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Williamston Teacher Named PAEMST National Finalist

Becky Durling, a Young Fives teacher at Discovery Elementary, has been selected as a national finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Ms. Durling has been an instrumental part of Williamston's award-winning STEAM initiative. She was previously recognized as the Michigan Science Teachers Association Teacher of the Year.

Becky Durling, PAEMST National Finalist, 2024

Ms. Durling was selected as a Michigan nominee for the national-level award due to her instructional innovation and widely recognized integrated STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) units.

Congratulations to Ms. Durling on this well-deserved accomplishment.

Ms. Durling, 2024 National PAEMST Finalist

Read the full press release below:

Durling PAEMST Press Release, 2024

View the MDE Press Release below:

Michigan Department of Education Press Release




May 9, 2024

Bob Wheaton, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs, 517-241-4395
Bill DiSessa, Spokesperson, 517-335-6649


Michigan Teachers Chosen as State Finalists for Math, Science Presidential
Teaching Award


May 9, 2024

LANSING – Four outstanding Michigan educators who work with elementary school students have been selected as state finalists for the 2024 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the Michigan Department of Education announced today.

They are:

  • Rebecca Durling, Discovery Elementary School, Williamston Community Schools, Science.
  • Molly Jeppesen, Symons Elementary School, Milan Area Schools, Science.
  • Jessica Mahl, Jane Addams Elementary School, South Redford School District, Science.
  • Janice Kato, North Elementary School, Birch Run Area Schools, Mathematics.

“Michigan and its students are fortunate to have so many dedicated and talented teachers,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice. “We salute these great educators and wish them the best of luck at the national level this year.”

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching program is administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Each year, a national committee of prominent mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science education researchers, district-level personnel, and classroom teachers recommends up to 110 teachers to receive the awards.

Of the finalists, up to two mathematics or science teachers from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. territories as a group, and schools operated in the United States and overseas by the Department of Defense Education Activity receive the award.

Awardees receive a trip to Washington, D.C., where they attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities. They also earn a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation and a presidential certificate and join an elite group of award-winning teachers who support and promote their state or jurisdiction and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teaching.

For more information, visit the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching website.