Mast Way Instructor Named State Finalist

Mast Way Instructor Named State Finalist of the Presidential Award for Excellence
Posted on 01/10/2023
Susan Leifer, Mast Way Elementary Digital Learning SpecialistDURHAM – The Oyster River Cooperative School District is pleased to share that a Mast Way Elementary School instructor has been named the 2022 New Hampshire State Finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Digital Learning Specialist Susan Leifer was nominated for the award in February by a parent. After 11 months of submitting essays, lesson plan samples, community projects, and other documentation of her teaching and community outreach, Leifer was selected as State Finalist.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is a high honor bestowed by the United States government to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science educators who have deep knowledge of the subjects they teach and the ability to motivate and enable students to be successful in those areas and beyond.

As State Finalist, Leifer will be considered for national recognition. National Level Awardees for Leifer’s cohort will likely be announced in March 2024.

“I am honored to be a New Hampshire State Finalist. The entire process has been a wonderful opportunity to look back, reflect and analyze the why and how behind my teaching. It has also afforded me the opportunity to completely understand how fortunate I am to work in such a supportive and encouraging district and State,” Leifer said. “I began teaching because one principal believed in my abilities, but I became the teacher I am today because hundreds of teachers, students, staff, parents, IT professionals, and administrators believed in me and helped me along the way.”

Each Presidential Awardee receives a certificate signed by the President of the United States, a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, and an all-expenses paid trip for an award ceremony in Washington, D.C. In addition, awardees join a national cohort of award-winning teachers, providing opportunities to impact teaching on a state and national scale.

“I don’t know of anyone more deserving of this recognition. Susan’s knowledge and skills of STEM concepts and her effectiveness of integrating them into the general curriculum and her own classes is highly valued at Mast Way,” said Principal Misty Lowe. “She is extraordinary, works exhaustively, and is always pushing the envelope to provide the absolute best for Mast Way students and families, before, during, and after school.”