Two Colorado Teachers Recognized With Presidential Award For Excellence In Mathematics And Science Teaching

Dawn Bauer (left) and Carolyn Jordan (right) are recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Image Credit: White House/PAEMST

Dawn Bauer (left) and Carolyn Jordan (right) are recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Image Credit: White House/PAEMST

August 22, 2016 – Two Colorado teachers have been selected as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Dawn Bauer of Carson Elementary School is receiving recognition for her commitment to science and STEM education. Carolyn (Carrie) Jordan of Normandy Elementary School is being recognized for her commitment to teaching mathematics.

Dawn Bauer has been an educator for nearly 15 years. She taught fourth and fifth grade science and mathematics at Carson Elementary School for seven years. She has also taught eighth grade Algebra and Physical Science. Her current role is with Denver Public Schools as a Career and Technical Education Curriculum Coordinator, working with instructors from various fields integrating science and mathematics content and practices with career ready skills. Bauer’s passion and commitment to STEM education has been the catalyst for her growth as a teacher, problem solver, and innovator. She is dedicated to deepening her understanding of STEM and empowering others to do the same.

“The Presidential Award is a great honor and is a reflection of my perseverance, professional development, personal research, risk-taking, and most importantly, my learning — fromevery teacher, student, and colleague that I’ve ever known,” said Bauer. “I believe that science is everywhere and integration of science and engineering practices across multiple content areas is the key to engaging all students and helping them succeed.”

Carolyn (Carrie) Jordan has taught first, fifth, and sixth grades at Normandy Elementary School for 22 years. She currently teaches fourth grade, which includes an accelerated mathematics class. Jordan’s lessons include “active math,” where students act out mathematics processes, draw pictures, and use “cheerleader” moves to show geometry. She provides manipulatives to increase the depth of knowledge: food is used to illustrate fractions; sayings help her students to remember mathematics operations; cards and dice are used to practice facts and learning objectives. Bauer runs the school Science Fair, has presented her “active math” idea at local conferences, and has trained staff members on INTEL: Teach to the Future.

“I want to be the teacher who makes a positive difference in my students’ lives, and leaves them with a lasting impression,” said Jordan. “Being a recipient of the Presidential Award recognizes that I am reaching my students. By creating informative, engaging lessons, I seek to provide a significant and caring impact. This award acknowledges my continuing effort to develop fun, interactive, and targeted lessons each and every day. I’m honored to have touched so many lives as a teacher.”

The two Colorado teachers were among 213 mathematics and science teachers named today by President Obama. The awardees represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity schools. The educators will receive their awards at a ceremony in Washington, DC on September 8.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process at the state level. Each nomination year of the award alternates between teachers in the kindergarten through 6th grade level, and those teaching 7th through 12th grades. The cohort of awardees named today represent two nomination years, one of teachers in kindergarten through 6th grade classrooms and the other in 7th through 12th grade classrooms.

Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion, and are invited to Washington, DC, for an awards ceremony, as well educational and celebratory events, and visits with members of the Administration.

“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.”

President Obama and his Administration have taken significant steps to strengthen education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields in order to fully harness the promise our Nation’s students. The President’s Educate to Innovate campaign, launched in November 2009, has resulted in more than $1 billion in private investment for improving K-12 STEM education. Additionally, in 2011, the President set an ambitious goal to put 100,000 additional excellent STEM teachers in America’s classrooms by 2021. Thanks to the work of more than 280 organizations, 30,000 new STEM teachers have already been trained, and resources are in place to train an additional 70,000 STEM teachers by 2021. In parallel, the President has called for increasing the proficiency of America’s existing STEM teachers with a Master Teacher Corps initiative, which would identify the most effective K-12 STEM teachers and support them in a program to propagate their best practices with their peers. You can read more about the President’s commitment to science, technology, and innovation HERE.

To view a full list of recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, visit: