MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. (WTRF) – A Moundsville Middle School Teacher has received the most prestigious award a teacher can receive, and it came signed and sealed by the President of the United States.
KatJamie Pettit has been a science teacher at Moundsville Middle School for the past 10 years and has been a firm believer in hands-on learning since day one. So, when the opportunity to apply for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching was presented, she didn’t hesitate.
The P-A-E-M-S-T award is the highest honor a science or math teacher in the United States can receive. And this time, the White House received an abundance of applications. So when she applied two years ago—she thought she would never be a front runner.
So, I thought, “Well there go my chances.” Then last summer I was contacted to say that I was a state finalist. So, I was one of the top three science teachers for K-6 in West Virginia. And I was shocked by that. I thought for sure that was as far as I was going to go.JAIME PETTIT- PRESIDENTIAL EXCELLENCE AWARD RECIPIENT
But she was wrong. She went on to be selected as the winner of the Presidential Award in Science for West Virginia—And received her recognition at the White House signed by President Trump himself.
I think it’s just an acknowledgement of what teachers try to bring into our classroom to our students and this is just confirming that rigorous, peer reviewed instructions taking place in my classroom.JAIME PETTIT- PRESIDENTIAL EXCELLENCE AWARD RECIPIENT
Jamie says her love for science and amazing teachers growing in Marshall County is what inspired her to become an educator. Now—she says having the opportunity to inspire students is what she loves most.
And I think that’s what I like so much about it. Just seeing the flashlight go off in their heads. To see the light bulb. To see them get excited about something. And to get excited about science class. It’s one of the best things about being here.JAIME PETTIT- PRESIDENTIAL EXCELLENCE AWARD RECIPIENT
And when you ask her students if they think she is deserving of this award—they say it’s a no brainer.
Because it was fun, and we got to do hands-on activities and not just book work all the time.AUBREY RICHMOND- 7TH GRADE, MMS
Because she’s a good teacher. She’s nice to us. She deserves it.MAVERICK LEMASTERS- 7TH GRADE, MMS
It was really fun. We did a whole bunch of stuff. One of my favorites was we did owl pellets and got to see what was in there.DULANEY ANDERSON- 7TH GRADE, MMS
Jaime attended the ceremony with 4 other teachers from the state of West Virginia, and many teachers from across the United States. Jamie will also have the opportunity to attend professional development activities in Washington, and also receive a ten-thousand-dollar award from the National Science Foundation.