Background of the
Presidential Awards Program

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching (PAESMT) program was established in 1983 by The White House and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The program identifies outstanding science and mathematics teachers in each state and the four United States jurisdictions. Recognition is given to kindergarten through twelveth grade teachers. Since 1983, 2,340 mathematics awardees have been named. Of this number, we know that forty-nine of our colleagues have died. The Class of 2016, the thirty-fourth class, has been judged but has yet to be announced by the White House.


Background of our "Logos"

Newsletter Logo

CPAM's newsletter was started in October 1984 and has continued publication on a regular basis since that time. The logo of the newsletter is a sketch of The White House in Washington, DC and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. The intention of the logo is to remind awardees of the Awards Week in Washington and of the Annual NCTM meeting in San Francisco in April 1984 during which time the idea of an awardee newsletter was established.


CPAM Pin Logo

The logo that is used for the CPAM pin was designed by Silver Burdett (now Silver Burdett Ginn) in the mid-eighties to use on gifts to the awardees. In 1986, CPAM, with Silver Burdett's permission, began using this design for its pin.

 


CPAM Facts and History

As the nominees for the Class of 2016 wait to hear about the awardee selection from their ranks, now is an appropriate time to stand back and take a look at CPAM’s history and then to think about where our organization will go from here.

The Council of Presidential Awardees in Mathematics (CPAM) is an organization of recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching. CPAM’s first annual meeting as an official organization was held in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the NCTM Annual Meeting in April 1986. CPAM became an affiliate of NCTM during that NCTM meeting. Since 1986, CPAM has met for its annual business meeting in conjunction with the NCTM Annual Meeting.

In the early years of the Presidential Awards program, the only opportunity for awardees to get together was the breakfast sponsored each year by Silver Burdett. From Silver Burdett’s first breakfast in April 1984 came CPAM’s newsletter, logo and ultimately CPAM’s existence. Over the years, other publishing companies began sponsoring social activities which have provided awardees with opportunities to get together to renew old friendships, to begin new friendships, and to share teaching ideas. With a membership from such a vast geographic area, the opportunities for awardees to gather at the NCTM Annual Meeting and at many of the NCTM regional meetings are greatly appreciated.


First 9 Presidents and Denise Griffiths in Indianapolis - 1994
Left to right: Row 1: Charles Hamberg, IL '83, Pres. 1985-87 (1) Timothy D. Kanold, IL '86, Pres. 1988-89 (3) Karen Dotseth Page, IA '84, Pres. 1989-90 (4) Wallace C. Rogelstad, OR '85, Pres. 1992-93 (7) Row 2: Sanderson M. Smith, CA '86, Pres. 1993-94 (8) Guy R. Mauldin, TN '86, Pres. 1990-91 (5) Laurie Boswell, NH '86, Pres. 1991-92 (6) Row 3: Christine J. Comins, CO '84, Pres. 1994-95 (9) Beverly W. Nichols, KS '84, Pres. 1987-88 (2) and
Denise I. Griffiths, DE '83, Secretary and Newsletter Editor 1984-93

The following facts will remind all of us where CPAM has been and where it is now.

  1. The Presidential Awards program began in 1983 with the naming of 104 awardees. From 1983 through 1989, the awardees were mathematics and science teachers at the secondary level, grades 7-12.
  2. The first awardees from the elementary level were named in 1990. In September 1990, 216 awardees were named in mathematics and science. From 1990 through 2002, both elementary and secondary awardees have been named in mathematics and science. Beginning with the Class of 2003, elementary and secondary awardees will be named in alternate years.
  3. Since 1983, 2,340 mathematics awardees have been named. Of this number, we know that forty-nine of our colleagues have died. The Class of 2016, the thirty-fourth class, has been judged but has yet to be announced by the White House.
  4. The newsletter was started in October 1984 and has continued publication on a regular basis since that time. The newsletter comes out four times during the school year. The logo of the newsletter is a sketch of the White House in Washington and of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The intention of the logo is to remind awardees of the Awards Week in Washington and of the NCTM Annual Meeting in San Francisco in April 1984 where CPAM had its beginnings.
  5. CPAM has been incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware and has been determined by the IRS to be a nonprofit and tax exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  6. CPAM has awarded over $125,000 in scholarships to future mathematics teachers. In April 1989, CPAM began awarding $1,000 scholarships, renewable for three years. Over the years, the scholarship has been increased to $2,000, renewable for three years for a total of $8,000. Twenty-nine recipients have been named. A thirtieth scholarship recipient will be named in April 2017 at the NCTM San Antonio meeting. In April 1994, the CPAM Scholarship was named the Denise I. Griffiths CPAM Scholarship.
  7. CPAM has completed two very successful NSF grants, Teachers Teaching Teachers and Leadership Development and Enabling Change. These were conducted in conjunction with the University of Northern Iowa (UNI).
  8. In April 1991, CPAM began distributing certificates for Outstanding Mathematics Achievement for members to use for student recognition.
  9. CPAM held summer institutes for its members from 1988-1993 and again in 1995. In 2005, CPAM initiated a Leadership Seminar as a pre-session to the NCTM Annual Meeting. The thirteenth session in this series will be held in San Antonio next April.
  10. A CPAM listserv was started in 1995 and continues today.
  11. In 1998, CPAM joined with the Math Forum to answer questions submitted to the Teacher2Teacher service from all over the world. This collaborative venture provided both a service to the community by enhancing mathematics education and an opportunity for professional development for the CPAM participants.

The preceding information tells us how CPAM came to be, where it has been and where it is now. Where CPAM goes in the future is up to you.

Facts and History provided by CPAM member,
Denise I. Griffiths, DE '83
December, 2016