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Metairie Academy Teacher Wins Presidential Award

Claudia Suazo

Metairie Academy for Advanced Studies teacher Claudia Suazo has won the nation’s highest honor for teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Suazo received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. It’s the highest honor bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 mathematics and science teaching. Established by Congress in 1983, the President may recognize up to 108 exemplary teachers each year.

“Winning the Presidential Award is an honor that is humbling and extraordinary,” said Suazo. “This award is a recognition that I cannot accept alone. The administrators, teachers, parents, and students that I have had the honor to work with are all a significant part of this achievement. Receiving this honor inspires me to continue to grow as an educator and collaborate with others to help prepare our students to take an active role in contributing to educational excellence in our nation.”

Each Presidential Award winner receives a certificate signed by the President of the United States and a $10,000 award from NSF. Awardees also are honored during recognition events that take place in Washington, D.C. These events include an award ceremony, professional development opportunities, and discussions with policy-makers on how to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

“This recognition signifies a level of instructional excellence we should all admire and respect,” said JPPSS Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley. “Through this award, she brings honor to our public school system here in Jefferson Parish.”

Suazo has taught fourth and fifth grade math, science, and social studies at Metairie Academy for the last 11 years. She has served as a technology model classroom teacher, a member of the district’s External Committee Assessment Review Team, and a technology integration leader at her school.

Suazo has presented at various professional development meetings and conferences, created educational blogs and videos, and mentored colleagues to improve their teaching practices. She strongly believes in providing collaborative, engaging, and differentiated lessons that integrate technology to prepare her students for success in the digital age.