Cold Water Teacher Finalist for National Math and Science Award

Lisa McPherson, Cold Water Elementary School fifth grade teacher, was recently recognized as a 2012 State Finalist in the “Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching” (PAEMST) by the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics and the Council of State Science Supervisors.

McPherson has taught science at Cold Water Elementary for 18 years.

Shaun Bates, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education science education director, presented McPherson with a trophy and a framed certificate during a recent HSD mathematics and science professional development session. Dr. Crystal Reiter, assistant superintendent for learning, and Carrie Launius, science learning facilitator, along with approximately 100 of her peers, were all present during the special recognition.

“Lisa’s deep commitment for students to learn science makes her very deserving of this award,” said Launius.

Superintendent Grayling Tobias stopped by a short time later to congratulate McPherson on receiving this  honor.

“On behalf of everyone at HSD, we congratulate Lisa on this deserving recognition,” said Tobias. “Our No. 1 priority at HSD is that our children succeed, and this is acknowledgement that Lisa is making a difference in the lives of her students.”

When asked what she enjoys most about teaching, McPherson responded, “The thing I love the most about teaching is inspiring a love of learning in children. My job is making what students learn meaningful and relevant to them. I love the ‘aha’ moments when students get something new.

“My family inspires me. Without their love and support, I would not be the person I am today. I have learned so much from them. The people I work with are also like my family, and I have learned from them as well.  I could not do this job without the support of everyone I live and work with. My students inspire me also. They make me want to keep learning,” McPherson said.

McPherson and her husband Jeff have three children. Nicole is in college, Mike is in eighth grade and Tom is in fifth grade.

According to its website, PAEMST awards are the nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science, including computer science. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. Since 1983, more than 4,200 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.

McPherson will now move on to compete with two other state finalists for the National PAEMST. If selected, the awardee receives a certificate signed by the president of the United States and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. Awardees and their guests are honored during events that take place in Washington, DC.


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