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Three Hoover City Schools Teachers Chosen as Alabama Finalists for the Presidential Teaching Award

September 22, 2021

Three Hoover City Schools Teachers Chosen as Alabama Finalists for the Presidential Teaching Award

The Hoover City Schools (HCS) District is thrilled to announce that three teachers have been selected as finalists for the prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). 

The award is the nation’s highest honor for K through 12th grades science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teachers in the United States. The awards program is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The finalists are as followed:

2020 Finalist for Science

Geri Evans, Bluff Park Elementary School 

2021 Finalists for Science

Amber Mashon, Spain Park High School

Janet Ort, Hoover High School


Geri Evans, a STEAM teacher for grades Kindergarten through five at Bluff Park Elementary, said, “My hope every day is that my passion for STEAM shines through in my classroom. Sparking a love for science, technology, engineering, and math in my students is a task I embrace. I love what I do and feel honored to be selected as a finalist for this award.”


HCS finalists represent the most outstanding teachers Alabama has to offer and serve as both a model and an inspiration to students and fellow teachers. There were a total of three Alabama finalists selected for the 2021 PAEMST for the science category and two of them are HCS teachers! 

Amber Mashon, who teaches 10th - 12th grades chemistry, anatomy, and physiology at Spain Park High School said, “I am so grateful that I get to do what I love, in a place I love, with people I love every single day. There are countless well-deserving teachers on the front lines of education that do what I do every day.  I’m still in awe and truly honored to be selected for such a prestigious award and I'm thankful for Hoover City Schools for providing support and opportunities allowing me to enjoy a profession that can make such a difference in the lives of our young people.

Janet Ort, who is a Hoover High School AP Environmental Science and on level Environmental Science teacher for 11th and 12 grades and a STEM Team Coach/Sponsor said, “This is one of the most meaningful awards for a science or math teacher and to be chosen as a state finalist on my first submission is even more fabulous. This recognition, and being chosen as the Alabama Science Teachers Association Secondary Teacher of the Year in 2020, made me realize that amazing HCS teachers of ALL subjects should be winning all the time.  Our successes do not take place in a vacuum. It takes visionary and supportive administrations and fellow staff members to fulfill dreams. It also happens because someone takes time to nominate another teacher.  So I challenge each HCS teacher to find awards for all subject matters & nominate their peers!”

Each year, a national committee of prominent mathematicians, scientists, district-level personnel, and classroom teachers recommends up to 108 teachers to receive PAEMST awards. Up to two teachers—mathematics or science—from each state will receive the award. 

Teachers who are selected as PAEMST awardees receive a trip to Washington, D.C., where they attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities. They also receive a $10,000 award from NSF, a Presidential certificate, and join an elite cohort of award-winning teachers who can influence state and national STEM teaching.

The 2020 and 2021 Alabama finalists will be honored at the PAEMST Luncheon on October 14, 2021, at the Capital City Club in Montgomery. The luncheon is invite-only and sponsored by the Alabama State Department of Education, Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics, Council of State Science Supervisors, The National Science Foundation, and The White House Office of Science and Technology.