WEAC Region 6 member Jay Garvey Shah, a fifth grade teacher at Creekside Elementary School in Sun Prairie, has been awarded a 2018 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
Shah, who has been teaching for 15 years, will be teaching sixth grade mathematics and science at the International Community School of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia next year. He has taught in the U.S. and abroad, including at the American International School of Kuwait, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal.
“The Presidential Award represents part of an amazing journey I have had and hope to continue,” Shah said. “It honors the help and dedication of colleagues, friends, family, and students who have supported and challenged me to learn, create, inspire, and push myself as an educator. The field of education is constantly changing, but it will always be about people. This award celebrates the critical work of science and engineering educators in supporting students in understanding and helping our global society.”
Shah was a National Science Foundation GK-12 Teaching Fellow with the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory. He is a chemical engineer and received an Environmental Protection Agency grant for small-scale water filter research.
Passionate about bringing these experiences to the classroom, Shah inspires students to see science and engineering as ways to help the world. He received an Outstanding Educator Award from the 100 Black Men organization and is a recipient of the Franklin H. Williams’ Returned Peace Corps Volunteers award for commitment to community service.
Shah has led education workshops, published lessons, and served on the Wisconsin State Science Standards Writing Committee. He earned a B.S. in chemical engineering and a M.S. in civil/environmental engineering, both from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He also holds a M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from George Mason University and is certified to teach first through eighth grade.
Each PAEMST presidential awardee received a $10,000 award from National Science Foundation. Recipients also were honored during recognition events in Washington, D.C., that included an award ceremony, professional development opportunities, and discussions with policymakers on how to improve STEM education.