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Gaines named finalist for presidential awards in math, science

MADISON – The Alabama Department of Education has selected Jessye G. Gaines at Bob Jones High School as a finalist for a prestigious national award.

Gaines is among five teachers who are finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching or PAEMST. This award is credited as the nation’s highest honor for teachers in K-12 mathematics and science.

At Bob Jones, Gaines works as Director of Engineering Academy. She sponsors both Patriot Racing and Society of Women Engineers.

State officials in Montgomery described the finalists as “innovative and highly skilled teachers.”  

The PAEMST recognizes top educators for their contributions to the classroom and the teaching profession. This year’s awards are honoring secondary school teachers (grades 7-12).

The Alabama State Board of Education will recognize Gaines and other finalists this fall during a special awards luncheon. Each finalist will receive the Certificate of Honor in Mathematics and Science Teaching from the National Science Foundation.

Luncheon sponsors are State Department of Education, National Science Foundation, Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics, Council of State Science Supervisors and White House Office of Science and Technology.

The U.S. Congress enacted the PAEMST program in 1983. The National Science Foundation administers the program on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Since 1983, the awards have honored more than 4,300 teachers for their contributions to mathematics and science education.

Jessye’s husband, Luke Gaines, also graduated from Bob Jones and studied engineering. He works for Shape Fidelity Inc. Their daughter Kay, 6, is a kindergartner at Madison Elementary School and in the STEM Club. Daughter Glenne, 4, attends preschool at the Child Development Center at First Baptist Church of Madison. 

Other finalists for the award were Dennis Butler, Central High School in Florence, Lauderdale County School System; Stephanie Steward, Spring Garden High School, Cherokee County School System; Pamela Harman, Spain Park High School, Hoover City School System; and Bryan Rosenstiel, Mountain Brook High School, Mountain Brook City School System.

For more information, call Dr. Carolyn A. Jones, ALSDE Office of Student Learning, Instructional Services, at 334-694-4768, email cajones@alsde.edu or visit paemst.org.

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