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Kathryn Forsyth, Director
For Release: May 20, 2008
Two New Jersey Teachers Win Presidential Awards
Two of New Jersey’s four finalists for the 2007 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) have been chosen as national winners, Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy announced today.
They are Margaret Dever, of Old Bridge, who teaches mathematics at Marlboro High School and Karen Galley, of Lawrenceville, who teaches science at West Windsor- Plainsboro High School South.
Along with the other national winners, Dever and Galley will each receive a $10,000 educational grant to be used at her discretion over a three-year period. The teachers received their awards at a ceremony earlier this month in Washington, DC.
“These two outstanding teachers have made the entire education community in New Jersey proud, and I join with their colleagues and their students in congratulating them,” Commissioner Davy said. “Their love of the profession and their extraordinary talents in preparing students for life and work in the 21st century define them as leaders and role models.”
Enacted by Congress in 1983, PAEMST authorizes the President to bestow up to 108 awards each year. The National Science Foundation administers the program on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Awards are given to mathematics and science teachers from each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Schools and the U.S. territories. Teachers are recognized for their contributions to teaching and learning and their ability to help students make progress in mathematics and science. The goal of the program is to exemplify the highest standards of mathematics and science teaching.
The following profiles of New Jersey’s two PAEMST award-winners appear on the PAEMST web site:
Margaret Dever, a mathematics teacher at Marlboro High School in Marlboro, NJ, has been teaching for 37 years. Ms. Dever has worked in the Freehold Regional High School District for her entire career and has served as advisor to the school’s Math Team since 1984. She teaches advanced placement calculus, pre-calculus, and algebra II.
Before official standards existed, Ms. Dever was implementing standards. She is described as a student advocate, a teacher’s teacher, and a supervisor’s dream. She continually finds novel ways to engage students and make learning mathematics interesting and fun. One former student credits Ms. Dever with changing her entire view of calculus. She once dreaded and struggled with it. She now enjoys studying it in college.
Ms. Dever has become a peer leader and coach to new and veteran teachers because she embraces new classroom techniques and new developments in technology. Her infectious energy inspires others to do the same, and she enthusiastically shares ideas and specific lessons.
In 1999, Ms. Dever was named Teacher of the Year for Marlboro High School, and she received an Honorable Mention in 2000 in the USA Today Teacher Team.
Ms. Dever is certified to teach grades seven through twelve mathematics. She has a B.A. in mathematics from the College of St. Elizabeth and an M.A. in mathematics from Rutgers University. Ms. Dever has been an adjunct professor at Middlesex County College since 1970, where she has taught calculus I, calculus II, and pre-calculus.
Karen Lee Galley
Karen Lee Galley teaches Honors and AP chemistry to students in grades 10–12. She has taught at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South in Princeton Junction, NJ, for 19 years. She previously taught science at a junior high school and at two high schools; these teaching assignments included classes in biology, physical science, and human anatomy and physiology. She currently serves as a mentor of new chemistry teachers for the district, the school’s Science Club advisor, and the Science Olympiad advisor to the school. Additionally, she serves on the Steering Committee for the State Science Olympiad, and is the Chemagination advisor for the school.
Ms. Galley is known as skilled, enthusiastic, and caring by both students and her peers. She is a catalyst for change and leads others in the pursuit of exceptional teaching practices. Although she is demanding of her students, she brings out their best. Former students revere her and many pursuing advanced academic degrees continue to stay in touch with her. A respected and admired chemistry teacher in the State, Ms. Galley assists other teachers so they can provide an outstanding educational opportunity for all students. Administrators value her input and can count on her contributions.
Ms. Galley has received the Governor’s Teacher of the Year Award and the Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher Award (American Chemical Society) at both the community and regional level.
Ms. Galley holds New York certification in grade seven through twelve science, certification from New Jersey in comprehensive science, and certification from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards in adolescent and young adulthood science. She has a B.A. in chemistry from Southern Connecticut State University and an M.S. in polymer physical chemistry from Syracuse University.