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Cheyenne math teacher selected as one of four state finalists for presidential award

Rock Simineo, who teaches math at East High School, is a finalist along with teachers Emmy Hergert, Charity Penn and London Jenks.

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A Cheyenne teacher has been selected as one of the 2023 state finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, or PAEMST.

Rock Simineo, who teaches math at East High School, is a finalist along with teachers Emmy Hergert, Charity Penn and London Jenks.

PAEMST is the highest recognition that K–12 mathematics, science or computer science teachers can receive in the U.S. Nominations and awards are facilitated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation.

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Hergert teaches seventh-grade math at Thermopolis Middle School, Penn teaches science at Douglas Middle School, and Jenks teaches physics, environmental science and earth systems/space science at Hot Springs County High School in Thermopolis.

Penn is also a 2021 finalist in the science cohort, which has yet to be awarded on PAEMST’s two-year cycle.

Each year, up to six finalists in each state are chosen for the award through a rigorous peer review process. The applications are forwarded to the National Science Foundation, where the final selection for the national Presidential Awardee is made.

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Enacted by Congress in 1983, the program authorizes the president to award 108 math and science teachers each year in recognition of their contribution to excellent teaching and learning.

Award recipients receive the following:

  • A certificate signed by the President of the United States.
  • 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.
  • An opportunity to build lasting partnerships with colleagues across the nation.

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