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JPPSS Teacher Selected as State Finalist for Presidential Teaching Award

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Kristen Mason to be recognized September 16 at Presidential Award Luncheon at the Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge

Ruppel Academy for Advanced Studies mathematics teacher, Kristen Mason has been selected as a Louisiana state finalist for the 2014 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House, the Presidential Award is the nation’s highest honor for U. S. mathematics and science teachers for grades K-12. Mason is one of two finalists to represent Louisiana for the Presidential Awards in Mathematics and Science Teaching Program.

Michelle Blouin-Williams, Chief Academic Officer for the Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS), wrote a letter of recommendation nominating Mason for the Presidential Award.

“Kristen is truly dedicated to her profession and exhibits her commitment within the quality of instruction she provides to the students of Ruppel Academy,” said Blouin-Williams. “I have personally witnessed Kristen’s enthusiasm for her students as she has participated in extracurricular academic activities within the school system’s secondary mathematics department. Kristen exemplifies the best our profession has to offer. She passionately believes in what she does and understands the vital role teachers have in preparing students for an ever-changing world.”

Ruppel Academy principal, Debra Cooper says that she is not surprised that Mason is being recognized as a state finalist.

“Kristen’s love for teaching mathematics is felt by her students as well as her colleagues,” added Cooper. “She is ‘that’ teacher that every student wants and deserves. We are proud and honored to have Kristen as a member of the Ruppel Academy family.”

Mason says mathematics plays a constant role in the lives of her students and promotes logical thinking and problem solving.

“I am truly honored to represent our district and Ruppel Academy as a Louisiana state finalist in math,” said Mason. I am dedicated to teaching. Each day, I strive to ensure my students master the standards and love learning math.”

As a Louisiana finalist, Mason will be recognized September 16, 2014 along with other state finalists in Baton Rouge during a Presidential Award Luncheon at the Governor’s Mansion.

Mason has been employed with the Jefferson Parish Public School System for ten years teaching middle school mathematics. She became a National Board Certified teacher of early adolescence mathematics in 2010, and was also recognized as the 2011 Teacher of the Year for her school. Most recently, in 2013, Mason received her Masters of Education in Educational Leadership.

PAEMST awardees have been shown to devote more time to professional development, incorporate innovative approaches into their classroom teaching, and be more likely to use computers and other technologies in their classrooms.

Each year, a national committee of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators recommends up to 108 teachers to receive PAEMST awards – two teachers – one mathematics and one science – from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. territories as a group, and the schools operated in the United States and overseas by the Department of Defense Education Activity.