Bruce Williams, a prominent math teacher at Hedgepeth-Williams Middle School in Trenton, NJ was named a Presidential Award Recipient for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Mr. Williams was one of 117 to be honored by President Biden for this award.
“The reason I became a teacher was to make a difference in the lives of our brilliant young students and to motivate them to become lifelong learners. Receiving the Presidential Award is a very proud and humbling honor,” said Williams. “It reflects the tremendous support I received in my 20-year career from administrators, colleagues, parents, students, and family. This award inspires me to continue to set high expectations for my students and to improve my practice so I can become a better teacher.”
Williams has been an educator in the district for more than 20 years. He has spent the last 12 years teaching sixth-grade mathematics at Hedgepeth-Williams Middle School of the Arts. He previously taught at Joyce Kilmer Middle School for eight years.
These awards honor the dedication, hard work, and important role that America’s teachers and mentors play in supporting learners who will be future STEM professionals, including climate scientists, mathematicians, innovators, space explorers, and engineers.
“I am deeply appreciative of the inspiration that America’s teachers and mentors provide every day to support the next generation of STEM professionals,” President Biden said. “The dedication these individuals and organizations have demonstrated to prepare students for careers in STEM fields, during what has been a difficult time for teachers, students, and families, plays a huge role in American innovation and competitiveness. The work that teachers and mentors do ensures that our Nation’s children are able to unlock — for themselves and all of us – a world of possibilities.”
The benefits of a quality STEM education fail to reach every learner in this country often due to racial, gender, economic, and geographic disparities. STEM teachers and mentors serve as powerful catalysts for developing the vast potential of our Nation’s learners. PAEMST honors STEM teachers for the commitment they bring to the classroom and for their efforts to meet the learning needs of all their students. PAESMEM recognizes mentors for their efforts to inspire and encourage individuals from underserved and underrepresented communities in STEM and their efforts to ensure that all Americans can fully participate in science, mathematics and technology regardless of gender, race, resources or geography.
Established in 1983, PAEMST is the highest award kindergarten through 12th grade mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers can receive from the U.S. government. Each year, the award criteria alternates years between kindergarten through sixth grade and seventh through 12th grade teachers. This year, kindergarten through sixth grade teachers will receive Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
Award recipients over the years represent schools and organizations from all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) schools, and the U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands).