LAHS’s Kathy Boerigter Shares Presidential Award Impressions Following White House Honors Event

LAHS Science Teacher Kathy Boerigter accepts her PAEMST Award for Science. Courtesy photo

While attending professional development events, Boerigter met teachers from all over the country and learned new teaching strategies to bring back to her students in Los Alamos. Courtesy photo


Los Alamos High School Science Teacher Kathy Boerigter accepted the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) during a trip last week to Washington, D.C.

Boerigter, and the other Presidential Awardees, received a certificate signed by the President of the United States, a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

During the trip, Boerigter met many educational leaders. 

“Dr. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology greeted us at the ceremony,” Boerigter said. “France A. Córdova, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) was one of the speakers. I also met a number of outstanding teachers, both elementary and high school.”

She also gained insights on STEM and Project Based Learning, “I learned a lot about the President’s STEM initiative and how he wants to increase the number of STEM teachers by another 50,000 in the next 5 to 10 years. There was a number of talks on Project Based Learning and what it looks like in the classroom. We also heard from researchers studying STEM high schools and what they looked like. Some may applied to a public school such as LAHS.”

Boerigter shared how this experience will help her teaching. “It has given me even more of a drive to work with other teachers and to coordinate with teachers from other schools. I thoroughly enjoy working with my students, but the award and the associated talks helped me to remember that I also love collaborating and helping other teachers. Someday I would like to become a STEM coach to work with science/math teachers.”

“I appreciate the stellar teachers I work with here in the science department at LAHS,” Boerigter said. “They all have the capability to be PAEMST teachers.”

Kathy with her husband, Steve, at the National Zoo before the award festivities begin. Courtesy photo