Return to Headlines

Two Delaware educators receive national teaching award

President Joe Biden has named two Delaware teachers recipients of the 2020 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the highest recognition that K-12 STEM teachers can receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. 
Brandi Luloff of Townsend Elementary School in the Appoquinimink School District is the 2020 mathematics awardee.  Leona Williams of Forwood Elementary School in the Brandywine School District is the 2020 science awardee.
Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Holodick congratulated both for this prestigious honor.

“Brandi and Leona’s students know first-hand how great teaching leads to great learning. I am pleased these teachers are getting this national recognition for the work they lead in their schools every day,” he said, noting he witnessed as Brandywine’s former superintendent how Williams connects STEM content to relevant topics and issues that impact students and their families. “It naturally increases student engagement and interest.”
Two other Delaware educators were honored as 2020 DE State Finalists: 
●     Sara Bushey (mathematics), Lake Forest North Elementary School, Lake Forest School District
●     Sonia Saunders (science), Brandywine Springs School, Red Clay Consolidated School District
Delaware also has named six finalists for the 2021 award, which the national program has not yet decided. 
The 2021 DE State Finalists are:
●     Katherine Hoffecker, Odessa High School, Appoquinimink School District
●     Tommie Polite, Laurel Middle School, Laurel School District
●     Michael Reitemeyer, Las Americas ASPIRA Academy
●     Corey Butterfield, George Read Middle School, Colonial School District
●     Brian Heeney, Delcastle Technical High School, New Castle County Vocational Technical School District
●     Erin Motley, Gunning Bedford Middle School, Colonial School District
The goal of the PAEMST program is to exemplify the highest standards of mathematics and science teaching (including technology, engineering and computer science) in addition to honoring individual achievement. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.  The award alternates between teachers of kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades.  Every year each state selects up to three mathematics teachers and three science teachers as state finalists. A national selection committee reviews state finalist applications and selects one awardee in each content area for every state. Teachers are recognized for their contributions to teaching and learning and their ability to help students make progress in mathematics and science. As part of the recognition process, awardees take part in a weeklong series of networking and professional development activities in Washington, D.C., and receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation.
For more information about PAEMST and to see nomination forms and application instructions, visit

Alison May
(302) 735-4006