Gill St. Bernard's Math Teacher Kristina Lasher of Peapack Named NJ Finalist in PAEMST Contest

Oct 05, 2012, 12:40 ET from Gill St. Bernard's School

GLADSTONE, N.J., Oct. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This summer, GSB Middle School math teacher Kristina Lasher (Peapack) was named one of two NJ Finalists eligible to receive a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).


Established by Congress in 1983, the PAEMST program authorizes that the President of the United States annually bestow up to 108 awards to mathematics and science teachers kindergarten through grade 12. Aside from recognizing hundreds of outstanding teachers in mathematics and science each year, this program also provides an opportunity to build lasting partnerships with colleagues across the nation. To qualify for this prestigious award — the highest recognition that any math or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States — all candidates must first be nominated by a principal, teacher, parent, student or member of the general community and later complete a three-step application process.

Lasher was recommended for this award by GSB's Middle School Director Matthew Huber in the fall of 2011. In his submission, Huber not only recognized Lasher as a key member of the Middle School faculty at Gill St. Bernard's for the past eight years, but also noted her dedication to facilitating and adopting the school's Lower School Singapore Math program as a K-6 Math Coordinator. "Kristina has remained professional and forward-looking through all of these duties, always in pursuit of the best way to engage students in mathematical instruction," said Huber.

Upon submitting her letter of recommendation, Lasher was also required to complete an administrative, narrative and video application aimed at answering questions about her instruction methods, assessment tactics and overall leadership in the classroom. According to the PAEMST program, each application is evaluated using the following five Dimensions for Outstanding Teaching: mastery of mathematics content appropriate for the grade level taught, use of instructional methods and strategies that are appropriate for students in the class and that support student learning, effective use of student assessments to evaluate, monitor and improve student learning, reflective practice and life-long learning to improve teaching and student learning, and leadership in education outside the classroom.

The latter Dimension, leadership in education outside the classroom, is evidenced by Lasher's participation as co-author of numerous publications and involvement in several presentations and workshops. Lasher also holds a B.A. in psychology from Swarthmore College and a M.Ed. in reading K-12 from Arcadia University. "I can honestly say that our curriculum in mathematics is better today thanks to Kristina's efforts," said Huber.

Recipients of the 2012 PAEMST award at a national level will be notified this fall and will receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States, a paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the spring. With more than 1,400 honorees since the program's inception more than 25 years ago, awards are given each year to as many as two mathematics and science teachers from each of the 50 states, four U.S. jurisdictions and the U.S. territories as a group.

Gill St. Bernard's School (GSB), established in 1900, is an independent college preparatory school located in Gladstone, NJ for grades Pre-K through 12.

SOURCE Gill St. Bernard's School