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Kenton County educator among four KY teachers to win Presidential Award for math, science teaching

NKyTribune staff

Four Kentucky mathematics and science teachers are among 213 recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), including Deborah “Debbie” Brock of Simon Kenton High School.


Brock has been an educator for 28 years and is currently the Academic Program Consultant for Kenton County Schools.

She spent 17 years teaching 11th-grade Accelerated Chemistry, 12th-grade Advanced Placement Chemistry, and 12th-grade Physics at Simon Kenton High School. Previously, Brock taught at South Junior High School and Henderson County High School.

“In the past 27 years, I have received countless notes and emails from parents and students thanking me for my work,,” Brock said. “But to be awarded the highest honor for science teachers is something I cannot begin to define.”

The PAEMST is awarded to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. Winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators following an initial selection process at the state level.

Brock shares her love of chemistry through demonstrations. She believes that strong teaching begins with innovative professional development.

To this end, she has presented professional development for her district and has served as a teacher leader in the Northern Kentucky Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics Chemistry Alliance.

She is a member of the Kentucky Science Teachers Association and served on its board of directors for nine years, including the executive board as president in 2017 and conference chair in 2018.

“The Presidential Award validates all of those late nights, weekends, and summer days spent at school, trying to find a way to be more relevant to kids,” Brock said. “This award honors that sacrifice, and I am extremely grateful and humbled to be selected. I will continue to shape our future.”

Brock participated in writing through-course-tasks, a component of the state Science Assessment System. She also evaluated student work on through-course-tasks, providing exemplars for teachers across the state.

She earned a B.A. in education from the University of Kentucky and a M.A. in education from Western Kentucky University.

Brock is also is a National Board Certified Teacher in adolescent and young adult science. She is certified in secondary mathematics and chemistry.

The PAEMST winners from Kentucky are:

Grades K-6

• Kristi Fehr, science, Cassidy Elementary School (Fayette County)

• Melanie Ramey, mathematics, Highland Elementary School (Johnson County)

Grades 7-12

• Deborah Brock, science, Simon Kenton High School (Kenton County)

• Erin Schneider, mathematics, Atherton High School (Jefferson County)

Winners receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation and are invited to Washington for a series of professional development opportunities.

Awardees also join an active network of outstanding educators from throughout the nation. Since 1983, more than 5,000 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.

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