Oklahoma teachers receive national awards in mathematics, science

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Carrie Burkhart
Director of Communications
(405) 521-3371, c: (405) 760-7881

Erin Corbin
Communications Specialist
(405) 521-3375

Annette Price
Communications Specialist
(405) 521-6647



Oklahoma teachers receive national awards in mathematics, science

OKLAHOMA CITY (Feb. 18, 2022) – Two Oklahoma teachers have been named recipients of the prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). PAEMST is the highest recognition in the nation a K-12 mathematics or science educator may receive for outstanding teaching.

The following educators will receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation as part of the PAEMST honor:

  • Jennifer Donwerth of Edmond Public Schools (mathematics)
  • Karla White of Bethany Public Schools (science)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister congratulated the awardees for their innovative work with Oklahoma students.

“These dedicated educators bring the wonder and discovery of math and science to our young learners through rich, engaging, hands-on lessons,” Hofmeister said. “Jennifer and Karla represent the exceptional talent of teachers in Oklahoma, and we are so proud of them as they receive this distinguished recognition.”

Nominees completed a rigorous application process in 2020 that allowed them to demonstrate deep content knowledge and the ability to adapt to a broad range of learners and teaching environments. Donwerth and White were named state finalists last year.


Jennifer Donwerth teaches second grade at Centennial Elementary in Edmond Public Schools. She loves incorporating technology into student learning. Donwerth has been teaching for 15 years.

"Math should be exciting. I wish for my students not just to learn math but to experience it. I desire for them to feel safe enough to explore, discover and take risks. I want to hear them talking about math and seeing its application in their everyday lives," Donwerth said.


Karla White teaches fifth grade at Earl Harris Elementary in Bethany Public Schools. White is a Science Improvement Fellow for the Oklahoma Excel Program, Oklahoma Science Teaching Association President (OSTA) and has been OSTA’s Oklahoma Elementary Science Teacher of the Year.

“I believe that all students deserve access to equitable science learning. Students should be taught to observe, question and make sense of the world around them,” White said.


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Last updated on February 21, 2022