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Welcome to the Brainstorm Blog! The primary news source the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science (MSMS), Mississippi's only public, residential high school dedicated to the development of the state's most academically gifted students.

Mrs. Z a State-Finalist for a Big Recognition


MSMS’s own Lauren Zarandona – a five-year-veteran of the MSMS mathematics faculty – has been named a state-level finalist for the prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

Mrs. Zarandona - or Mrs. Z as her students affectionately call her - is only one of a handful of educators in the state who has made it to the finalist level. This is Mrs. Zarandona’s second time to be named a state-finalist; she also received the recognition in 2009.

“I really appreciate it when hard work does not go unnoticed,” she said upon hearing of her selection as a state finalist.

Claudia Carter, another member of the MSMS math faculty, nominated Mrs. Zarandona for the honor. Mrs. Carter and MSMS chemistry instructor Dr. Nancy MacNeill are past winners of the National PAEMST.

After her nomination, Mrs. Zarandona spent several hours working on the award’s application in which she submitted a resume, letters of recommendation, answered questions about teaching and created a video of herself teaching one of her classes. Mrs. Zarandona’s application will now move onto the national competition. Winners receive a trip to Washington D.C., a certificate signed by the President of the United States and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

The PAEMST program was enacted by Congress in 1983 and has recognized more than 4,200 educators since its creation.

According to the program’s website, “The award recognizes those teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning.”

Wade LeonardComment