OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma - Four teachers from across the state have been named as finalists for a prestigious math and science award.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) has announced four state-level finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). 

PAEMST, established in 1983, is the highest recognition a K-12 mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Awards alternate each year between elementary and secondary teachers.

This year’s finalists include Cheryl Brannum, Yukon; Megan Cannon, Sapulpa; Julie Klingensmith, Norman and Telannia Norfar, Oklahoma City.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister praised the finalists for their exceptional work raising student outcomes in math and science.

“Congratulations to this amazing group of Oklahoma educators,” said Hofmeister. “Their talent, commitment, and contributions to math and science instruction in the classroom not only enhance student learning but serve as an inspiration to their colleagues, students, and communities. I am proud that Cheryl, Megan, Julie, and Telannia are representing Oklahoma and applaud them on this well-deserved national recognition.” 

The finalists were chosen by a local selection committee consisting of teachers, district-level personnel, representatives from higher education and past awardees. 

Each finalist demonstrated a mastery of math and science instruction and effective use of student assessments to improve student learning.

The national recipients represent all 50 states and U.S. territories. 

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