Congratuations to Debra Ericksen and Denise Rawding - Recepients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)
On June 25, 2018, the White House announced the most recent recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. This year's teachers represent K-6th grade educators from across the United States. NJSTA President Linda Smith spoke at the celebration as a representative of PAEMST.
The award recognizes those teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of STEM (including computer science) education.
Debra Ericksen from the Adamsville Primary School in Bridgewater, was the Science honoree from NJ.
Debra Ericksen is in her 10th year as an educator, teaching all subjects of fourth grade at Adamsville Primary School for the past five years. She has experience teaching gifted and talented students, English language learners, and special education students within a co-teaching classroom.
Debra is passionate about providing students with opportunities to learn science through interdisciplinary instruction, and has been recognized for her accomplishments through the National Science Teachers Association’s Sylvia Shugrue Award. She is a 2012 graduate of the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy. As a school science coordinator, she has chaired science fairs and partnered with local scientists and engineers to work with students. She is a member of the New Jersey Next Generation Science Standards’ Teacher Leader Cohort, and facilitates science workshops for her district and at New Jersey Science Conventions.
Debra’s classroom is a collaborative community of learners who embrace discovery, and persevere through problem solving. She has received several grants providing technology and literacy resources to support student learning.
Debra earned a B.A. in political science from Susquehanna University and a M.B.A. in human resources from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is certified in elementary education, middle school English language arts, and middle school social studies.
The NJ honoree in Mathematics was Denise Rawding from Newark Public Schools
Denise Rawding has been an educator for 25 years and has been serving as the kindergarten through fourth grade mathematics coach at Roberto Clemente Elementary School for two years. Previously, Denise was a kindergarten teacher for three years at First Avenue School.
Denise helps students build a deep understanding of mathematics, using tasks and discussions to empower students. She shares her love of mathematics by engaging students in collaborative activities and learning stations. Her classes are active and fun, with an emphasis on learning from others.
Denise has presented at numerous conferences, including conferences sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the mathematics associations of New Jersey, New York, and New England. She works with the New Jersey Standards Advocates, providing professional development to help teachers build a deeper understanding of the mathematics they teach and develop instructional strategies to engage all students.
Denise earned a B.A. in elementary education, a M.A. in human services leadership, and an Ed.D. in educational leadership, all from the College of Saint Elizabeth. Her published dissertation is entitled, “Common Core State Standards for Mathematics: How Well do the Textbook and Instructional Methods Align?” She is certified in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade elementary education.
For more information about the PAEMST, visit:
For more information about the recent award cerermony, vist: