OKLAHOMA CITY -- Casey Lambert, a science teacher at Moore West Junior High in Moore, is one of three state-level finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister announced in a news release Tuesday.

Brigit Minden, Central High Public Schools in Marlow, and Cheryl Fentress, Bartlesville Public Schools, are the state's other two secondary math and science finalists.

Established in 1983, PAEMST is the highest recognition a K-12 mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Awards alternate each year between elementary and secondary teachers.

The finalists were chosen by a local selection committee of teachers, district-level personnel, representatives from higher education and past awardees.

Each finalist demonstrated a mastery of math or science instruction and effective use of student assessments to improve student learning. Up to two Oklahoma finalists could be named national recipients of the award.

The national recipients represent all 50 states and U.S. territories. Winners will receive 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 and a certificate signed by the President of the United States.

Lambert, a science finalist, has been teaching for nine years and teaches seventh-grade science and eighth-grade STEM. She is pursuing her master's degree in education, is the science department chairwoman in her school and was the 2015 Teacher of the Year at Highland East Junior High in Moore.

"I am proud to stand up with my fellow educators, parents and students to fight for what matters most - the education of each and every student in Oklahoma," Lambert said in the news release.

Fentress is also a science finalist. She has 35 years of teaching experience and teaches ninth-grade honors biology at Bartlesville High School in Bartlesville. She is a member of the Bartlesville District Science Fair Board, was the 2019 Bartlesville High School Teacher of the Year and is the sponsor of student science fair projects at the local, state and international level.

Minden is a math finalists. She teaches high school math at Central High Public School in Marlow. She was the district's Teacher of the Year in 2016 and was on the writing team for the Oklahoma Mathematics Frameworks for three years. Minden has been teaching for nine years.

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