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Milton Hershey School Elementary Teacher Receives Presidential Award for Excellence

Milton Hershey School elementary teacher Joel Crowley has been named one of the recipients of the 2019 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) by President Trump.

The Presidential Awards represent the highest honors bestowed by the U.S. government specifically for kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics and science teaching. Teachers were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators based on their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. After a nomination and application process, Crowley was selected as one of 215 recipients, only four of which are from Pennsylvania.

In his role as an Innovation Lab Instructor at MHS, Crowley develops curriculum focused on coding, robotics, computer science, digital citizenship, engineering, and design thinking. He has worked with students on sending projects to the International Space Station, building a 3D printed aquaponic greenhouse, growing and harvesting kale for kid-friendly green smoothies, and working on a design thinking project with younger elementary students on ways to improve baby goat enclosures at local farms.

“Mr. Crowely’s selection as a Presidential Award recipient is a testament to his commitment and expertise as an educator,” said MHS President Pete Gurt ’85. “His work to develop learning opportunities that support our youngest students’ interests while incorporating science, technology, engineering, and math is the first step in giving students the tools to pursue and succeed in future STEAM careers.”

As a Presidential Award recipient, Crowley recently attended a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities in Washington, D.C.

“I am truly humbled and honored by this award. I learn through triumphs and failures alongside my students and STEAM education really embraces that trial and error spirit,” said Crowley. “I am continuing to learn and grow as a teacher and it is a privilege to utilize the resources at MHS to empower students with inspiring, hands-on learning experiences every day.”

The National Science Foundation administers the award on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. PAEMST was established by Congress in 1983. Awardees represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity schools, and the U.S. territories.

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.