INK! (Investing in Kids) recognizes Lori Price, a first-grade teacher at Ocean Palms Elementary School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., who was named as one of two recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) from the State of Florida. She was named as the INK! and St. Johns County School District Teacher of the Year in 2020 when she taught at The Webster School in St. Augustine, Fla. The other PAEMST recipient in Florida is Katrina Madok, who teaches science at Gerald Adams Elementary School in Key West.
The St. Johns County Education Foundation operates as INK! (Investing in Kids) and has an ongoing mission to provide innovative programs, classroom resources and teacher support to benefit the academic success of students in the St. Johns County School District, Fla.
The PAEMST is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 mathematics and science, including computer science teaching. The award recognizes teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning. Since 1983, more than 5,200 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. Awardees reflect the expertise and dedication of the Nation’s teaching corps as they demonstrate the positive impact of excellent teachers on student achievement.
Awardees serve as role models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) including computer science education. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Educational Impact.
According to Donna Lueders, INK! Executive Director, Price is being recognized and rewarded for her hard work and accomplishments. “Lori Price is an exceptional role model for all teachers who boost motivation and encourage teachers to do well, have a positive impact on educational performance, and increase student achievement,” Lueders said. “Lori supports the District’s core value that high expectations lead to higher performance which, in turn empowers the individual and strengthens society. We are very proud of Lori as an outstanding teacher who greatly benefits her students in St. Johns County.”
Teachers are nominated for the initial PAEMST award process and go through a rigorous application and review process, including lesson plans, video documentation of teaching styles, and personal reflection on teaching practices. The nomination period is open every two years, with nominations for elementary educators and secondary educators open on alternating years. The process takes close to a year of teacher initiatives to compile required documentation and reflect on their teaching practices. Each state carefully reviews materials through state selection committees and selects two to three finalists to be reviewed at the national level by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Price and each Presidential Awardee receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States, a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, and an award ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C. Awardees also join a national cohort of educators that provide impactful teaching on a national scale.
Price has been an educator for more than 30 years. She has a history of teaching in St. Johns County at Ocean Palms Elementary School, The Webster School, and Mill Creek Elementary School. Before teaching in Florida, Price taught for 19 years in Ohio at Loveland Primary, Goshen Intermediate, Amanda Elementary, and Burton Elementary Schools.
“I am extremely honored to receive the Presidential Award. I am grateful to my family, colleagues, and mentors who have supported me throughout this journey and my students from whom I have learned so much,” said Price. “This award reaffirms the importance of building a student-centered community where risk-taking is encouraged and mistakes are seen as important learning opportunities. Receiving this award provides an opportunity to join other educators to inspire the next generation of mathematicians,” she said.
Price added that she is passionate about developing first grade mathematicians and developing lessons which allow students to learn with and from each other. “Students engage in tasks designed to develop conceptual understanding and then use that understanding to derive strategies for solving problems. I strive to inspire all students to see themselves as capable learners with important ideas,” she said.
Price earned a B.S. degree in education from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. She is certified in elementary education and exceptional student education and holds certifications in English Language Learners and Reading. Price is the President of the St. Johns County Elementary Math Council and active in the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
As the 2020 St. Johns County Teacher of the Year, Price represented the St. Johns County School District in the statewide Teacher of the Year program and participated in the Florida Teachers Lead Network and District Teacher Advisory Group.
Alicia Pressel, St. Johns County Teacher of the Year for 2021 stated, “This tremendous accomplishment by Lori demonstrates her excellence in education and the exceptional impact she has on her students’ learning. It is also an incredible honor for St. Johns County to have such an excellent educator within our community.”
Dana Kelly, a first-grade teacher at Palencia Elementary who serves with Price on the St. Johns Elementary Math Council shared, “I have learned so much from Lori. Her passion for inspiring students in their journey as mathematicians is contagious. Her impact on St. Johns County elementary teachers through the Mini-Math Conference is an incredible blessing not only to teachers but also all the students they serve.”
INK! promotes academic success for all St. Johns County public school students by providing innovative programs and resources to support over 47,000 students and approximately 2,785 teachers. The office is located at 1 Christopher St. in St. Augustine. For more information, contact Donna Lueders at 904-547-7120 or email Donna.Lueders@stjohns.k12.fl.us. Visit the website at www.ink-stjohns.org.
Visit the White House press release at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/02/08/president-biden-honors-117-individuals-and-organizations-with-highest-u-s-award-for-science-and-mathematics-teachers-and-mentors.
Visit the Lori Price biography on the PAEMST site at https://www.paemst.org/finalist_profile/5200