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SPS Teacher Earns National Recognition

Liberty Educator Receives Presidential Award
Posted on 11/01/2019

Liberty School digital literacy and computer science teacher Melissa Zeitz has been recognized with a national award for excellence in math and science teaching, Springfield Public Schools announced today.

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest award given by the U.S. Government to kindergarten through 12th grade teachers of mathematics and science, including computer science. Teachers are selected based on their distinction in the classroom and dedication to improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

“I always say that Springfield Public Schools is home to some of the finest teachers in all the land,” said Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick. “We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Melissa Zeitz, who is very deserving of this award.”

Warwick highlighted the importance of exposing students to high quality STEM educational opportunities. “The exposure allows them to think about the wide array of STEM careers in real ways and opens the door to unlimited possibilities in this burgeoning field,” said Warwick. “Computer science is a 21st century career option and the earlier students are exposed to the curriculum, the better chance of their interest being piqued and built upon.”

Zeitz, who has worked for the past 14 years at Liberty Elementary School with a specialization in special education and instructional technology, also serves as technology curriculum resource coordinator for district’s National Science Foundation computer science grant.  A partnership with the University of Massachusetts, the grant is used to ensure computer science curriculum is integrated into all subjects.

Zeitz said the honor of the award provides her an opportunity to highlight and expand the district’s work in the STEM fields.

“I share this award and honor with my colleagues, administrators, and students,” she said. “I feel this recognition will give me the opportunity to inspire district leaders, teachers, and students to step out of their comfort zones into new and exciting educational endeavors, as I did in the field of Computer Science.”

President Donald Trump announced the recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) during a ceremony earlier this month. Awardees come from schools in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools, and schools in the United States territories of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.  Nominations and awards are facilitated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science Foundation. 


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