Medlin Math Teacher Named State Finalist
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Medlin’s Kristy Butler Named State Finalist for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
Posted on 01/27/2021
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Kristy Butler headshot

The State Board of Education (SBOE) officially announced Kristy Butler, advanced math teacher at Medlin Middle School, as a finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, placing her among the top three recipients in the state.

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science teaching. The Awards were established by Congress in 1983. The President of the United States may recognize up to 108 exemplary teachers each year.

“Being named a state finalist for PAEMST reaffirms my purpose for teaching and the time given to building innovative lessons,” Butler said.  “I want students to love my class because they know I will respect them for who they are and will work hard to make their learning memorable. Being named a finalist reassures me I am on the right track.”

Awards are given to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or computer science teachers from each of the 50 states, recognizing instructors with both a deep content knowledge of the subjects they teach and the ability to motivate and enable students to be successful in those areas. Since the program's inception, more than 5,000 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.

“I live for aha moments and watching my students grow,” said Butler. One of my favorite things to hear from a student is when they thank me for pushing them and believing in them. It’s the absolute best.”

Selected to represent Texas as a state finalist, The State Board of Education flew a flag from the State Capital in Butler’s honor.  Her name has also been passed on to the National Science Foundation (NSF) to be considered for recognition at the national level.  If chosen as a national Presidential Awardee in the spring, Butler will receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States along with a $10,000 award.

Kristy Butler with flag

With 16 years of total teaching experience, Butler has been serving Medlin Mustang students for the past three years. In that short period of time, Butler has been named Medlin’s Staff of the Month twice by her peers and was also nominated as Exemplar Educator of the Year for two consecutive years.

“Kristy has made a huge impact at Medlin,” said Paige Cantrell, principal at Medlin Middle School.  “We noticed quickly that Kristy is a leader among our teachers and is constantly looking for ways to engage her students in math and make learning fun.”

The State Board of Education will honor Butler and the other PAEMST finalists and awardees through the adoption of formal resolutions at the general virtual meeting to be held on Friday, Jan. 29.