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Southern Illinois math teacher wins national award, $10,000 prize

"Winning the Presidential Award is a tremendous accomplishment; one that I am proud to bring to a small, rural school in southern Illinois," Brandy Hempen said.
Credit: PAEMST
Brandy Hempen of Germantown, IL is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

GERMANTOWN, Ill. — A southern Illinois teacher was honored by the White House for her commitment to education in the field of mathematics.

Brandy Hempen was one of 101 teachers in the United States to win a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. 

"The award recognizes those teachers who have both deep content knowledge of the subjects they teach and the ability to motivate and enable students to be successful in those areas," a description on the award website says.

Hempen was a fifth-grade math teacher at Germantown Elementary School at the time she applied and now works as a course instructor of educational technology and leadership at the Teachers College at Western Governors University, a private, nonprofit university. 

"Winning the Presidential Award is a tremendous accomplishment; one that I am proud to bring to a small, rural school in southern Illinois," Hempen said in her award profile. "It shows that anything can happen with the right combination of knowledge, support, and, most importantly, passion."

Award winners get a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, a paid trip to Washington, D.C. for recognition events and professional development opportunities and a certificate signed by the president of the United States.

The honorees from Missouri were Stacy Sharp-Adamson from the Kansas City area and Cassidy Urie from Columbia. The other winner from Illinois was Carla Shortino from Chicago.

Anyone can nominate a teacher for this award. All you need is the teacher's name, email address and school contact information. After the nomination is received, the teacher will receive an email to continue the application process.

You can sign up to be notified when the application process begins for the 2022-23 school year by visiting the award website. For more information, email info@paemst.org.

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