PA Department of Education Applauds Two Nationally Award-Winning STEM Educators

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) today congratulated the Pennsylvania recipients of the 2022 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Education (PAEMST). Both outstanding educators teach in the Philadelphia School District and the Juniata Valley School District.

“Pennsylvania continues to be a national leader in innovation in STEM and computer science education, and this would not be possible without the support of our dedicated, talented, and passionate educators,” the secretary said at education, Dr. Noe Ortega. “Congratulations to Jessica Tilli and Kristin Joivell for their hard work and representing the best of Pennsylvania.”

PAEMST is the highest honor given by the federal government to teachers for excellence in K-6 science, technology, math, and computer science. Jessica Tilli of Meredith Elementary School in the Philadelphia School District and Kristin Joivell of Juniata Valley Elementary School in the Juniata Valley School District were selected as PAEMST recipients for Pennsylvania.

Previous Pennsylvania winners include:

  • Susan Matthias, Kennett College (2019)
  • William McWatters, Octorara Area High School (2019)
  • Mary Brown, Central Columbia Elementary School (2018)
  • Joel Crowley, Milton Hershey School (2018)
  • Steven Miller, Upper St. Clair High School (2017)
  • Janet Waldeck, Pittsburgh Allderdice High School (2017)

PAEMST was created by Congress in 1983 and is administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The award recognizes educators with a deep knowledge of the content of the subjects they teach and the ability to motivate and enable students to succeed in these areas. The president can select up to 108 educators each year for the award. Since 1983, more than 5,200 teachers have been recognized for their contributions to the classroom and to their profession. The winners reflect the expertise and dedication of the country’s teaching profession, and they demonstrate the positive impact of excellent teachers on student success.

Pennsylvania remains a leader in STEM education. Since 2018, the governor has secured $20 million a year for PAsmart, which extends STEM and computer science education to learners of all ages. PAsmart targeted and advanced grants support high-quality STEM and computer science learning and professional development opportunities for communities in Pennsylvania, including early learning centers, libraries, afterschool providers, career and technical centers, post-secondary institutions, and K-12 schools. PDE awarded 438 PAsmart Grants since the 2018-19 school year.

For more information on the awards and recipients, please visit the PAEMST website at For more information about the Pennsylvania Department of Education, please visit the website or follow PDE on Facebook, TwitterYouTube or Pinterest.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kendall Alexander – [email protected]

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