Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera announced Virginia’s finalists for the 2023 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The award — regarded as the nation’s top honor for math and science teachers — recognizes educators who develop and implement high-quality instructional programs that improve student learning in mathematics and science.

The science finalists are as follows:

  • Colin Bouchillon, a general and honors biology and general and AP environmental science teacher at Manassas Park High in Manassas Park.
  • Erich Sneller, an honors STEM chemistry and Spanish-language environmental science teacher at Harrisonburg High in Harrisonburg.

The mathematics finalists are as follows:

  • Emily Burrell, an algebra, functions and data analysis teacher at South Lakes High in Fairfax County.
  • Yvette Lee, an economics and personal finance, honors coding and AP computer science principles teacher at John Randolph Tucker High in Henrico County.
  • Farr Pickett Quinn, a geometry and algebra teacher at Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School in Alexandria.

The commonwealth’s finalists were selected by review committees convened by the Virginia Department of Education.

“I applaud these teachers who excel in sharing their knowledge and inspiring students,” Guidera said. “Their love of and expertise in their subject matter is evident in lesson plans that engage students and promote academic excellence.”

The National Science Foundation administers the PAEMST program on behalf of the White House. A national review will follow for all finalists from each state, U.S. territory and state-level education system.

The winners from each state will receive a $10,000 unrestricted award from the foundation, a presidential certificate and a trip to the nation’s capital for a series of recognition events and professional development activities.

PAEMST recognitions alternate annually between teachers in grades K-6 and teachers in grades 7-12.

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