photo of lauren hawkins

Richardson HS math teacher among finalists for highest teaching recognition in America


September 19, 2017


Richardson High School’s Lauren Hawkins is among just 10 Texas teachers recently named finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The awards recognize the top math and science teachers in grades 7-12 whose innovative methods bring teaching to life in the classroom.

It is the highest recognition a mathematics or science teacher may receive for exemplary teaching in the United States.

Hawkins has taught Pre-AP Algebra II and AP Statistics at Richardson HS since 2011. She believes it is the spirit of the teacher that allows students to make the biggest breakthroughs, no matter the subject.

“You are not just a math person or just an English person,” she said. “But everyone can learn math if they are taught in unique ways. I truly didn’t understand math until my fifth grade math teachers showed me what a dedicated, passionate teacher truly looked like. They took the time to work with me, and encouraged me to become comfortable with the subject and never give up.”

Hawkins has since taken that passion into her classroom and believes the Presidential Award recognition is for all teachers who continually strive to bring a smile to students on tough days along with a growing passion for what they do.



"I truly didn’t understand math until my fifth grade math teachers showed me what a dedicated, passionate teacher truly looked like. They took the time to work with me, and encouraged me to become comfortable with the subject and never give up."

- Lauren Hawkins


And her growing passion is clear in the eyes of Chris Choat, principal of Richardson High.

“Lauren is RISD greatness,” he said. “I knew that she was something special. It was obvious every time we had the chance to watch her teach. I am thrilled that she is being recognized on a national level for the great work she does.”

Hawkins and her fellow Texas finalists are vying to become either the one mathematics or one science teacher from each state and U.S. jurisdiction to claim the national award. Winners will receive $10,000, a citation signed by President Trump and a paid trip for two to Washington, D.C. All Texas finalist will also be recognized by the State Board of Education.