Brandeis High School science teacher Fatimah Aboueisha is one of six Texas finalists for the 2021 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
Aboueisha has been teaching for six years, and the 2021-2022 school year will be her third year at Brandeis where she also serves as Science Department Coordinator in addition to teaching biology and chemistry.
“Fatimah is an excellent educator and an outstanding leader,” said Elisa McCracken, Brandeis HS Academic Dean. “She finds multiple avenues to engage students in learning, helping each to find success. She is dedicated, passionate and empathetic and she inspires others to be their best. Students leave her classroom with a respect for science and with problem-solving skills that will last a lifetime.”
Two finalists from the state will be recognized at the national level, which includes a trip to Washington D.C., a $10,000 award, and a signed certificate from the President of the United States.
Aboueisha knows that she is teaching future leaders in her classroom and takes that responsibility seriously.
“I want them to be critical thinkers, the new scientists.”
As part of her application for the award, Aboueisha submitted a virtual science lesson. She describes herself as the facilitator with students in control of their learning and teaching and collaborating with each other, despite the distance.
“This last year was a teaching and learning moment for all of us,” Aboueisha said. “We found a way to do labs. We learned that kids adapt. We were able to learn so much from this experience, and there’s no going back. It pushed us all beyond our comfort zone.”
After a year of mostly virtual instruction, she is looking forward to reuniting with students in August.
“I truly miss the connection with kids in class, seeing their facial expressions, giving them high fives, and asking about their day. These small things build connections.”
She is a graduate of Clark High School and earned her bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Texas at San Antonio and master’s degree in school administration from Lamar University.
The PAEMST Awards are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching. The Awards were established by Congress in 1983. The President may recognize up to 108 exemplary teachers each year.
Through the years, several NISD teachers have been recognized with PAEMST awards at the national level.