Shelley Paul, a first grade teacher at Anderson Elementary School, is a recipient of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
Awarded by the White House, the PAEMST is the nation's highest honor for teachers of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science.
Paul has been teaching at Anderson Elementary School for 29 years. She currently teaches first grade. She has been the building's lead science teacher for 15 years.
Rather than using a book, she uses manipulatives to teach science to her first-graders and lets them explore concepts hands-on.
Assistant Superintendent Angie Brewer said, "We are thrilled to have Shelley Paul as a member of our teaching staff at Anderson Elementary. She's an outstanding teacher and we are lucky to have her on our staff. She uses an innovative hands-on approach to teach science with her first graders, and that creates a great foundation."
Sarah Messley, principal of Anderson Elementary, said, "The PAEMST team chose well. Here at Anderson Elementary, we are very proud of Mrs. Paul's accomplishments. Shelley is an innovative teacher. She understands how kids learn and makes learning fun. I appreciate the way she inspires students to do their best. She is enthusiastic and shares that love for learning with her students. We are proud that Mrs. Paul has been recognized at the national level."
"I have known Shelley for approximately 16 years," said Jan VanGilder, an educational consultant for the Southwest Center in Webb City. "I was working on a National Science Foundation Grant in which McDonald County participated. Shelley became one of our trainers for teachers. She loved the hands-on, project-based, inquiry approach to teaching science to first graders.
"This award is an honor. One that recognizes teachers for stepping out into uncharted territory and reaching students. I believe that is one of Shelley's strong suits. She continually looks for ways to reach her students and grow them."
Recipients of the award received $10,000 from the National Science Foundation, a certificate signed by the president, and a trip to Washington, D.C., to celebrate their accomplishments.
"When I read the email declaring that I had been chosen as a Presidential Award winner, I burst into tears," Paul said. "I was overwhelmed with excitement to be the first teacher from my district to receive this prestigious recognition. I am truly honored to represent my rural Southwest Missouri community on this distinctive national stage. Receiving this award validates the efforts I have made to create a stimulating learning environment that allows my first graders to develop a true love for science."General News on 10/31/2019