COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton County Theme School (NCTS) teacher, Jessica Tamburro, is one of three state finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in math and Science Teaching.
This is an award given to one science and one math educator a year at the state level, as chosen by the United States Department of Education. Her status was announced during the recent National Science Teaching Association’s National Conference at the Georgia Science Teachers Association awards luncheon. Tamburro was nominated by Dr. Vicki Meeler, Secondary Science Curriculum & Instructional Specialist for Newton County Schools.
“When I found out, it was just shock and excitement, all at the same time,” said Tamburro who teaches sixth grade earth science. “I knew I had worked hard on the process of the application, but this is such a big award with many applicants, I wasn’t sure what would happen. I am very proud of myself and am thankful for Dr. Meeler for what she sees in me.”
"Mrs. Tamburro goes above and beyond to incorporate technology into her science classroom; however, she uses it to allow her students to engage in creative problem solving and design,” said Meeler. “It is not just a mode of disseminating information. I nominated her because her impact is so much wider than the four walls of her classroom. She is a leader in our county who devotes time to sharing her ideas with other teachers via teacher trainings and meetings. She is a phenomenal teacher.”
Ms. Tamburro has been a member of the Newton County School System team since 2012. She began her career as a teacher at General Ray Davis Middle School in Rockdale County Schools in 2009.
“What I love about teaching science is getting students engaged, interested and asking questions,” Tamburro explained. “I teach sixth grade earth science, so I get to develop many skills that these students will take with them through their secondary education experience. Sometimes the contest isn’t something interesting to them, so I enjoy thinking of creative ways to get the content to them and mastered. Aside from the content, I really love this age where I can form relationships and have fun with them in class.”
The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics teaching. The Awards were established by Congress in 1983. The President may recognize up to 108 exemplary teachers each year.
Awards are given to science, technology, engineering and mathematics teachers from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity schools, or the U.S. territories as a group (American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands).
The award recognizes those teachers who have both deep content knowledge of the subjects they teach and the ability to motivate and enable students to be successful in those areas. Since the program's inception, more than 5,200 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.
Awardees reflect the expertise and dedication of the nation's teaching corps, and they demonstrate the positive impact of excellent teachers on student achievement. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Nominees complete a rigorous application process that allows them to demonstrate deep content knowledge and their ability to adapt to a broad range of learners and teaching environments. A panel of distinguished mathematicians, scientists and educators at the state and national levels assess the applications before recommending nominees to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
Teachers are selected based on their distinction in the classroom and dedication to improving STEM education.
“From amazing science fair performance every year, to all-things social media, to our incredible dance team, Ms. Tamburro brings excellence to Newton County Theme School every day,” said Dr. LaMoyne Brunson. “I am so appreciative of all the ways she contributes to the positive school climate here at NCTS.”