Cushing kindergarten teacher receives national honors

Dec 24, 2013
Courtesy of: Beth Heidimann Student Cavanaugh Maloney measures teacher Beth Heidimann's ear during a lesson on body parts last year. Heidemann teaches kindergarten at Cushing Community School.

Washington, D.C. — President Barack Obama has named 102 mathematics and science teachers as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

This year’s awardees represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Department of Defense Education Activity. The educators will receive their awards at a Washington, DC, event in the coming year.

Locally, Cushing Community School kindergarten teacher Elizabeth Heidemann, has been named. The only other Maine teacher is Karen Jagolinzer, a math instructor from Yarmouth.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level. Each year the award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through sixth grade and those teaching seventh through 12th grades. The 2012 awardees named teach kindergarten through sixth grade.

Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also are invited to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and the Administration.

“These teachers are inspiring today’s young students to become the next generation of American scientists, mathematicians, and innovators,” President Obama said in a news release. “Through their passion and dedication, and by sharing their excitement about science, technology, engineering, and math, they are helping us build a promising future for all our children.”

Excellent math and science teachers, exemplified by these awardees, are critical to getting more students engaged in the increasingly important science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. That’s why President Obama has committed to strengthening STEM education and has called for preparing 100,000 excellent science and mathematics teachers over the next decade — a goal that inspired the creation of “100kin10,” a coalition of leading corporations, philanthropies, universities, service organizations, and others working to train and retain STEM teachers across the Nation. The President has also proposed to further strengthen the STEM teaching profession by launching a new STEM Master Teacher Corps, leveraging the expertise of some of our nation’s best and brightest teachers in science and mathematics to elevate the teaching of these subjects nationwide.

Nominations for the 2014 PAEMST are open through April 1, 2014. For more information about PAEMST, please visit To see a list of all awardees, go to:

Comments (4)
Posted by: Elizabeth Dickerson | Dec 30, 2013 10:31

Congratulations! We are so proud of you and so blessed to have you teaching our children!

Posted by: SHIRLEY STENBERG | Dec 25, 2013 20:51

I used to volunteer in her classroom.  Beth instills dignity in all of her students by creating an atmosphere for their creative imaginations and respect for each other. It has been such a privilege to know her during the past twenty three years.  Congratulations, Beth, you deserve this award.

Shirley Stenberg

Posted by: robert garcia | Dec 25, 2013 12:26

One of the most extraordinary teachers I have ever met, and we're so blessed that she taught our twins...this is a great Christmas present Beth and one that you have earned year in and year out. What a gift you are to us in Cushing!

Posted by: Lynn Snow | Dec 25, 2013 08:51

Well deserved!  Congratulations Beth!

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