black Hills State University. She is certified to teach both secondary mathematics and computer science.

2018 Honorees: Teachers of grades K-6

Kelly Preheim, Armour Elementary: “I am honored and humbled to receive the Presidential Award. This prestigious award validates the dedication, innovation, and passion required to educate children. Thank you to my family, past students, mentors, administrators, colleagues, and others who have encouraged me. It is so important to teach children about nature and get them outdoors, so they can learn to care for our natural world. My kindergartners’ enthusiasm confirms the importance of teaching science to our very youngest students.”

This biography of Kelly is courtesy of the PAEMST website:
Kelly Preheim has been an elementary teacher for more than 30 years and has taught kindergarten for the last 27 years in the Armour School District. She previously taught in Hurley for seven years.

Kelly has discovered a meaningful way to engage her students in scientific thinking as she shares her passion for birds and nature with her students. Incorporating birds into her curriculum made lessons more enjoyable and relevant. Kindergartners became bird experts and were able to describe, draw, and identify hundreds of species. More importantly, they shared their passion and knowledge with their family.

Kelly has incorporated transdisciplinary, problem-based learning community projects with her students. Projects include building nest boxes, publishing an annual bird field guide, and creating a community bird feeder complex. Kelly created an afterschool bird club for kindergarten through eighth-grade students.

Kelly has presented problem-based learning and STEM teaching to student teachers, has given presentations for children and adults, and has been a bird camp instructor. She’s written many articles for state and national publications about teaching young children about birds. Kelly earned a B.S. in elementary education from the University of South Dakota. She recently became a National Geographic Certified Educator and is certified in elementary education.

Kimberly Webber, instructional coach, Rapid City Area School District: “It is such an honor to receive the Presidential Award. I have been blessed to be able to go to work each day to a job I love, finding ways to connect with students. This award recognizes all those who have influenced me along my journey as an educator: family, teachers, mentors, and colleagues. Most of all, I would like to thank my students, both past and present, who have taught me so much about what being a teacher, a learner, and a human being are all about.”

This biography of Kimberly is courtesy of the PAEMST website:
Kimberly Webber has been an educator for 36 years and has spent the last 24 in the Rapid City Area School District, most recently teaching kindergarten through fifth grades at Black Hawk Elementary School. In 2018, she became the kindergarten through fifth-grade instructional coach for Black Hawk and Valley View elementary schools. Previously, she taught kindergarten and first grade in Alberta, Canada, and served as an assessment specialist for the Alberta Department of Education. As an instructional coach, Kimberly models effective teaching strategies, observes teachers, and provides feedback on their instruction.

She has delivered numerous professional development sessions at the school, district, and state levels on mathematics instruction and assessment. Kimberly is an adjunct instructor at Black Hills State University. She is a member of the South Dakota mathematics leadership team and is involved in planning and presenting at a mentoring workshop for preservice teachers. Kimberly is extensively involved with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium where she develops and reviews assessments to be used nationwide. Kimberly earned a B.Ed. from the University of Lethbridge and a M.Ed. from the University of Alberta. She is certified in early childhood and elementary education and holds a K-12 Mathematics Specialist Endorsement and Montessori teaching certification.

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