GLADSTONE, N.J., Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gill St. Bernard's Middle School science teacher Teri Cosentino was recently named one of two state finalists eligible in the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) contest. Cosentino marks the second GSB teacher in two years to be nominated a finalist in the PAEMST contest, following fellow Middle School math teacher Kristina Lasher's nomination last September.
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 grades kindergarten through 12. Aside from recognizing hundreds of outstanding teachers in both subjects each year, the program also provides an opportunity to build lasting partnerships with colleagues across the nation. National recipients of the 2013 PAEMST award will be notified next fall, and are eligible to receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States, a paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., and a $10,000 stipend from the National Science Foundation (NSF). To qualify for the PAEMST—the highest recognition that any math or science educator may receive for outstanding teaching in America—all candidates must first be nominated by a principal, teacher, parent, student or member of the general community.
Cosentino was recommended for the 2013 award by Matthew Huber, director of the Middle School at Gill. In his submission, Huber recognized Cosentino's excitement toward creating new and exciting learning opportunities for students. "Our campus is an extension of Teri's science lab," said Huber. "I always enjoy watching Teri with her students as they venture off to do a stream study, tap sugar maple trees or explore products of the GSB garden. Her enthusiasm for the environment is infectious as is evident in her students' joyous participation in all of these activities and more."
Upon submitting a letter of recommendation, Cosentino was also required to complete an administrative, narrative and video application aimed at answering questions about her instruction methods, assessment tactics and overall leadership both in and outside of the classroom. Among the diverse array of topics covered by Cosentino are lessons on watershed models, maple tree tapping and hatching chickens, quail and trout. "I want my students to understand that science is more than just fun; that it's interesting, thought-provoking and one of the strands that connects us to each other and to our world," said Cosentino, also a volunteer stream monitor with the Raritan Headwaters Association in New Jersey.
Other recent distinctions earned by Cosentino include the St. Bernard's School Chair of Excellence in Teaching Award—a GSB award presented to Cosentino at Commencement on June 2, 2013—and the Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award, granted annually by the New Jersey Science Teachers Association and received four times by Cosentino since 2009.
Cosentino, who joined Gill St. Bernard's School from the Oak Knoll School of Summit, N.J. in 2008, holds a Master of Arts in teaching from Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey), as well as a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from The University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. A mother of two, Cosentino currently resides in Brookside, N.J. with her husband Tom.
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