April 17, 2024

Three educators honored for excellence in mathematics teaching

images of Michelle Stumpf, Valerie Nelson, and Kinlee Stetson

Three South Dakota educators have been named as finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Michelle Stumpf, Valerie Nelson, and Kinlee Stetson are the 2024 mathematics finalists for South Dakota.

The PAEMST is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th grade mathematics teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Since 1983, more than 5,200 teachers have been recognized for their contributions to mathematics and science education. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.

Michelle Stumpf has been teaching for 18 years; she currently teaches fifth grade mathematics at Belle Fourche Middle School and has been previously recognized as Belle Fourche Middle School Teacher of the Year. Valerie Nelson has been teaching for 15 years; she is a kindergarten teacher at Chamberlain Elementary and was recently recognized as a South Dakota Regional Teacher of the Year. Kinlee Stetson has been teaching for 10 years; she teaches fourth grade at Corral Drive Elementary in Rapid City and has been nominated for Teacher of the Year at Corral Drive Elementary.

A selection committee for PAEMST chooses two teachers from each state as exemplary teachers, who are named as presidential awardees. Presidential awardees receive a citation 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.