LoriAnn Pawlik awarded with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
Posted on 11/06/2019
LoriAnn Pawlik with the certificate of her award and Dr. Shane Gero a National Geographic wildlife biologist

LoriAnn Pawlik, assistant principal of Kerrydale Elementary, has been awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The recognition comes with a $10,000 unrestricted award from the National Science Foundation.

Pawlik, a former STEM teacher at Penn Elementary, makes learning fun and engaging through innovative lessons that connect the classroom to the real-world. For example, through a National Geographic Educator-Explorer partnership, she teamed up with Dr. Shane Gero, a National Geographic wildlife biologist and founder of the Dominica Sperm Whale Project, to teach fifth-graders about the ocean and one of its largest residents, whales.

Penn Elementary Principal Dr. Elliot Bolles said of his former STEM teacher and math specialist, “She valued “learning by doing" and had created well-rounded lessons with both concepts and experiences to reach a wide variety of learners in our community.”

Many of her former Penn Elementary students remarked at how she made science cool, fun and interesting. “Ms. Pawlik really helped me understand math,” one student explained. Another added, “I didn’t like science until we did it with Ms. Pawlik.”

Pawlik is humbled by the prestigious honor. “I would like to thank my students, colleagues, parents and family, for together they supported my passion in maximizing the opportunities that I had to empower my students—preparing them to care about the world and those within it so they could learn the importance of knowledge and of how to make a difference,” she said.

The White House and the National Science foundation presented Pawlik, specifically, with the award for excellence in elementary science instruction. The honor is regarded as the nation’s top honor for mathematics and science educators. In a press release, Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane stated, “They are experts in the content they teach, and engage their students through authentic, real-world learning experiences and projects that include Virginia’s Five C’s: critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration and citizenship.”

Pawlik is among 215 educators to receive the recognition. She recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the awards ceremony and professional development activities.

Pawlik’s commitment to student learning is #PositivelyPWCS!