Karen Donathan, a mathematics and computer science teacher at George Washington High School, has been selected as a West Virginia State Finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
Donathan, a teacher in the Kanawha County School system for 26 years, is now one of the West Virginia secondary math teachers eligible to receive a PAEMST award, the nation’s highest honor for U.S. K-12 mathematics and science teachers. The awards program is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
State Finalists represent the most outstanding teachers West Virginia has to offer and serve as both a model and an inspiration to students and fellow teachers.
“It’s an exciting time to be a math and computer science teacher! In West Virginia, Governor Jim Justice just signed a bill, SB 267, that requires all students to receive computer science education before graduation. I want my classroom to be a nurturing environment where all students feel welcome, important, comfortable and non-intimidated. My students seem to thrive in the laid back, yet productive, nature of my classroom,” says Donathan. As a State Finalist, she will be recognized at the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference in March 2020. “Mrs. Donathan has an excellent rapport with her students. She shows a sincere interest in them as individuals and is constantly evaluating her own teaching practice. She searches for ways to make her teaching interesting, informative and relevant. Mrs. Donathan’s students respect her teaching and are pleased to be in her classes,” says George Aulenbacher, principal at George Washington High School.
Each year, a national committee of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators recommends up to 108 teachers to receive PAEMST awards. Up to two teachers – mathematics or science - from each State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. territories as a group, and schools operated in the United States and overseas by the Department of Defense Education Activity receives the award. Teachers who are selected as PAEMST awardees receive a trip to Washington, D.C., where they attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities. They also receive a $10,000 award from NSF and a Presidential certificate.