Alumna Receives Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Alumna Elegan (Lee) Kramer (BS Ed `06, M Ed `07), a physics teacher at Parkway North High School, has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Elegan Kramer
Elegan (Lee) Kramer

Elegan became a science educator through the Teaching Fellowship Program, now known as MPER Early Career Scholars Program, and she was the chapter president of the National Science Teachers Assocation while at Mizzou.

She currently teaches 11th-12th grade Advanced Placement Physics 1 and Principles of Physics at Parkway North High School, where she has taught for 13 years. She has also taught astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, and physical science at Parkway North. Previously, she taught eighth grade science at Columbia Public Schools for one year.

She is certified in physics 9–12, unified chemistry 9–12, and general science 5–9. She also is a National Board Certified Teacher in science/early adolescence.

The Presidential Award is a recognition of teachers who are passionate about education and deeply reflective of their practices. Award recipients have the students’ best interests at heart and work with the support of family, colleagues, and community. They work diligently to improve science literacy and model the process of continuous learning. The Presidential Award provides opportunities to these exemplary teachers to enact real educational changes. I am honored to have received this award.  

– Elegan (Lee) Kramer (BS Ed `06, MEd `07)

According to the announcement of the award, Elegan enjoys incorporating real-world applications in her classes, models the process of scientific discovery and engineering in class, and encourages her students to work collaboratively. In the last few years she has worked with other educators in the district to create a new physics class based upon these educational ideas and is teaching this new class as of 2020. Each year she takes her students to a local amusement park to participate in experiments and to collect data with sensors on various rides. Her students also participate in the annual St. Louis Area Physics Teachers (SLAPT) high school physics contest at Washington University in St. Louis.

Elegan is an active member of SLAPT and was its president from 2018 to 2020. She also recently accepted the offer to be an Ambassador for STEP UP (Supporting Teachers to Encourage the Pursuit of Undergraduate Physics). As a STEP UP Ambassador, she will empower teachers to inspire young women to pursue physics.


The National Science Foundation administers Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th grade science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Up to 108 teachers are recognized each year.

Presidential Awardees receive 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.

Awardees also join an active network of outstanding educators from throughout the nation. Since 1983, more than 5,000 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. Awardees reflect the expertise and dedication of the Nation’s teaching corps, and they demonstrate the positive impact of excellent teachers on student achievement.