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5 Arizonans receive Presidential Awards for Excellence

Congratulations to all of the recipients!

PHOENIX — Several Arizonans are celebrating today after news was released that they are being given Presidential Awards for Excellence Tuesday, a release from the White House read.

In the release, President Trump stated that there were five Arizona recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) and the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).  

Here is a breakdown of the award recipients:

Arizona recipients of the PAEMST

  • Svea Anderson, Agua Caliente Elementary School
  • Amee Legarra, Richardson Elementary School
  • Deborah Nipar, Hamilton High School
  • Nicole Whitt, Empire High School

Arizona recipients of the PAESMEM

  • Sally Stevens, University of Arizona

12 News talked to one of the recipients, Debbie Nipar, who supervises Hamilton High School's science fair participants and teaches chemistry. She is a 27-year veteran of the classroom. 

Nipar is currently in Washington D.C. awaiting a ceremony. 

"It's such an honor, and I feel kind of like Cinderella," Nipar said via Skype Tuesday.

Asked what she thought she did to earn the recognition, Mrs. Nipar was at a loss.

"It's what I would want someone to do for my kids, and so it's what I do for their kids," Nipar said.

The PAEMST was established in 1983 and is the highest award given by the U.S. Government to K-12 teachers of mathematics and science, including computer science.

According to the release, "PAESMEM recognizes the critical roles mentors play outside the traditional classroom setting in the academic and professional development of the future STEM workforce."

For a complete list of all the recipients, visit the White House website.

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